‘Conservation Talks’ set for Saturday

Published 10:19 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Keep Suffolk Beautiful will bring a pair of speakers to the library on Saturday, with two works of salvaged art and a few winged guests thrown in the mix.

“Conversation Talks” will be from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday at the North Suffolk Library, 2000 Bennetts Creek Park Road. This kid-friendly program is free and open to the public. You do not need to be a library member to attend.

Wayne Jones of Keep Suffolk Beautiful will begin the program with some of his organization’s upcoming activities, along with the two balloon sculptures — a turtle and a butterfly — that the organization made with help from volunteers, the Suffolk Art Gallery, Suffolk Art League and Clean Virginia Waterways. Visitors can also submit their names for the turtle and butterfly for a contest.

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The first speaker on Saturday will be Christina Trapani, one of the researchers that helped conduct the Clean Virginia Waterways study of balloon-related debris on Virginia beaches.

She and her fellow researchers covered about 111 miles of remote Virginia beaches and collected 11,441 balloons and balloon-related debris, which were ultimately used for the art sculptures on display.

“Marine debris is becoming an increasing concern,” Jones said. “With the amount of plastics coming into these waterways, we want to raise awareness of the harm that does to marine life and water life in general.”

Trapani will be followed by certified wildlife rehabilitator Tommy White, the co-founder of Alton’s Keep Wildbird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Suffolk. White has spent years rescuing and rehabilitating birds in the region.

Children will especially enjoy the “ambassador birds” he will bring to the library.

“It makes it a lot more intimate and hands-on seeing the birds up close, and having Tommy share his experiences and stories really brings it home. (Plus) it’s not every day that you get to see a great horned owl up close.”

Visit suffolkpubliclibrary.com for more information.