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.

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

This is the first season that we are collecting Mulberries, Mulberries contain high amounts of both iron and vitamin C, ...
05/12/2021

This is the first season that we are collecting Mulberries, Mulberries contain high amounts of both iron and vitamin C, as well as decent amounts of potassium and vitamins E and K. What are your favorite ways to use mulberries?

This is the first season that we are collecting Mulberries, Mulberries contain high amounts of both iron and vitamin C, as well as decent amounts of potassium and vitamins E and K. What are your favorite ways to use mulberries?

"Paradise Creek Nature Park has become such a special place for the community, especially during the last year. From hos...
05/11/2021

"Paradise Creek Nature Park has become such a special place for the community, especially during the last year. From hosting our youth for outdoor education to working with volunteers to restore the habitat value, I love our corner of Paradise right here on the Elizabeth and hope you do too!" - Yolima Carr, Conservation Curator, Paradise Creek Nature Park

Support the Elizabeth River Project's efforts at Paradise Creek and river-wide today when you #GiveLocal757 here: https://www.givelocal757.org/organizations/elizabethriverproject

#GL757Selfie #spreadthefundraiser 13News Now - WVEC

"Paradise Creek Nature Park has become such a special place for the community, especially during the last year. From hosting our youth for outdoor education to working with volunteers to restore the habitat value, I love our corner of Paradise right here on the Elizabeth and hope you do too!" - Yolima Carr, Conservation Curator, Paradise Creek Nature Park

Support the Elizabeth River Project's efforts at Paradise Creek and river-wide today when you #GiveLocal757 here: https://www.givelocal757.org/organizations/elizabethriverproject

#GL757Selfie #spreadthefundraiser 13News Now - WVEC

Soak in some natural beauty - treat yourself this Go Public Gardens Days, May 7-16, 2021, with a visit to Paradise Creek...
05/08/2021

Soak in some natural beauty - treat yourself this Go Public Gardens Days, May 7-16, 2021, with a visit to Paradise Creek Nature Park. Always free and open to the public!

Soak in some natural beauty - treat yourself this Go Public Gardens Days, May 7-16, 2021, with a visit to Paradise Creek Nature Park. Always free and open to the public!

We were honored to host Mayor Shannon Glover and city Manager Angel Jones to Paradise Creek for a park tour and a health...
05/06/2021

We were honored to host Mayor Shannon Glover and city Manager Angel Jones to Paradise Creek for a park tour and a healthy lunch Tuesday.

Now Recruiting Youth Conservation Interns! "This gives youth an opportunity to have a job while learning and making a di...
05/06/2021

Now Recruiting Youth Conservation Interns! "This gives youth an opportunity to have a job while learning and making a difference in nature," says intern Justin Green.

Currently open to Portsmouth high schoolers and recent graduates in partnership with the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, internships provide a tax-free stipend while young people learn job-ready green landscaping skills at Paradise Creek Nature Park, meet mentors and have fun outdoors: Wednesdays & Saturdays from July 7-August 28, 20 hours per week. To apply, contact Chelta Wray, [email protected].

05/02/2021

Dr. Ashley Haines, one of our partners from Norfolk State University, recently helped create oyster habitat and sent us this Elizabeth River "shell"-fie. Put yourself in the picture and volunteer with our restoration team to build important habitat right here on the Elizabeth.

Monday, May 3, 9:00am-3:00pm, Norfolk (Oyster Reef)
Tuesday, May 4, 9:00am-3:00pm, Norfolk (Oyster Reef)
Wednesday, May 5, 10:00am-3:00pm, Norfolk (Oyster Reef)
Monday, May 10, 12:00pm-4:30pm, Norfolk (Living Shoreline)
Tuesday, May 11, 12:00pm-4:30pm, Norfolk (Living Shoreline)
Wednesday, May 12, 12:00pm-4:30pm (Living Shoreline)
Thursday, May 13, 12:00pm-4:30pm (Living Shoreline)

Click here to register for your shift(s) and see more upcoming volunteer dates - once signed up, you will be updated by our restoration team with the street address and any schedule changes due to weather or tides: https://elizabethriver.org/volunteer

Using Native Species in Urban Landscaping
05/01/2021
Using Native Species in Urban Landscaping

Using Native Species in Urban Landscaping

Nature is the original chaotic but smart designer. By landscaping our urban spaces with native plants, we can realize cost savings, improve quality of life, and achieve ecological benefits.

04/29/2021

The River Star Homes program has reached a new milestone! Over 6,000 of you homeowners in our watershed have committed to a cleaner Elizabeth River. "We are so grateful for your efforts to make daily changes that have an incredible impact on your home River," says program manager Barb Gavin.

Not yet a River Star Home? Earn your FREE River Star Home yard flag when you pledge to do 7 things that help the health of the Elizabeth River and all of the critters that call it home. Find out if you qualify and sign up today: https://elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes

Meanwhile in an un-disclosed location...
04/27/2021

Meanwhile in an un-disclosed location...

Meanwhile in an un-disclosed location...

