Paradise Creek Nature Park

Paradise Creek Nature Park Paradise Creek Nature Park provides the rare opportunity to enjoy a restored Elizabeth River - first-hand. This 40-acre, waterfront park will teach generations what it takes to bring back the health of an urban river, once presumed dead.
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Like most urban rivers, the Elizabeth River offers limited opportunity for the public to explore her natural shores. This park was created by the non-profit Elizabeth River Project, with the City of Portsmouth, Virginia Port Authority, and many partners, to introduce you to the wonders of a river once presumed dead-- coming back to life. Here on Paradise Creek, a finger of the Elizabeth, environmental restoration has been underway since 2001. Explore 40 acres of restored forest and wetlands, surrounded by business partners also doing their part. You'll see fist-hand the many ways you, too, can help bring back the health of your home river!

Operating as usual

Big thanks to the amazing volunteers from Military Wild they spent the morning removing English Ivy and Japanese honeysu...
01/16/2021

Big thanks to the amazing volunteers from Military Wild they spent the morning removing English Ivy and Japanese honeysuckle from the Blue Heron trail.

A foggy morning in Portsmouth I'm glad we were able to capture some of the beauty and serenity of this special place. #L...
01/15/2021

A foggy morning in Portsmouth I'm glad we were able to capture some of the beauty and serenity of this special place. #LoveLiz

A beautiful winter's day, perfect for a stroll through Paradise Creek Nature Park.#LoveLiz #wetlandrestoration
01/14/2021

A beautiful winter's day, perfect for a stroll through Paradise Creek Nature Park.

#LoveLiz #wetlandrestoration

The red-tailed hawk is carnivorous, and a highly opportunistic feeder. It is said that nearly any small animal they enco...
01/13/2021

The red-tailed hawk is carnivorous, and a highly opportunistic feeder. It is said that nearly any small animal they encounter may be viewed as potential food. Their most common prey are small mammals such as rodents, but they will also consume birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians and invertebrates.
Red-tailed hawks usually hunt by watching for prey activity from a high perch, also known as still hunting. Upon being spotted, prey is dropped down upon by the hawk. Red-tails often select the highest available perches within a given environment since the greater the height they are at, the less flapping is required and the faster the downward glide they can attain toward nearby prey.

We've worked and continue to work to eradicate invasive species at Paradise Creek Nature Park. Come volunteer with us an...
01/11/2021
Invasive Plants: The “Dirty Dozen” - Lewis Ginter Botanical

We've worked and continue to work to eradicate invasive species at Paradise Creek Nature Park. Come volunteer with us and do your part at home by replacing these plants with native alternatives and NEVER planting anything on the "Dirty Dozen" list.

Learn about invasive plant species in Central Virginia and what you can do to prevent them from spreading in your community.

Red-shouldered hawks are forest raptors. In the east, they live in bottomland hardwood stands, flooded deciduous swamps,...
01/08/2021

Red-shouldered hawks are forest raptors. In the east, they live in bottomland hardwood stands, flooded deciduous swamps, and upland mixed deciduous–conifer forests. They tend to live in stands with an open sub canopy, which makes hunting easier. They are not exclusively birds of deep forest, though; one can find red-shouldered hawks in some suburban areas where houses or other buildings are mixed into woodlands.

Another day another eagle sighting, the local eagles seem to be fond of our little park!
01/07/2021

Another day another eagle sighting, the local eagles seem to be fond of our little park!

Thanks to Aaron Cohen for this beautiful drone shot of our salt marsh. Come take a walk on our walking trails or paddle ...
01/06/2021

Thanks to Aaron Cohen for this beautiful drone shot of our salt marsh. Come take a walk on our walking trails or paddle out to Paradise Creek for a view of Portsmouth very few people have experienced, you won't be sorry!

EVELYN'S WILDLIFE REFUGE
01/04/2021

EVELYN'S WILDLIFE REFUGE

The Bald Eagle is one of the most recognizable North American birds.

