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Date: December 19, 2012

New Trail Center at First Landing State Park to open Jan. 3

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA) - A grand opening celebration for the new trail center at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach will be held at 11:30 a.m., Jan. 3, 2013. The center, featuring museum-quality exhibits, gift shop, information desk and rentable meeting rooms, is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building and is one of the final projects funded by the 2002 Parks and Natural Areas bond referendum.

While the building has been open since this spring, the center's exhibits will premiere at the opening event. The Princess Anne Garden Club raised more than $225,000 to help fund the exhibits and interactive displays focusing on the park's history and natural resources.  The new information desk will help park visitors orient themselves to the trail system and park programs.  A small gift shop is also open.

A number of state and local officials will attend the brief ceremonies. Light refreshments will be served and park staff will be available for guided tours of the museum exhibits and trail system. Parking is limited.

The trail center building is one of seven new state park facilities developed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation that has received LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. The council, a national nonprofit organization "committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings," gave the First Landing trail center it's Silver level certification. The center's energy saving features include low-flow toilets, automatic lights, tinted windows and a reflective roof which help regulate interior temperatures.

 The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. For more information on Virginia State Park activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK (7275) or visit

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