When this American Buckeye tree isn't attracting pollinating insects she enjoys photosynthesis and taking long rain show...
04/26/2021

When this American Buckeye tree isn't attracting pollinating insects she enjoys photosynthesis and taking long rain showers.

When this American Buckeye tree isn't attracting pollinating insects she enjoys photosynthesis and taking long rain showers.

Arbor Day Celebration & Native Tree GiveawayFriday, April 30 from 8:30am-NoonParadise Creek Nature Park, 1141 Victory Bl...
04/26/2021

Arbor Day Celebration & Native Tree Giveaway
Friday, April 30 from 8:30am-Noon
Paradise Creek Nature Park, 1141 Victory Blvd., Portsmouth, VA

Join the Elizabeth River Project and Bartlett Tree Experts for an Arbor Day celebration! Watch professional arborists perform maintenance on our Paradise elm, have your tree questions (bring your tree photos), and go home with your own native tree or shrub to bring a piece of paradise home with you. A select number of 12",18", and 24" saplings will be available, including river birch, buttonbush, Eastern redbud, elderberry, bald cypress (pictured left to right), and more!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2583961171903717

Arbor Day Celebration & Native Tree Giveaway
Friday, April 30 from 8:30am-Noon
Paradise Creek Nature Park, 1141 Victory Blvd., Portsmouth, VA

Join the Elizabeth River Project and Bartlett Tree Experts for an Arbor Day celebration! Watch professional arborists perform maintenance on our Paradise elm, have your tree questions (bring your tree photos), and go home with your own native tree or shrub to bring a piece of paradise home with you. A select number of 12",18", and 24" saplings will be available, including river birch, buttonbush, Eastern redbud, elderberry, bald cypress (pictured left to right), and more!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2583961171903717

04/24/2021

Teens looking for a paid summer internship at Paradise Creek Nature Park should apply through our partner the Hampton Roads Workforce Council. Our interns will earn pay plus certification in conservation landscaping and soil and water management.

04/21/2021

There will be Portsmouth SWAT Team training at the park today between 3-6pm. Please be aware of police and EMT presence and us caution around moving vehicles.

There may be showier or more elegant blooms in the park but none are more special to us than this Asolima Triloba or mor...
04/17/2021

There may be showier or more elegant blooms in the park but none are more special to us than this Asolima Triloba or more commonly known as Paw Paw. It has been 3 years since staff and volunteers partnered with Healthy Portsmouth to plant native edible fruit trees in our "forgeable forest".

04/15/2021
Male Ruby Throat

It's easy to see where the Ruby Throated hummingbird gets it's name.

And just as predicted the male Ruby throated Hummingbirds were the first to arrive from their Central American winter ho...
04/15/2021

And just as predicted the male Ruby throated Hummingbirds were the first to arrive from their Central American winter homes.

Did you know that asparagus grows wild in the park? This time of year asparagus is available at farmers markets and groc...
04/14/2021

Did you know that asparagus grows wild in the park? This time of year asparagus is available at farmers markets and grocery stores. Asparagus is delicious and very nutritious. My favorite way to prepare fresh asparagus is;
Oven Roasted Asparagus.
Pre-heat oven to 425.
Wash and trim tough ends of stalks if necessary.
Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast on a cookie sheet 10 - 12 minutes.
Enjoy!

Did you know that asparagus grows wild in the park? This time of year asparagus is available at farmers markets and grocery stores. Asparagus is delicious and very nutritious. My favorite way to prepare fresh asparagus is;
Oven Roasted Asparagus.
Pre-heat oven to 425.
Wash and trim tough ends of stalks if necessary.
Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast on a cookie sheet 10 - 12 minutes.
Enjoy!

Our Paradise Nature Park is busting with "B's"... from bluebirds to blueberries, reports our education team at the park:...
04/08/2021

Our Paradise Nature Park is busting with "B's"... from bluebirds to blueberries, reports our education team at the park:

Virginia bluebells, Mertensia virginica, are one of the most beautiful species of our native spring "ephemerals," or briefly flowering perennials. The Eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis, is showing off its blue and rose beige plumage. Meanwhile, our native blueberries, Vaccinium, are in bloom, promising an edible harvest soon. Fun fact: Blueberries were used to dye the garments of New England whalers.

What's in your salad? How about Blueberry and Fiddlehead ferns!
03/30/2021

What's in your salad? How about Blueberry and Fiddlehead ferns!

Tree of the day award goes to this Sassafras tree, the hard work it's been putting in this spring is really paying off!
03/30/2021

Tree of the day award goes to this Sassafras tree, the hard work it's been putting in this spring is really paying off!

Tree of the day award goes to this Sassafras tree, the hard work it's been putting in this spring is really paying off!

Scout troop 215 from Chesapeake visited the park this morning. Each scout had 1 square foot to look and see how many dif...
03/27/2021

Scout troop 215 from Chesapeake visited the park this morning. Each scout had 1 square foot to look and see how many different plants or animals call that foot home.

Volunteers got down and dirty today participating in the Great American Cleanup collecting over 150 lbs. of plastic and ...
03/27/2021

Volunteers got down and dirty today participating in the Great American Cleanup collecting over 150 lbs. of plastic and trash from the parks salt marsh!