Most people are familiar with the appearance of an adult bald eagle. But few recognize juvenile and immature plumages that precede the impressive white-headed plumage of the adult.

Congratulants to Justin and Thomas, they are the first two students in the state of Virginia to earn their Chesapeake Ba...
12/31/2020

Congratulants to Justin and Thomas, they are the first two students in the state of Virginia to earn their Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional - Associate certification! The skills learned during certification prepares students for careers in conservation landscaping and storm water management

See how the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and Paradise Creek rank in the Elizabeth River Project's latest State...
12/30/2020

See how the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River and Paradise Creek rank in the Elizabeth River Project's latest State of the River report released today.

JUST RELEASED! See how your branch of the Elizabeth River scores in our new State of the River Report released today.

Our home river gets a C overall with many thanks to all who have worked to return Liz to health, especially YOU, generous donors and partners. But not all of Liz's branches are thriving yet. Check out the scores below and consider a year-end gift for more progress in 2021:https://elizabethriver.org/sites/default/files/ERP-State-of-the-River-2020.pdf

Have you ever seen a flicker or woodpecker pounding away at bark, or annoyingly on a tin roof, and wondered how in the w...
12/28/2020
Why a Woodpecker Doesn't Bash Its Brains In - The Infinite Spider

Have you ever seen a flicker or woodpecker pounding away at bark, or annoyingly on a tin roof, and wondered how in the world they can do that without bashing in their brains? After all, the force of that is measured at over 1,000x the force of gravity! The answer is pretty complex, but you can break it down into some simple parts:

Why doesn't a woodpecker bash its brain when it pecks? Learn more on the Infinite Spider Blog.

12/28/2020

Elizabeth River bird blogger David Gibson visited Paradise Creek Nature Park on Christmas morning. At "one of my favorite places," Dave shares with us the list of the birds he saw that morning, including a bald eagle! https://ebird.org/checklist/S77965462

What birds have you recently spotted at the park?

A male bluebird and a female goldfinch enjoying some branch time .
12/25/2020

A male bluebird and a female goldfinch enjoying some branch time .

This white throated sparrow was using a blackberry bramble for cover.
12/19/2020

This white throated sparrow was using a blackberry bramble for cover.

Paradise Creek Nature Park is a great place to practice your birding skills, including birding by ear!
12/18/2020
How to Start Identifying Birds by Their Songs and Calls

Paradise Creek Nature Park is a great place to practice your birding skills, including birding by ear!

Part one in our new series to help you build your birding skills—and love of birds—by learning how to bird by ear.

"Thursday morning our A-Team volunteers were just finishing up for the day when a pair of bald eagles landed on the powe...
12/18/2020

"Thursday morning our A-Team volunteers were just finishing up for the day when a pair of bald eagles landed on the power lines above the Paradise Creek Nature Park. Eagles frequent the waters around the park, and it is not unusual to see one circling overhead. But seeing two Bald Eagles landing together was a rare treat for everyone." - Larry Lapell, Elizabeth River Project, Park Naturalist

#LoveLiz #paradisecreeknaturepark #riverrestoration

Our Saturday volunteer group planted over 180 native fresh water plants in some very challenging conditions. A huge than...
12/08/2020

Our Saturday volunteer group planted over 180 native fresh water plants in some very challenging conditions. A huge thank you to everyone who volunteers or had volunteered in the past, we could not accomplished what we did this year without our fabulous volunteers!

Our popular Little Library at Paradise Creek Nature Park is once again in need of some children's books! Please consider...
12/07/2020

Our popular Little Library at Paradise Creek Nature Park is once again in need of some children's books! Please consider being a book fairy and dropping off books to the library located in the park's nature playground. Books can also be dropped at the Elizabeth River Project interim field station Monday-Friday, 9am-Noon, at 5205 Colley Avenue, Norfolk.

Our interns are training to fill green collar jobs such as conservation landscape designer or storm water management.
12/04/2020

Our interns are training to fill green collar jobs such as conservation landscape designer or storm water management.

