Discover the James Ecology School

Discover the James Ecology School

Discover the James offers an ecology program on the James River for groups of kids in the third to sixth grade.  Our "In the Water" experience is hands on with the kids getting into the safe flatwaters of the James.  They will explore the shoreline and shallows flipping rocks and locating critters for identification. They'll collect and identify crayfish, snails, hellgrammites, and mayfly larvae from the river. They'll look for dragonflies and damselflies flying around the river banks and even spend some time catching minnows and other small fish.

Our program can be tailored to your needs and time frame. The program can run as short as 60 minutes or as long as 90 minutes. Most programs are 90 minutes long.  If a longer time is needed, just call and we'll customize the program to your needs.

You and your class will learn about the critters they find and make connections to the bugs and insects both above and below the surface. They will also learn about the local fish in the James River, their habits, where they hide and what they eat. Children come away with hands on experience from an excellent outdoor learning environment. Some of the activities include:

  • Fish Identification
  • Aquatic Macroinvertabrate (Bug) Collecting
  • Minnow Catching
  • Bug Identification
  • River Fun and River Facts

Be prepared to get wet! The flatwaters of the James River are the perfect local ecology classrom.

       Groups of 5 or more: $20 each 
Great for large groups.
60-90 Minute Program
Be prepared to get wet! 
Life preservers provided.
Water provided.
Nets, trays, masks, buckets and bags provided.





For more information or to book one of these programs:
Contact Capt. Mike at 804-938-2350 or


Top right photo:  Students are wearing scuba masks as they search the river below the surface. At this moment, there was a smallmouth bass holding close to a rock which would occasionally come out and grab food as it flowed by. All six students were dialed into the exact same moment. It was river perfection.
-- Photo by Discover the James