Paradise Creek Nature Park Field Trips

Explore the park’s river, forest and wetlands with your class!

Paradise Creek Nature Park field trips are offered for grades Pre-K through 12. Students learn about the native plants and animals, explore how the park demonstrates resilience to sea level rise and flooding, and brainstorm ways that they can help.

Field Trips

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Park Seasonal Educators


Sarah McBride

School outreach coordinator

Sarah has a M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Ecology from Old Dominion University. She worked as an environmental consultant for 10 years before staying home to raise two daughters. She has thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with their schools as the Green Team/Outdoor Classroom leader, and now that they are older and back in school, she is very excited to share her passion for our local environment with many other school children in the region. Feel free to contact her about environmental action projects for schools or field trips at Paradise Creek Nature Park!

Tricia Thompson

Tricia Thompson

Educator & Youth Resilience Coordinator

Tricia has a B.S. in Biology from George Mason University with a concentration in Marine and Freshwater Ecology. In 2010, she participated in one of the first course offerings from the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, garnering her a minor in Applied Conservation Studies. As a native of Northern Virginia, Tricia spent nearly a decade working as a seasonal Environmental Interpreter teaching stream ecology with the Potomac Environmental Research & Education Center. She is a military spouse and has had the opportunity to live in multiple locales, including overseas! Now that she’s back in Virginia, Tricia is excited to be part of shaping the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay Watershed stewards of tomorrow!

Hugh Burns

Seasonal Educator

Hugh graduated with a degree in biology from the University of Scranton and joined the Air Force, where he served as a fighter pilot and instructor. In 2011, he was elected to the Conservation District in Williamsburg and served as Education Committee chairman. In 2013, he became the founding executive director of Williamsburg Community Growers, a 10.5-acre community garden, teaching farm, and environmental education center. Hugh enjoys nature up close on a run, a bike, or a paddle board and is excited to explore along as an Environmental Educator.

Brandise Little

seasonal educator

Brandise graduated from Norfolk State University in 2016 with a B.S. in Biology. She then graduated in 2022 with a M.S. in Environmental Sciences from Troy University. She began working as a seasonal educator for the Learning Barge in Fall 2019 and is now back for a second season at Paradise Creek Nature Park. She is very excited to be back to educate the local community on environmental stewardship. 

Casey Shaeffer

seasonal educator

Casey graduated from Virginia Tech in Spring 2023 with her B.S. in Environmental Economic Management and Policy with a minor in Leadership Studies. She has always loved spending her time surrounded by nature and admiring wildlife. She is very excited to work with the Elizabeth River Project as a Seasonal Environmental Educator to ignite a passion for environmental conservation and stewardship in today’s youth! 

Youth Water Monitoring Results

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