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.

Education Programs

Ecology Day Program

On the water around Colonial National Historical Park

Watershed Classrooms 

Our educators will bring lesson plans into your classroom

Powhatan Creek Exploration

One-day paddle trip on Powhatan Creek, a scenic tributary of the James

Stewardship Program

Paint Out Pollution by creating local stormdrain art 

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.

Ecology Day Trip

Powhatan Creek Exploration

Stewardship Programs

Watershed Classrooms

No. of students

<25 26-50 <25 34 34
Cost $750 $1,00 $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 Lower James River Education Staff

Katie Ferrell

Lower James Education Manager
Phone: 757.703.0672

James Abbott

Lower James Environmental Educator