Meet a Martinsville Insider: Tamara Poles. As a 2008 graduate of Roanoke Collage and the Nature & Outdoor Education Manager for the Virginia Museum of Natural History, this young professional spends her days planning and facilitating activities and events which help to mold the minds of future young scientists and nature enthusiasts. Here are her insider tips for enjoying Martinsville-Henry County:
Where do you take friends and family when they come to town? "When my friends and family come into town, I always take them to the Virginia Museum of Natural History to explore its remarkable exhibits. Next, I make sure to take them to Philpott Dam. I feel that Philpott Dam is the best kept secret of Henry County. The view at Philpott Dam is truly breathtaking and the trails there are fun to take friends and family on."
Where do you go to enjoy sports and recreation? "I like to go to Baseball Heaven and Southside Park to practice and try to stay conditioned for softball. In addition, I frequently visit Jack Dalton Park to walk and Gravely Nature Preserve to hike the trails and spend time next to the river."
What's the best part of living in Martinsville-Henry County? "As a nonnative of Martinsville and Henry County, I feel that the best part of Martinsville and Henry County are the people here. Everyone that I have encountered here has been (and still is!) completely hospitable. The people in the community welcome you like you are part of their family and this is what made my transition from Manassas, Virginia to Martinsville so easy."
What are your top Martinsville-Henry County dining spots and why?
"Checkered Pig BBQ (formerly Pigs R Us) has the best food and service. Yamato's has great food and the best sushi! I highly recommend the shrimp tempura roll and the dragon roll. El Norteno has the best family fun atmosphere and good food and Wild Magnolia has the best Cheese Fries."
What is the most interesting tidbit about the Virginia Museum of Natural History?
"The museum received a grant three years ago from the Harvest Foundation of the Piedmont that enabled the museum to develop a program called the Martinsville Henry County Community Nature Initiative. The Initiative works with local schools and organizations to provide nature and outdoor educational programs, events, and festivals for the community to encourage the community to get outdoors.
"One of the events held is Earth Week Celebration in April. This is the most fun for me because this festival is nine days long and consists of mostly free events that are fun and educational that takes place all around the community. When you attend an event you can get your passport stamped and submit it at the final event to win lots of great prizes like concert tickets! What an excellent way to celebrate Earth Day!"
Get out to explore Martinsville-Henry County and see for yourself!