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River Star Schools

River Star Schools - Elizabeth River ProjectDoing right by the river makes good sense for students too!

More schools and youth organizations than ever are becoming River Stars! Schools are proudly joining the River Stars program, contributing significant benefits and learning to become good stewards in the process!

An astounding 173 River Stars Schools spent the year implementing conservation, restoration, and/or habitat enhacement projects. Of those schools, 90 met Model Level going above and beyond and 83 met Achievement Level for projects like oyster gardening, wetland plantings, litter clean-ups, recycling, water quality, and more! There are more than 200 public and private schools in the watershed and our goal is to see each one become a River Star school! Learn more about how your school can benefit by becoming a River Star School...and even more... how your school can benefit the Elizabeth River!

NEW – This year we recognized 13 schools as Resilient River Stars Schools for implementing projects that addressed how to capture and reuse rainwater, flooding on school properties, how to encourage resilient action and how schools can reduce their carbon footprint! Email for more information to participate in the 2019-2020 school year. 


Get Started!  Become a River Star School Now!

Choose an environmental project that has a positive impact on the river and complete the application at the bottom of the page. Is your school located on the Eastern Branch? To help improve the Eastern Branch's water quality, Elizabeth River Project received a 3-year grant award from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to encourage the Eastern Branch watershed schools to implement hands-on, student projects on school grounds. Three schools (one each year) will be recognized for exemplary reductions of pollution and/or creation of wildlife habitats and/or climate adaptation projects on the Eastern Branch and receive $125 and a special award. Fill out both the River Star School and Eastern Branch application forms if you are going for both award recognitions. To apply download the Eastern Branch School application.

 For more information, call (757) 392-7132 or email Robin Dunbar (a.k.a. Princess Elizabeth).

List of River Star Schools River Star School featured on 13 News Now
OceanAire and Ghent Elementary School - River Star Schools

Hundreds of  River Star School students from Oceanair and Ghent Elementary in Norfolk file in line to plant wetland marsh grasses, Spartina alterniflora, at The Hermitage Foundation as part of the "Wetland in the Classroom" project sponsored by Dollar Tree Foundation.

 River Star School Victory Elementary has been   recognized as the first STEM school in Portsmouth, with a mission to plant more trees and wildflowers in their schoolyard as a means to address flooding. Students are also learning stewardship actions they can take to mitigate tidal flooding and sea level rise in their community. Watch their feature on 13 News Now!


River Star Application

Due April 22 of each year, for recognition in May.

What did you do for YOUR home river?

Model level requires you have participated in the program at least 1 year already and you went above and beyond this year, you included an educational component in the classroom or mentored to another school or another grade within the school.
If your event date/time changes, please email