Elizabeth River Project
11/30/2020

Elizabeth River Project

Give Liz TWICE the love. Starting at 8 am tomorrow, Facebook will match $7 million USD in qualifying donations made on Facebook during GivingTuesday. Click here to make your match-eligible donation and see how much good you can do for your home river: https://www.facebook.com/donate/924481694750782/!

We'll put your donation right to work to restore healthy shores and clean waters while educating a new generation of river stewards.

A huge thank you to Solitude Lake management for volunteering today. The group planted 185 native plants and picked up a...
11/20/2020

A huge thank you to Solitude Lake management for volunteering today. The group planted 185 native plants and picked up almost 70 pounds of trash!! Volunteer groups and individuals allow Paradise Creek Nature Park to continue our mission bring people together to work for a cleaner river, bay and planet.

Our Youth Conservation Interns are learning green collar job skills while earning their Chesapeake Bay Landscape Profess...
11/19/2020

Our Youth Conservation Interns are learning green collar job skills while earning their Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional - Associate certification. This certification will qualify them for entry level positions at firms that deal with green infrastructure, conservation landscaping and storm water management.

National Wildlife Federation
11/18/2020

National Wildlife Federation

Getting kids outside has never been more important. That’s why we are excited to launch National Wildlife Federation's Green Hour in partnership with L.L.Bean to provide kids with safe, fun, and easy activities to do outdoors.

Each week will include new activities for connecting kids to nature—from creating a nature notebook to being a wildlife detective, and getting creative with leaves, nature’s opportunities are endless. Share your outdoor adventures with us using #GreenHour!

www.thegreenhour.org

Here at Paradise Creek Nature Park fall is signified as much in the flowering of the Saltbush Baccharis halimifolia as i...
11/04/2020

Here at Paradise Creek Nature Park fall is signified as much in the flowering of the Saltbush Baccharis halimifolia as it is the changing colors of the leaves on the trees. Fall is the best time to visit the park, temperatures are low insects are not a problem and the migratory birds are active.

Land snails, which include both shelled snails and shell-less slugs, abound in The Commonwealth of Virginia, where there...
10/30/2020

Land snails, which include both shelled snails and shell-less slugs, abound in The Commonwealth of Virginia, where there are 220 species.
Land snails are small, widespread animals that live among leaf litter, plants, and wood, which they help break down to make soil. They have a variety of parasites and predators; move energy, protein, and calcium up the "food chain"; and have a great variety of life patterns and behaviors.

Leave the Leaves!  Carolina wrens spend the majority of their time on or near the ground searching for food, or in tangl...
10/26/2020

Leave the Leaves!
Carolina wrens spend the majority of their time on or near the ground searching for food, or in tangles of vegetation and vines. They also probe bark crevices on lower tree levels, or pick up leaf-litter in order to search for prey. Their diet consists of invertebrates, such as beetles, true bugs, grasshoppers, katydids, spiders, ants, bees, and wasps. Small lizards and tree frogs also make up the carnivorous portion of their diet.

"Of all my brothers and sisters, I was the one who would follow my father's path and make horticulture and education my ...
10/22/2020

"Of all my brothers and sisters, I was the one who would follow my father's path and make horticulture and education my life's work," says Yolima Carr, Elizabeth River Project's Conservation Curator at Paradise Creek Nature Park. Read the Coastal Virginia Magazine feature: https://www.coastalvirginiamag.com/living-landscape-artist-yolima-carr/

Learn first-hand from Yolima in her Fall Planting Workshop, Saturday, Oct. 24, 10am-Noon at Paradise Creek Nature Park: https://fb.me/e/3eisnTX1B

We found this hungry guy munching on our ironweed today. This is the caterpillar of the giant leopard moth. his wooly ex...
10/17/2020

We found this hungry guy munching on our ironweed today. This is the caterpillar of the giant leopard moth. his wooly exterior helps to protect him from predators.

