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Teaching people about the Plastic Pollution

The Story of Flippy the Whale


In 2019, a sad news report caught the attention of Shenandoah Green. A young, 15-foot whale washed ashore in the Philippines. The young whale had eaten plastic trash floating in the ocean, probably thinking it was jellyfish or other food until there was no room left in its stomach for real food. It starved to death with 88 pounds of plastic in its stomach. Shenandoah Green was already concerned about single-use plastic and wanted a way to help people understand what our trash was doing to the ocean. The idea of a sculpture the size of the Philippines’ whale that could visit schools and events was born. 

The Virginia Military Institute engineering department built a 15-foot wire whale sculpture for Shenandoah Green that could be put on a trailer and towed to different places to make educational visits. The first trip was to Bessie Weller Elementary in Staunton, Virginia. The children brought plastic trash that was used in their homes to school. They put their plastic into the whale to illustrate where our discarded plastic ends up. Then they came up with ways to cut back on single-use plastic. The students christened the whale sculpture “Flippy.”

We hope Flippy will inspire you to S.W.A.P.—Save Whales. Avoid Plastic!


Financially supported by Tonya Sivinski/State Farm

Sunspots Studios Glassblowing

Flippy's Migrations

2023 - 

   March - Wenonah Elementary

   April - Riverfest, Waynesboro

   June - Waynesboro Library

   July - Churchville Library

   November - Blue Ridge Children's Museum, Waynesboro

                  - Staunton Christmas Parade

   December - Staunton Celebration of Lights, Gypsy Hill Park

2022 - 

   June - Ware Elementary Environmental Club

             Draft Days, Stuarts Draft

   November - Blue Ridge Children's Museum, Waynesboro

              Staunton Christmas Parade

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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