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As part of the kick-off event at our first Earthtober (2019), attendees brought their non-recyclable plastic from home to create a pile on the courthouse steps to illustrate the problem of plastic pollution. Then the issue arose of what to do with all that plastic. The idea hatched that a life-sized whale sculpture be created and filled with the plastic waste to display the dangers of the contaminant to oceans and the planet.


At that moment, the Whale movement began. VMI engineer professor Jay Sullivan agreed to build a whale with the help of his first-year cadets. They created a wire replica of the 15-foot juvenile whale that washed up on the shores of the Philippines with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach.


The whale sculpture made its first migration from VMI to Bessie Weller Elementary School in Staunton. The students there learned about the issues of plastic pollution throughout the Whale’s week there, and, as a visual lesson, deposited their plastic waste into the whale. The Whale has visited many other area schools, as well as participating in the Christmas parades in Staunton and Waynesboro.        


Financially supported by Earth Day Network.

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Flippy's Migrations

2021 -

   March 19-28  Rockbridge Area Schools

   April 1-24  Earth Day Staunton, Sunspots Pavilion

   April 25  Highland Co High School

   December - Staunton Christmas Parade

2020 -

   Jan. 6-13  Wayne Hill Center, Waynesboro

   Jan. 20-27  Staunton High School, Staunton

   Jan. 27-Feb. 3  Staunton Montessori School, Fishersville

   Feb. 3-10  Shelburne Middle School, Staunton

   Feb. 10-17  Wilson Elementary School, Augusta County

   Feb. 17-24  Wilson Middle School, Augusta County

   Feb. 24-29  McSwain Elementary School, Staunton

   March 9-14  Clymore Elementary School, Ft. Defiance


   Oct. 31  EarthTober Celebration, Staunton - Sunspots Pavilion

   Nov. 1-7  Tye River Elementary, Nelson County Schools

   Nov. 8-14  Nelson County Middle & High School

   Nov. 15-22  Rockfish River Elem., Nelson Co.

   Nov. 22-Dec. 2  Rockfish Valley Foundation Spruce Creek Park Natural

          History Center, Nelson County  

​2019 -

   Nov. 4-8  Bessie Weller Elementary School, Staunton

   Nov. 11-15  Ware Elementary School, Staunton 

   Nov. 18-22  Stuart Hall main campus, Staunton

   Nov. 25-Dec. 2  Wilson Memorial High School, Augusta County

   Dec. 2  Staunton Christmas Parade

   Dec. 2-7  Berkeley Glenn Elementary School, Waynesboro

   Dec. 7  Waynesboro Christmas Parade

   Dec. 9-16  William Perry Elementary School, Waynesboro

   Dec. 16-23  Hugh Cassell Elementary School, Augusta County

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