Student of the the James

Adventures of a lifetime!

Our Education program connects youth with river-based learning experiences that inspire confidence, ecological understanding, nature appreciation, and conservation action. The James River Association provides interdisciplinary learning experiences that are correlated to the Virginia Standards of Learning. Activities are field-based and use the context of the James River to bring complex concepts to life.

We engage students through hands-on experience and student-directed investigations enhanced by technology and real-world applications. We are committed to providing a safe place for all students to learn and grow no matter their background experience or knowledge.

COVID 19 Update: We take the safety of our students and staff and their families very seriously. All of our spring classroom experiences and field trips have been cancelled. That doesn’t mean we are taking a break from educating! Our staff is working dilligently to create virtual environmental education experiences that can be done from home. 

Our Education Programs are Watershed-Wide

Nat Draper

Education Manager
(804) 788-8811 ext 218


Did you know?

We also offer continuing education classes for teachers and workshops and educational events for adults. Contact Nat Draper for more information.

Education News:

360 Degree Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to JRA's first ever 360 Scavenger Hunt! Experience the James River underwater, just like the wildlife and organisms that live under the surface! We've got six different creatures and habitats...

Wetlands in a Bottle

Wetlands provide 3 major benefits: 1.) Filter out pollution from water (Nature’s Kidneys)2.) Great habitat for fish, waterfowl, and wildlife 3.) Prevent flooding (Acts like a sponge to soak up excess water)Students will need: - 1 bottle (2 litter Pepsi or Coke) - 2...

Atlantic Sturgeon Lesson Plan

The Atlantic sturgeon has a long history and great importance to the James River. It is important to connect students to their environment so they develop a passion for protecting wildlife. Key takeaways from the video: Why are Atlantic Sturgeon endangered...

James River Explorers – Shark Week

Create your own Shark Week! Check out the resources below to learn more about sharks and their teeth in the James River and Chesapeake Bay.  Some of these links talk about finding sharks teeth along beaches, if you do venture out, please pay attention to current...

Environmental Opportunities for High School Students

One of the James River Association’s primary strategies for a healthy James River is to help communities realize the benefits of a healthy river. Environmental education is a key way we do this. We work to inspire the next generation of river stewards and...

“What a Healthy River Means to Me” Poster Contest

The results are in from the seventh annual “What a Healthy River Means to Me” poster contest. Middle school students in the City of Richmond, City of Lynchburg, Goochland, Hanover County, James City County, Henrico County, Charles City County and Chesterfield that are situated within five miles of the James River, or have participated in our education programs were invited to illustrate “What a Healthy River Means to Me”.

This year we had 100 students submit entries that depicted what a healthy river means to them. View the top ten entries.