As the last vestiges of winter cling to the landscape, Virginia gradually transforms into the vibrant tapestry of spring. In late winter, the air is crisp, tinged with the promise of warmer days and blooming flora. The rolling hills of Amherst County awaken from their wintry slumber, adorned with a patchwork of emerald hues and the occasional splash of early blossoms.

As the sun graces the horizon with its gentle warmth, there’s a palpable sense of anticipation—a whisper of nature’s awakening. The James River, a timeless emblem of Virginia’s natural beauty, flows gracefully through the landscape, its waters reflecting the changing colors of the sky. Along its banks, the trees stand tall, their branches adorned with delicate buds, a precursor of the verdant canopy soon to unfurl.  

This season marks the beginning of an exciting journey into environmental education with the 7th-grade students and teachers of Bedford County. Their field experiences will kick off our first explorations of the season, as well as the first to be hosted at the Upper James River Center. Nestled amidst the scenic beauty of Madison Heights, students will embark on a voyage of discovery, immersing themselves in the wonders of the natural world.

As classes gather at the Upper James River Center this spring, there’s an undeniable sense of excitement. Against the backdrop of lush greenery and the gentle murmur of the river, they come together to celebrate the timeless majesty of the James River. From hands-on curriculum to guided nature experiences, these opportunities allow students to connect with the river and gain a deeper understanding of its ecological significance.

For those venturing outdoors more consistently as spring beckons, preparation is vital. As the days grow longer and the temperatures milder, it’s time to dust off hiking boots and paddling equipment and embrace the allure of the great outdoors. Whether exploring the winding trails of Amherst County or simply basking in the tranquility of a riverside vista, there’s no shortage of ways to savor the beauty of the season.

And so, as Virginia welcomes the arrival of spring, there’s a sense of renewal in the air—a reminder of nature’s enduring resilience and the boundless wonders that await.

Join us as we celebrate the James River at our Upper James River Center on June 1st from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. JRA invites you to a day of fun and excitement at 150 Rock Hill Road, Madison Heights, VA 24572.  Guests will enjoy live music, kayak tours, guided hikes, batteau rides, fly-fishing demonstrations from TaleTeller’s Fly Shop, and food trucks!