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  • Virginians are lucky to enjoy four distinct seasons each year, each one reflected in the changing natural scenery. While the winters are generally mild, temperatures do dip below freezing and bring the occasional snowfall. During these months, the wildlife have many ways to adapt.
  • Plant pollen might be an annual irritant to allergy sufferers, but it is essential for the reproduction of native vegetation that provides food and shelter to all kinds of animals. Spreading this powdery substance around through pollination keeps plants fertilized, ensuring the production of fruits and seeds that will spawn a future generation.
  • Virginia is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, most of which originated here and developed over thousands of years to adapt to the natural environment. These native species live in balance with one another, giving and taking to the benefit of the greater ecosystem. But other species were brought here from far away, and can swiftly tilt that balance. These invasive species might be plants (like English ivy) or animals (like the European starling), but what they have in common is the potential to wreak havoc—not just on the local habitat, but also on the economy and even human health.
  • Water makes up more than half of the human body, and nearly three-quarters of the earth itself. It’s easy to take something so ubiquitous for granted, but it is more important than ever to protect our watersheds for the good of all the life they sustain. Virginia has more than a dozen major watersheds, including the Chesapeake Bay. Each of these includes all the major tributaries that feed into them, including rivers like the James, and all of the smaller creeks and streams that feed those tributaries.
  • Virginia boasts some of the most diverse landscapes in the nation, from the rocky peaks of Shenandoah to the sandy expanses of the Eastern Shore. Over centuries, as more and more humans have made themselves at home here, there have been significant changes to the land. Forests have given way to crops, paths have evolved into highways, and wetlands have been drained and filled to create neighborhoods.
  • Citizen science lets members of the general public collect and analyze scientific data that is helpful to a broader research effort. In recent years, technology has made it easier than ever to crowdsource this data from everyday people.