Sunday morning dawned bright but humid as ten high school students, and their teachers took to canoes on the James River from historic Westover Plantation in Charles City County on the second day of their expedition.
This is the third and final leg of the James River Expedition, a 111 mile, eight day trip on a floating classroom from Richmond to Hampton, Virginia. This is the third year the summer expedition has been held, and of the 36 students from across the state participating this year, 10 are from Chesterfield County.
The expedition was created by the James River Association, and is designed to make environmental science accessible and relevant to students who live along the James River, said Jessica Templeton, the association’s education manager.
The James River is a living classroom, and what better way to bring home the impact the river has on our lives than to immerse students into the ecological and biological world that is so intertwined with the people who live and work along its banks.
2013 James River Expedition
The 2013 James River Expedition was divided into three parts, with students embarking on 8-day trips on the three major sections of the river, the Upper, Middle and Lower James. The first trip started on June 22 and explored the upper James for 8 days. The 8-day middle James trip started on July 13. The third trip on the lower James began on July 27.
The expeditions are more than just an eight-day camping trip on the river. Students are able to interact directly with teachers, and in so doing, learn firsthand the importance of the river’s natural ecosystems, for the health of the watershed, the wildlife, and the people who use it for their livelihoods and enjoyment.
One of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places
On June, 19, 2013 the James River in James City County was named by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. This annual list highlights important historical and cultural examples of our nation’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or permanent damage.
The James River has played a significant role in the development of our state, starting with the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607. Virginians must realize that today, the river needs our help so that it can remain vital and healthy. The James River Association is helping people to understand their impact on this important watershed.