Don't miss your chance to crew in today's The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race with the Tugantine Norfolk Rebel racing...
10/17/2020

Don't miss your chance to crew in today's The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race with the Tugantine Norfolk Rebel racing to benefit the Elizabeth River Project. Put some wind in their sails and get them across today's finish line with your donation before 3pm today: https://gcbsr.z2systems.com/np/clients/gcbsr/publicFundraiserList.jsp?campaignId=28&&test=true

A note from our Executive Director, Marjorie Mayfield Jackson: "One of the first discussions I ever had about how to clean up the Elizabeth River was held with a tin cup of hot buttered rum in hand, churning through icy waters aboard the world's first sail-assisted tug boat.

My host was a salty, mutton-chopped sea captain, the late Lane Briggs, whose Norfolk Rebel became the icon for enduring events he founded to raise awareness of our waters, including this week's The Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. The virtual finish line, 3pm tomorrow (Saturday), could be especially significant for "Liz."

"When somebody does something for you, do something back for them," Lane advised me, a newcomer to community work, on that winter cruise.

That was decades ago. Today the Tugantine Norfolk Rebel is giving back to "Liz." Unable to compete live, this year's schooners are vying for the most on-line donations at the race website for each boat's favorite charity. "You guys do so much for us," Stevie Briggs, Lane's son and the Rebel's current captain, told me on why he picked the Elizabeth River Project for donations made on behalf of the race's signature vessel. He cited returning river life:
"dolphins, birds, everything."

Raise a mug sometime this weekend to Capt. Briggs and help his sailing tug boat - an early example of pollution prevention - cross the finish line first. In a huge honor, Liz will win, too." Donate at gcbsr.org #schoonertime #LoveLiz

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses beneficial species to reduce or eliminate unwanted species.Monarda punctata or Spo...
10/11/2020

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses beneficial species to reduce or eliminate unwanted species.
Monarda punctata or Spotted Beebalm attracts pollinators in great numbers, especially wasps. Among the wasps that it brings to the garden are beneficial predatory wasps that control grubs, pest caterpillars, and other harmful insects.

I think it's a dinosaur foot, what do you think?
10/10/2020

I think it's a dinosaur foot, what do you think?

Ranger Seana always draws a crowd with her Meet the Marsh Critters program. Today guests got to see fish such as Spot an...
10/10/2020

Ranger Seana always draws a crowd with her Meet the Marsh Critters program. Today guests got to see fish such as Spot and Mummichog a Grass shrimp some Periwinkles and a few Fiddler crabs!

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1141 Victory Blvd.
Portsmouth, VA
23702

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Comments

I’m hoping you can tell Me what this is. I’ve seen several in my butterfly/bee garden this year.
Today was so beautiful and relaxing at Paradise Creek! So many great fragrances, sights, and sounds!
That spider came out to say hello 😳
I have black snakes in 2 bird houses around the trails.
A very fond farewell and best wishes to a fine young lady, Kat Fish, the former Community and Volunteer Coordinator at Paradise Creek Nature Park. Good luck with your new job at the James River Association!
A few i would like to share
Are the trails handicap accessible? Hardpacked or concrete?
Excellent book on the importance of native species: Bringing Nature Home, by Doug Tallamy.
Did you know? Milkweed is the host plant for the monarch butterfly. As the monarch larva consumes the milkweed leaves, it also retains the cardiac glycosides making the monarch toxic to predators. Milkweed is the common name for a group of plants that belong to the Asclepias genus. This genus of plants is named after Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology.
We spotted a beautiful Indigo Bunting in the park yesterday!!
Is City of Portsmouth responsible for maintaining the park? There's a good amount of overgrowth near the bridge and you can barely see the wonderful metal birds/metal people artwork at the other end of the bridge. It'd be nice if it were trimmed back a bit. If not, is anyone interested in helping clear this up?
Are there any kayakers regularly using the launch at Paridise Creek? Have the basics down, but would like to meet up for advice and outtings close to home...