You are here

Fred W. Beazley River Academy… Construction Underway!

“One of Portsmouth’s great secrets” – Portsmouth Mayor John Rowe

Aug. 4, 2017 – Elizabeth River Project is super excited to announce that construction began today on the Fred W. Beazley River Academy at Paradise Creek Nature Park, thanks to so many of our generous donors and partners!

This modest “green” building will provide an enclosed classroom for the thousands of students already visiting our 40-acre urban oasis for field investigations; work stations for our education staff and restrooms for park visitors. Green features will include solar panels, a large rain cistern for watering our landscaping and more.

Associated Contracting Services is our construction contractor, carrying out designs by RRMM architects in consultation with UVA and Michael Petrus of Crisman + Petrus. UVA and Petrus are the same team that designed our award-winning Learning Barge!

Paradise Creek Nature Park is a unique collaboration between our non-profit and the City of Portsmouth. We raise the funds and operate the education and volunteer programs, and the City maintains the site as its third largest public park.

“One of Portsmouth’s great secrets,” Mayor John Rowe described the park during groundbreaking ceremonies for the building that also included remarks from Portsmouth Superintendent of Schools Elie Bracy III and music by Portsmouth Public Schools high school students.

So many thanks to sponsors of the River Academy through generous donations to Elizabeth River Project, including the Beazley Foundation, Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Dominion Energy, HRSD, Karen Jones and James Squires, Kendall Osborne and many more.

Construction should be completed by spring 2018.  For more information, contact our Urban Park Ranger at Paradise Creek Nature Park,, 757-399-7487.

Find out about family programs you could attend at Paradise Creek Nature Park:  Click Here