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Internship Overview

YCI SUMMARY:    Youth Conservation Interns YCI is a 8-week pilot program held at Paradise Creek Nature Park. This program is offered in partnership with the Hampton Roads Workforce Council. The program matches seven Portsmouth high school students that would benefit from horticulture skills training, mentoring, connecting to nature and developing leadership skills with educators, mentors and community leaders that are eager to foster relationships with these Hampton Roads future leaders.


  • Foster Teambuilding: Interns will work in teams to learn about the environment and the River. Develop skills to lead volunteers including military, students and the community.
  • Learn Life Skills: mentors will inspire interns with exciting and engaging lectures and through hands on learning.
  • Connect Students With Nature:  Each Intern will learn how their actions affect the river and how they each can become an agent of positive change. Understanding the need for biodiversity and conservation.
  • Job Skills: gain job skills through experiential learning in the field of horticulture, landscape design and maintenance and outdoor leadership education
  • Certification: The interns will complete assignments required to obtain their certification as a Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Associate CBLP-A.

DATES/TIME:  Wednesday to Saturdays –Dates to be announced in Summer 2021

PLACE:  Paradise Creek Nature Park, 1141 Victory Blvd, Portsmouth, VA, 23703

PARTICIPANTS:  Students from Portsmouth High Schools

Contact Ms. Chelta Wray with Hampton Roads Worforce for more information



Mission Statement

The Elizabeth River Project:  A non-profit with a mission to restore the Elizabeth River (Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and part of Virginia Beach) to the highest practical level of environmental quality through government, business and community partnerships. Annual education includes 7,000 preK-12 graders on how to help restore the Elizabeth River Education programs include: Learning Barge, Paradise Creek Nature Park, Wetlands in the Classroom and River Star Schools.



The Hampton Roads Workforce Foundation is organized to receive, maintain and administer assets in perpetuity exclusively for the purpose of conducting, supporting and furthering workforce development programs in the Region. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization with 509(a)(1) public charity status. The Hampton Roads Workforce Foundation works to increase financial resources to expand and create workforce development programs and services that align with Southeastern Virginia's new flourishing economy.

Major initiatives of the Hampton Roads Workforce Foundation include the Youth Career Center of Hampton Roads and the Veterans Employment Center.



All interns will develop leadership and career skills while earning a certification as a Chesapeake Bay Landscaping Professional Associate! Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Associate is an entry level certificate course, intended to provide an introduction for young people to green infrastructure and sustainable landscaping. The CBLP program offers consistent training on landscaping practices that provide ecological benefits and restore the Chesapeake Bay.