Upper James River Education Program


Join us at Riveredge Park; Madison Heights, VA

Our Upper James River Education Program is based at Riveredge Park in Amherst County, VA.  The Park is located in downtown Lynchburg on the Northside of the river. The James River Association staff leads introductory paddle programs for middle and high school students. The programs can educated groups as large as 45 students. Both kayaks and Canoes are available. JRA also offers educational 3-mile paddle programs that connect students to the environment and the river.

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.

Education Programs

Ecology Day Program

A memorable day on the water and land around Riveredge Park 

Downriver Exploration

A scenic 3-mile paddle on the James River from Riveredge Park

Stewardship Program

Paint Out Pollution by creating local stormdrain art 

Watershed Classrooms 

Our educators will bring lesson plans into your classroom

Your trip could include:

  • Canoeing or Kayaking: Discover the plants and animals of the James River! After a paddling safety demonstration, students will depart from Riveredge Park and paddle in the scenic James River. 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.

  • Invasive Species Investigation: Learn about the species living in the James River Watershed and how invasive species can impact an ecosystem.

Ecology Day Trip

Downriver Exploration

Stewardship Program

Watershed Classrooms

No. of students

<25 26-50 <25 34 34
Cost $750 $1,000 $500 $400 $150

Duration of programming

4-5 hours 4-5 hours 4-5 hours 4-5 hours 45 min
Description Wetland paddle, land-based program Wetland paddle, land-based program Wetland paddle and water quality on Powhatan Creek Paint Out Pollution at a local stormdrain In-classroom visit from a JRA educator

If you are committed to providing students with quality field-based learning experiences but are limited by funds, please contact JRA for more information about need-based scholarships for appropriate individuals and schools.

Meet the Upper James River Education Staff

Rob Campbell

Upper James Senior Regional Manager
Phone: 434.944.7975

Charles Johnson

Upper James Education Manager