With improved city relations, Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum working to sustain its historic work

Hank Grigolite of Ocean Lakes carves an oyster shell during the 2018 Winter Wildlife Festival at a table for the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum in the exhibition area at Princess Anne Recreation Center in Virginia Beach. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

VIRGINIA BEACH – The director of the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum said the museum seems to be on better footing with the city following two years of near-cuts to city funding that help sustain the museum in the historic de Witt Cottage at 12th Street and Atlantic Avenue at the Oceanfront.

Lynn Hightower, executive director of the museum, said there had been better communication, a visit by city leaders to the museum and a demonstration that the nonprofit museum is working to be more self-sustaining.

The visit let the museum show why city support was so important, Hightower said, and visitors included Mayor Will Sessoms and City Manager Dave Hansen. 

“It was awesome,” Hightower said on Saturday, Jan. 27. “We had lunch, and we took them on a little tour of the museum. It was a really positive experience.”

The museum, which celebrates the long tradition of local outdoor life and artistry, has made changes, including a $2 admission fee for visitors above the age of 16.

It is working to raise funds. Its annual fall and winter raffle benefitting the museum is now underway, with prizes including decoys and hunting firearms. The drawing is scheduled to be held on May 1.

Visit awhm.org for more information about the museum or to become a member, and visit awhm.org/annual-raffle to support the raffle.

© 2018 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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