LifeLong Learning Society

SWIFT and Merchant Millpond State Park

August 27, 2020

Begin the morning with a fascinating stop at SWIFT (Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow) in Suffolk, Virginia. Here we will tour the innovative water treatment facility designed to further protect the region’s environment, enhance the sustainability and help address environmental pressures such as Chesapeake Bay restoration, sea level rise and saltwater intrusion. Learn how they clean their water to drinking water standards and about the water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.

Next continue south to North Carolina. We can’t visit North Carolina without getting a taste of what they're known for – barbeque! We have a delicious lunch planned at Tarheel Bar-B-Q. The town might be small, but they are big on pride when it comes to this North Carolina staple!

It’s always good for the soul to get out into nature and explore our nation’s state parks. Today you will discover North Carolina’s Merchant Millpond State Park. The 760-acre millpond is over 190 years old and has developed into a complex, mature ecosystem. Here you will find massive bald cypress trees, beech groves, Spanish moss and wildlife. Enjoy a ranger lecture in the Visitor Center highlighting their theme of 2020: “Burning to Conserve”. Learn about the benefits of a prescribed fire and how it effects the ecosystem. It will certainly be interesting to understand in light of the devastating Australian fires. Then enjoy a short, ranger led walk along the Cypress Point Trail for a scenic view of the pond.

Motor coach departs Yoder Barn at 8:00 a.m. — Returns approx. 5:30 p.m.

Your Tour Cost Includes the Following:

  • Round trip motor coach transportation
  • Tour at SWIFT
  • Lunch at Tarheel Bar-B-Q
  • Lecture and visit to Merchant Millpond State Park
  • Refreshments for trip home
  • Tax and gratuity on inclusions
  • SignaTours tour director
  • Driver gratuity
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