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Beazley River Academy


Our Fred W. Beazley River Academy at Paradise Creek Nature Park is “the GREENEST little building in Portsmouth.”

With a modest footprint, the River Academy models green building practices while offering an enclosed classroom and a satellite workspace for our education team. The building’s mission: To teach all ages the wonders of restoring an urban river to environmental health.



Green building features:

  • 20 Solar panels
  • Giant Rain Cisterne
  • Passive Solar Heating and Cooling
  • Native Planting
  • And More!





Come participate in our public programs  throughout the year!





Youth Conservation Assistant/Park Naturalist: Larry 

A native of the Chicago area, Larry retired from the Navy in 2014 and graduated from Old Dominion University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Park Management.  Larry is currently working on his Master’s degree in Park, Recreation, and Tourism Management. Larry is a Tidewater Master Naturalist and has earned  level 1&2 Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional accreditation.


Conservation Landscape Curator: Yolima

Yolima received her Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Bogota, Colombia and her Associate in Public Garden from the School of Gardening in Zaragoza, Spain. Since moving from Spain to Norfolk in 1993, Yolima has been fortunate to work at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, the Virginia Zoological park, the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, and now at the Elizabeth River Project. Over 25 years of highly experienced horticulturist and curator including garden design, living shorelines, wetlands restoration, and conservation of habitat with emphasis in the use of native plants.

As a conservation landscape curator, she oversees the sustainable and conservation projects on the 29 acres at Paradise Creek Nature Park. In the last two years she has worked with the, Youth Conservation Interns, a wonderful program involving Portsmouth high school students learning all about green jobs, horticulture and most importantly connecting them with nature.






Youth Resilience Coordinator/Environemntal Educator: Sarah 

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!




Youth Resilience Coordinator/Environemntal Educator: Janet 






Interpretive Park Ranger: Seana 

A Virginia native, Seana was born and raised in Portsmouth, VA. She received a B.S in Recreation, Parks and Tourism from Radford University in 2019. Seana is excited to have the opportunity to give back, interact, and education her community. 






Special thanks to key donors to the Fred W. Beazley River Academy, including:  The Beazley Foundation, Hampton Roads Community Foundation, HRSD, Dominion Foundation, Landmark Foundation & The Virginian-Pilot, Karen Jones and James Squires, Kendall Osborne, Port of Virginia, TowneBank, City of Portsmouth, and the many generous donors to the Elizabeth River Project who have made Paradise Creek Nature Park a reality.