LDND InfoCenter

Nature Backpack Program: FAQ & Surveys


Backpacks:  Replacing Items  |  Costs  |  Fees       State Park Passes:  Which Parks?  |  Who Gets Them?       Upkeep:  Collection  |  Next Year?  |  Evaluation

Who should we contact the Library of Virginia for free replacements?

    • There is a replacement cost for the items in the Nature Backpacks.  Like other damaged of lost materials checked out at your library, there is a fee placed on the patron’s library card.  Then library staff decide to either purchase a replacement for the lost/damaged item or go without.
    • Please note that we have only a limited number of items
    • To request replacement items, contact Sue La Paro at susan.laparo@lva.virginia.gov or (804) 692-3610.

What are the replacements costs? 

Observation Backpack

  • Annual Park Pass $66.00
  • Backpack $9.30
  • Magnifying glass $11.30
  • Bug Cage $7.30
  • Dip Net $3.50
  • 5 Pocket Guides $4.00 – $7.95 each
  • Leave no Trace card $0.25
  • Luggage Tag/Sponsor info $5.00

Survival Backpack

  • Annual Park Pass $66.00
  • Backpack $9.30
  • Port a Bug Container $7.30
  • Dip Net $1.00
  • Pocket Guide Edible Wild Plants $6.95
  • Pocket Guide Medicinal Plants of the Eastern Woodlands $7.95 Pocket Guide Weather $6.95
  • Learn and Live Outdoor Skill Cards Set $19.99
  • Map Compass $4.99
  • Tarp $4.00
  • Paracord $12.49
  • Leave no trace card – attached to backpack (Frontcounty, Kids, Standard) $0.25 each
  • Binoculars $5.00
  • Star Map (January-February, March-April, May-June, July-August, September-October, and November-December) $1.00 each
  • Nurture Nature at the Science Museum of Virginia $1.00 each
  • Journal and Pen Set $3.00

Who gets the fees we collect from the patron?

    • If an item in your library is returned late, damaged or not, an overdue fine is placed on the patron’s library record. There are procedures in place for reporting, depositing and using such funds. Regarding the Nature Backpacks, your library will follow those procedures that are in place for your system.

Are the State Park Passes good for any park?

    • Yes. Any state park.  The State Park Passes are good until December 2024 and will allow access for free to any STATE park; they will not provide access to FEDERAL parks. For a list of state parks see http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/passes

Do we handout the park passes to anyone?

    • The State Park Passes may be checked out for two (2) weeks to a library patron with a valid library card, assuming there are no blocks on the card.  For example, if a library patron’s record is blocked from borrowing materials, then they should not be able to check out the Nature Backpack.  The State Park Pass is to be checked out with the Nature Backpack.  It is expected that the Nature Backpack and the State Park Pass will be returned together and on time.

Will the Library of Virginia collect the Nature Backpacks at the end of the year?

    • Only those that show excessive wear.
    • All agencies involved are interested in continuing the program in the future.  We have budgeted funds to continue and/or expand the program annually.  Like any project it will be evaluated, reviewed and discussed.  Patron evaluations as well as comments from library staff will be key factors in determining if we continue the project.
    • If the program continues, we will replace those materials that show some wear and provide new sets of State Park Passes.

Does this mean my library will get another set of passes every year?

    • The current park passes are good until December 31, 2024.
    • We will be asking the libraries to examine the items in the Nature Backpacks.  If the items in the Nature Backpack were lost and your library did not replace the items, we will have a discussion about your options and the best way to proceed. Worn items may be replaced or we might provide you with a new themed backpack.


    • Each backpack will need to be replenished with a ½ page survey form, it should be printed so English is on one side, Spanish on the other. These questionnaires are designed to be brief (6 question) surveys, which can remain anonymous. The information will help us report the success of the program to the funders and program partners.
    • Please collect the surveys and send them to Library of Virginia 800 East Broad Street Richmond, VA 23219 Attention LDND Nature Backpacks. May also be scanned and sent to susan.laparo@lva.virginia.gov.
    • We would also appreciate any thoughts, input or suggestions you have on the use and handling of the backpacks. Please feel free to include that information so we can include details on how the process and programming works from the Library’s point of view.
    • Please let Sue know if you have any questions or concerns. She will work with various stakeholders to help make this a program that will support Libraries in reaching and encouraging audiences to explore the world around them!

This site is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is managed by the The Library of Virginia Library Development and Networking Division.