A Focus on Health - The Planet's and Our Own

By Michael Lay | Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Duplicates exist of many things but, so far, there's only one Earth. And, unfortunately, to date we've not proven ourselves conscientious caretakers of our planetary home. To help in the much-needed environmental education awareness effort, this Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. the UNC Coastal Studies Institute on Roanoke Island is hosting Earth Fair OBX III, a combination open house and afternoon of science and family fun! Each Earth Fair participant will receive a passport to complete by journeying through the fair, and his or her completed passport can be used for one free raffle entry. Additional raffle tickets will be on sale during the event for $1. Learn about local environmentally focused organizations and businesses while exploring the Coastal Studies Institute facility. North Carolina Coastal Federation

New to the event this year will be the incorporation of outdoor activities along the canal and wetlands adjacent to the Institute. Additionally, indoor presentations, guest speakers and a student film festival presentation will contribute to the afternoon's celebration. The free event is open to the public and will take place rain or shine. The UNC Coastal Studies Institute is located off NC 345 on Roanoke Island in the community of Skyco just north of Wanchese. Other contributing organizations include the N.C. Coastal Federation, N.C. Sea Grant, Jockey's Ridge State Park, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

When most people think of the Outer Banks, they think of beaches and the ocean. But essential contributors to the coastal ecosystem are the wetlands found on the western side of our barrier islands and across the sounds at the watery edge of the North Carolina mainland. On Friday, April 25 at 11 a.m. you can accompany a North Carolina Aquarium naturalist on a Wetlands Walk, a fun-filled catch-and-release learning experience at a nearby salt marsh. Participants will muck through the marsh and wade into the sound with nets and buckets in search of the amazing abundance of life making its home in the estuary! Recommended for ages 8 and older (participants 12 and younger must be accompanied by a paying adult); closed-toe water shoes are required and participants must pre-register. The program fee is $18/person and $12/NC Aquarium Members.

From now through July 7, visitors to the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island will discover that a host of fabulous and fantastical creatures has taken up residence in the Aquarium's Nautilus Art Gallery as part of the exhibit Enchanted Seas: The Papier Mâché Art of Carol Willett. Inspired by the ocean, literature and a lifelong interest in cross-cultural mythology, Willett's exhibit includes 17 sea creatures crafted from recycled materials (such as newspapers, catalogs, cardboard, coat hangers, old bed sheets, plastic, glass and natural materials gathered from the beach) adorned with paint, glitter and seashells. The Aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission to the Enchanted Seas exhibit is included in the regular Aquarium admission.

How's your short game? If you're feeling confident on the green, show up for the Pirate Putt Putt for Polio Plus at Professor Hacker's Lost Treasure Golf in Kill Devil Hills this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and challenge yourself to sink putt after putt for a good cause. Two-person teams will compete through 18 holes of putt putt golf to support Polio Plus, a world-wide polio eradication initiative championed by Rotary International. Teams can include parents, children, parents and children, friends or even complete strangers. Admission is $5/person.

The nation's largest health day for kids and families comes to the Outer Banks Family YMCA in Nags Head this Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Healthy Kids Day® is a free community event featuring fun, educational activities promoting healthy practices such as events such as Zumba and others designed to inspire kids and families to stay physical and intellectually active. For more information, contact Ryan Henderson at (252) 449-8897 or {encode="rhenderson@ymcashr.org" title="rhenderson@ymcashr.org"}.

Exercise your funny bone Saturday night when comedian Heywood Banks brings his trademark twisted humor and insightful observations to The Lost Colony's Sound Stage Theatre at 8 p.m. Banks is a songwriter-comic-singer-poet-musician who melds his comedy with inventive, sometimes bizarre songs to connect with audiences from college students to business people, yuppies and grandparents. Banks has appeared on A&E's Evening at the Improv, MTV's 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour, CNN's Hollywood Minute, Caroline's Comedy Hour, Entertainment Tonight, Showtime Comedy Club Network, Dr. Demento Show, 12th Annual HBO Young Comedians Special with Paul Rodriguez and is a frequent guest on the national Bob and Tom radio show. Tickets are $25/person.

Well, either Spring is finally here to stay or there are going to be some chilly sheep on Roanoke Island. Sheep Shearing Day takes place at Island Farm on Roanoke Island this Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn the role that sheep played in the lives of Islanders during the mid-19th century, discover the secrets of hearth cooking and play games using 19th-century toys. Sheep searing demonstrations will be conducted at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Admission is $6, with children 5 and younger admitted free.

Channel your inner Edward Scissorhands and come out for The Elizabethan Gardens' hands-on topiary workshop with Janice Simons, a Master Gardener of Beaufort County and a member of the Washington Garden Club. Simons has years of topiary experience, and on Saturday, April 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. she will use her expertise to help you make your own circular topiary to take home. The workshop fee of $40/Members and $45/non-Members includes a PowerPoint presentation, handouts, all necessary supplies and a light snack. For more information, call (252) 473-3234.

Mark Your Calendars

Nearly everyone loves a good yarn, and some of the best storytellers you'll ever hear can be found at the Hatteras Storytelling Festival. From Friday, May 2 through Sunday, May 4 top storytellers will gather at the Hatteras Civic Center in Hatteras Village. See the event website for more information and details on ticket availability and pricing.

Also set for the first weekend in May is the 17th Annual Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show, an always eclectic mix of local art held in honor of Mollie Fearing, one of the founders of the organization that grew into the Dare County Arts Council. The exhibit is open to Dare County residents, and DCAC members and an opening reception will be held Sunday, May 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call (252) 473-5558 or visit the DCAC website.


Outer Banks This Week Giveaway








This week you still have a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to Kitty Hawk Surf Co. & a $35 gift certificate to Tortuga's Lie!

For more information about Kitty Hawk Surf Co., check out their website.

For more information about Tortugas' Lie check out their website.



Last Week's Winner


Congratulations to Jane Belote!!!

You won a one-night stay at Tranquil House Inn & dinner for two at 1587 Restaurant!

Outer Banks This Week Giveaway Winner


For more information about Tranquil House Inn, check out their website.

For more information about 1587 Restaurant check out their website.

About the Author Michael Lay
Michael Lay is a local graphic designer, artist, photographer and writer. He lives in picturesque downtown Manteo, NC, and is the manservant of two beautiful and willful feline princesses, Sophie and Sassy. You can contact Michael at mike.lay@oneboat.com.