Lower James River Education Program
Join us at the Colonial National Historical Park
Our Lower James River Education Program is based at the Colonial National Historical Park administered by the National Park Service. The National Park is home to Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield, as well as natural resources of forests, wetlands, shorelines, and streams. James River Association staff lead paddle program take place at the James City County Marina, which is adjacent to the National Park.
Our education programs are designed to further a classroom’s discipline of study through meaningful watershed educational experiences and are open to all 6th-12th grade classrooms in the James River watershed.
Ecology Day Program
On the water around Colonial National Historical Park
<25 students • 4-5 hours • $750 • Wetland paddle, land-based program | <26 – 50 students • 4-5 hours • $1,000 • Wetland paddle, land-based program
Your trip could include:
Canoeing: Discover the plants and animals of the James River! After a paddling safety demonstration, students will depart from the James City County Marina and paddle in scenic Powhatan Creek. We will learn about the importance and function of wetland ecosystems.
Wetlands and Watersheds: Investigate the health of the James River with abiotic water quality testing. Students will also conduct a water filtration experiment by designing a “wetland in a bottle” that mimics wetland filtration processes.
Seining: Using a seine net, students will discover aquatic life in the James River. This lesson takes place at the Glasshouse Beach, which is located 1 mile from JRA’s facility.
Forest Survey. High school only. Students will gather and analyze data in an investigation of terrestrial ecosystems! Students will learn how to use the collection of population and biodiversity data to inform conservation of watershed habitats.
Invasive Species Investigation: Learn about the species living in the James River Watershed and how invasive species can impact an ecosystem.
Join our educators on our floating classroom, the Longivew, our Deep Rise education vessel, for meaningful watershed education experiences (MWEE). This trip can be stand-alone or in conjunction with a session at the Ecology School.
Our educators will bring lesson plans into your classroom
<35 students • 45 mintues• $150 • In-classroom visit from a JRA educator
Your experience could include:
- Oyster Lab: Students receive a hands-on education experience learning more about water quality and general oyster education.
- Geology or Oceanography workshop:
- Wetlands and Watersheds: Investigate the health of the James River with abiotic water quality testing. Students will also conduct a water filtration experiment by designing a “wetland in a bottle” that mimics wetland filtration processes.
Paint Out Pollution by creating local storm drain art.
<35 students • 4-5 hours • $400 • Local storm drain locations
Stormwater pollution is a growing source of pollution in the James River and its tributaries. The goal of Paint Out Pollution is to increase awareness of stormwater pollution and celebrate the native plant and animal species of the James River. Students use stencils of native animal species created by several artists to install art on storm drains in your area. Each storm drain features an animal native to the James River, the animal’s common and scientific names, and the message “Your river starts here. Only rain in the drain.”
Meet the Lower James River Education Staff
Lower James Environmental Educator