Hometown Heroes visited the Virginia Living Museum located in Newport News. The museum has been around since 1966 when it was first developed as a “Junior Nature Museum and Planetarium” It has since evolved into the “Virginia Living Museum” and houses more than 250 species of animals, has one of the largest displays of Virginia native plants, and has the largest carnivorous dinosaur tracks found in Virginia!

Habitats, discovery centers, and interactive exhibits will keep the whole family busy with activity. Check out their website while planning your visit to see the daily schedule of activities that includes feedings, enrichment, and special exhibits (Shark Zone is open now!)

In 2009, the Virginia Living Museum opened up a “Living Green House” called the Goodson House. This exhibit (house and yard) allows visitors to see the latest techniques and products around to build and maintain a sustainable and earth-friendly home. This is a first of its kind in Virginia!

“The 600-square-foot exhibit house includes these features:

  • Recycled building materials, including salvaged lumber and wood-like siding made from recycled paper.
  • Alternatives to PVC piping.
  • Roofs covered with living plants, which both insulate and reduce water runoff, that can be installed on homes, garages, sheds, porches or businesses.
  • Solar photovoltaic panels, a solar water heater, passive solar heating and radiant floor heating, daylighting and natural ventilation.
  • Alternative wall systems and alternative insulation systems.
  • Collection of storm water in rain barrels and cisterns.
  • Geothermal heat pump and cooling unit.
  • A computer kiosk where visitors can calculate their own carbon footprint.
  • A solar fountain that demonstrates the power of the sun.”

(Howell Creative Group, “Living Green House, Solar Panels and Gardens.” The Virginia Living Museum, http://thevlm.org/explore/exhibits/living-green. Accessed 23 May 2019.)

Watch this segment of Hometown Heroes as our host, Chris Anderson, talks with Education Associate Deanna Moore about what it means to “live green” and how we can all do a better job lowering our carbon footprints.