‘Kids in Kayaks’ returns to the James River

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The James River Association’s Kids in Kayaks programs is back for another year. (WYDaily/ Courtesy of JRA)

VIRGINIA PENINSULA — Kids looking to explore the James River in a kayak will have the opportunity to do so.

On April 19, the James River Association (JRA) announced that the organization’s annual “Kids in Kayaks” programs for select students who attend school “in the Middle and Lower James River Watershed” is returning for 2021.

“Kids in Kayaks exposes a diverse group of middle school age students to kayaking while they also learn environmental topics covered in the 8th Grade Virginia Science Standards Of Learning (SOL),” stated the association. “This program gives students practical life skills, and encourages them to enjoy their surrounding environment.”

In addition to kayaking, the students will learn about watersheds, importance of natural resources and the wetlands.

“It is essential for students to have hands-on experience within a wetland to truly understand the beauty and science that happens daily,” said Katie Ferrell, JRA’s Lower James Senior Environmental Educator.

The program seeks to give students the opportunity to become responsible environmental stewards. Ferrell emphasized that by teaching students to love the James River is one way to protect the waterway for generations.

“If you love something, you nurture it into the future,” she said.

The program, which was founded in 2015, has managed a Fort Monroe-based chapter since 2018. That same year, the fort founded a chapter of the National Parks Conservation Association.

The JRA Kids in Kayaks program is possible by the support of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office. Programs will be provided through James City County Parks and Recreation, Newport News Parks and Recreation, Newport News Public Schools, Hampton City Schools, and the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Richmond.

On Saturday, May 15, The JRA will partner with with the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Richmond to offer families pontoon boat trips.

For more information about James River Association educational programs, visit the JRA’s website here.

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