About the Martinsville-Henry County Community Nature Initiative

With the support of The Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont, Virginia Museum of Natural History and its partners, Dr. Denny Casey and Tamara Poles developed a new nature and outdoor initiative entitled the Martinsville Henry County Community Nature Initiative (MHC CNI). The CNI will serve as a clearinghouse for environmental information, use nature as a way to stimulate learning, develop opportunities for quality family time in the outdoors, and position VMNH as a leader in environmental education. CNI will serve as a means to provide hands-on, real-world opportunities for children, educators, and families to increase appreciation for nature and as an effective means to better understand and address community environmental issues.

Click the above CNI logo for official website and to access your Earth Week Passport!

Earth Week 2010 Highlights

Monday, February 4, 2013

2013 Piedmont Kite Festival

Go fly a kite! Plans are underway for the 2013 Piedmont Kite Festival. This year's festival will take place March 16, 2013 (rain date March 23) from 10:00am to 3:00pm. This will be our 4th annual festival at Jack Dalton Park. This year participants will be able to make and fly kites; participate in a variety of family-oriented outdoor activities and enjoy live music from Kim and Jimbo Cary.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Week Celebration 2012

April 20 - 28- We will have a wide variety of activities taking place throughout the community this week! Click here to print off your Earth Week passport. MHC CNI representatives will be present at each event to stamp your passports. Bring your stamped passports to the Earth Day Festival on the April 28th to be entered into a prize drawing.

Friday, April 20
Starry Night at the Smith River Sports
8 – 9 p.m., all ages
Spend an evening under the stars, and learn all about the amazing things you can see beyond Earth


Saturday, April 21
Environmental Education Expo
at Philpott Lake Visitor Center
1 – 4 p.m., all ages.
Come to Philpott Lake Park to enjoy fun demonstrations and educational displays by area organizations. Demonstrations include fly tying, casting for kids, kayak information, and more.
Philpott Lake Park Overlook
1058 Philpott Dam Road.

Earth Day at Fairy Stone State Park
10 am – 3 p.m., all ages.
Activities include Tree ID walks at 10 am and 1 pm;  and making recycled flower pots, 
seed collectin, and young children's activities from 1 - 3 pm.
Meet at Shelters 3 and 4 at Fairy Stone State Park.
FREE after parking fee.

Sunday, April 22
Sunday Stroll and Scavenger Hunt at Philpott Lake
3 – 4:30 p.m., all ages
Find hidden clues on the trail, and see if your nature knowledge can lead you to the finish! Meet at the Philpott Lake Visitor Center.


Friday, April 27
Screen on the Green
6:30 p.m.
Come out to the Collinsville YMCA to see a box office movie!!! Earth Day games and activities will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the movie will start at 8 p.m. There will be food available for purchase.
Fee: $2. 

Saturday, April 28

Earth Day Festival
sponsored by EMI Imaging and Recycling
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Come to the Smith River Sports Complex for food, prizes, and fun activities. There will be games,
obstacle courses, crafts, face painting, and a number of organizations from the area providing fun activities.

Bring your passport to be eligible to win the grand prize!



Monday, February 6, 2012

Piedmont Kite Festival 2012

It is time for the Piedmont Kite Festival!!! March 17, 2012 from 10:00am to 3:00pm, we will be conducting our 3rd annual festival at Jack Dalton Park. This year participants will be able to enjoy live music from Kim and Jimbo Cary, the Henry County Patriots will be demonstrating their radio controlled airplanes, custom face painting by Spellbound, SEMAA providing cool flight crafts, YMCA fun and games, and VMNH games! I hope to see you out there!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Committee Updates

o Henry County Public Schools- received a solar panel grant through the Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy. They have purchased educational energy kits and trainings for the schools. They are currently installing new energy software for teachers and students to aide with the kits. In addition to working with the new grant, they are also developing summer camps.
o SEMAA- They will be taking two field trips, one to the Air and Space Museum and one to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill. VMNH will be working SEMAA to conduct Star Lab programs. SEMAA is currently working on summer camps
o NCI- New lecture series begins soon and will focus on gardening and health. NCI is also working on developing new summer camps for this year and will keep the organizations in the committee in mind for partnering opportunities.
o Henry County Parks and Recreation- The winter program guides are now available
o YMCA- Are beginning their DOT program, where students exercise for thirty minutes a day for ninety days. January 19, will be their Healthy Living expo. They will also be participating in Trout in the Classroom this year.
o Friends of Philpott- Handicapped playground at Bowen’s Creek to be completed by April. They are also working on a two week IDIE summer music program for kids.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Happy 2012 everyone! I hope your new year is off to a wonderful start! We are currently planning some great events for 2012! Our first event in the Piedmont Kite Festival!!! So mark your calendars for March 17, 2012 for the festival! :)

Happy Holidays!!!

MHC CNI wishes everyone the best over the holiday season! Be safe and make sure you enjoy the outdoors!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving from MHC CNI!!!!
Make sure you try to take advantage of the great fall weather we have been experiencing during your Thanksgiving break! There are many ways you can enjoy the outdoors during the fall. The following are some ideas
Go on a hike and observe the leaves changing colors
Start a pick-up tag football game
Ride your bike on a nature trail instead of a road
Make a nature collage
Jump in some leaves
Look under fallen leaves and discover who lives in them
Feed our bird friends that do not migrate
Build a fort

There are millions of things you can do during this time of year! If you have gone outside and taken part in something cool outdoors please feel free to post it!