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Virginia Living Museum accepts 2023 Virginia Green Travel Star Award: Museum volunteers protect the environment, supported by Bank of America

NEWPORT NEWS (April 26, 2023) – A certified Virginia Green attraction, the Virginia Living Museum is dedicated to environmental sustainability in its daily operations, events, and programs. Recently, the Museum received recognition for its “green” efforts from the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The Alliance presented the Museum with the 2023 Green Travel Star Award for the “Most Innovative Green Project” during its 10th Annual Virginia Green Travel Conference held on March 21 & 22, 2023, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.


Deanna Orr, Museum Conservation Manager, shares details about the volunteer project that inspired the award: “The Virginia Living Museum’s Lake & Stream Cleanup Team is made up of dedicated youth and adult volunteers. Between February and December 2022, this group worked tirelessly to collect litter from Deer Park Lake and nearby wetlands and waterways, improve our local ecosystem, and beautify the Museum’s grounds. Their efforts diverted 903 pounds of trash into proper waste channels by removing it from waterways in our community. Their work was muddy, wet, and exhausting, and we are very grateful for the hundreds of hours they contributed to conserve our environment and improve our planet.” 

In May 2022, Bank of America awarded a grant to grow and strengthen the Museum’s volunteer program. With volunteers outnumbering staff about 4:1, the Virginia Living Museum relies on its dedicated core of more than 400 volunteers to sustain its conservation mission. Volunteers are incorporated into the daily operation of the Museum, assisting in public areas and behind the scenes. They educate guests, facilitate events, and roll up their sleeves to join in community conservation projects like stream cleanups and wildlife research. In turn, volunteers benefit from hands-on experience and training, and develop skills to prepare them for future employment – creating a “volunteer to career” pipeline for young people and adults in our community.

Winning the Virginia Green Travel Star Award is a testament to the efforts of the Museum’s passionate volunteers. The Green Star Award is presented to Virginia’s tourism operators and partners to recognize their commitment to sustainability and green tourism. Through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia State Parks, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, & Travel Association, and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance, the Virginia Green Travel Program certifies businesses and nonprofits that operate with sustainability at the forefront of their missions.

The Virginia Living Museum is a leader in natural living exhibits! Native Virginia mammals, marine life, reptiles, amphibians, birds, plants, and planets are presented in natural ecosystems and connect people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation.

Accredited by both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (living exhibits) and the American Alliance of Museums (non-live collections), the Museum’s high standards are its hallmark, as only fourteen institutions share this designation in the country. 

Created by the Warwick Rotary Club and Junior League of Hampton Roads in 1966, the Museum is an independent 501c3 organization, a successful public/private partnership with the City of Newport News and Museum guests.

Built by the community, beloved by the community, sustained by the community.

Located at 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd., Newport News (I-64, exit 258-A), hours are 9 to 5 daily. Learn more at, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or call 757-595-1900.

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