The first thing you will notice upon arriving at Paradise Creek Nature Park is the number of bluebirds. Nests are constr...
03/26/2021

The first thing you will notice upon arriving at Paradise Creek Nature Park is the number of bluebirds. Nests are constructed in trees within abandoned woodpecker holes or other cavities that provide adequate protection (usually several feet above ground). Construction of the nest is done primarily by the female and takes around 10 days to complete. These nests are small, cup-like structures lined with grass, feathers, stems, and hairs.

Both parents cooperate in raising the young, which they feed a diet consisting almost entirely of insects. Some young stay around the nest to help raise another brood. Fledglings are grayish in color, with speckled breasts. The blue color becomes much more prominent and the speckles on their breasts disappear as they mature.

Participants of our winter Wetlands Exploration program got to learn about the plants and animals that call our marsh th...
03/26/2021

Participants of our winter Wetlands Exploration program got to learn about the plants and animals that call our marsh their winter home. They got up close and personal with a hands on exploration of the marsh tidal flats.

Participants of our winter Wetlands Exploration program got to learn about the plants and animals that call our marsh their winter home. They got up close and personal with a hands on exploration of the marsh tidal flats.

A welcome visitor here at Paradise Creek Nature Park was caught on the trail camera by Dr. Ashley Haines and her student...
03/20/2021

A welcome visitor here at Paradise Creek Nature Park was caught on the trail camera by Dr. Ashley Haines and her students at Norfolk State University this week. Did you know that opossum rarely get rabies because of their low body temperature, plus, a single opossum can eat 5,000 ticks in a single season!

By simply reducing the percentage of your yard that is grass and replacing it with native plants you can have a huge imp...
03/19/2021
Meet the Ecologist Who Wants You to Unleash the Wild on Your Backyard

By simply reducing the percentage of your yard that is grass and replacing it with native plants you can have a huge impact on beneficial insect populations. There is a Smithsonian webinar with Dr. Tallamy imbedded in the article I highly recommend for anyone interested in improving the "Nativeness" of their yard.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meet-ecologist-who-wants-unleash-wild-backyard-180974372/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&fbclid=IwAR0U2qJVJ1RzCoATjv9SXSBioiZS44Lzx43Xnl_AKEkUctTzYrFx0ADPkCk

Fed up with invasive species and sterile landscapes, Douglas Tallamy urges Americans to go native and go natural

Today we celebrate an extraordinary $2.1 million gift to our Next Wave capital campaign, the most generous single donati...
03/18/2021
Elizabeth River Project receives its largest donation in history, organizers say

Today we celebrate an extraordinary $2.1 million gift to our Next Wave capital campaign, the most generous single donation in the nearly 30-year history of the Elizabeth River Project.

In recognition of this marvelous and selfless support from two longtime trendsetters in the restoration of the Elizabeth River, our coming pioneer center for environmental resilience, planned for 4610 Colley Avenue in Norfolk, will be named the Pru and Louis Ryan Resilience Lab.

Most of the Next Wave campaign’s funds are being used to build the lab, but other goals include doubling the size of the Elizabeth River Project’s education headquarters at Paradise Creek Nature Park and building a new home port for the Elizabeth River Project’s Dominion Energy Learning Barge in Chesapeake.

Thank you for catching the wave with us, learn more and contribute here: https://elizabethriver.org/thenextwave

Norfolk residents and longtime supporters Pru and Louis Ryan donated $2.1 million to the organization’s Next Wave capital campaign.

Timeline Photos
03/15/2021

Timeline Photos

Become a River Star Home when you pledge to do 7 things to improve the health of your home river! New River Star Homes will not only receive a free River Star garden flag, but also a free pollinator pack of seeds to bring your garden to life. 🦋🦋🦋

Courtesy of the Virginia Turfgrass Council Environmental Institute, this special seed blend includes native perennials like asters, milkweed, and black-eyed susans that are irresistible to pollinators. Sign up here: https://elizabethriver.org/river-star-homes

Our front yard says that spring is here! What says spring is here in your yard? Daffodil and Veronica at Paradise Creek ...
03/13/2021

Our front yard says that spring is here! What says spring is here in your yard? Daffodil and Veronica at Paradise Creek Nature Park.

Our front yard says that spring is here! What says spring is here in your yard? Daffodil and Veronica at Paradise Creek Nature Park.

Our popular Forest School at Paradise Creek Nature Park now enrolling - get your youngsters adventuring this spring!Your...
03/10/2021

Our popular Forest School at Paradise Creek Nature Park now enrolling - get your youngsters adventuring this spring!
Your young nature explorers, pre-K to second grade, will feel care-free and energized when they participate once a week in this outdoor program to celebrate the trees, birds, sunshine and wetlands of our 40-acre urban park, a partnership with the City of Portsmouth.

Cost: $20 for 4-week program (scholarships may be available - please contact Sarah McBride)
Dates/Times: Wednesdays and Thursdays, April 14 and 15, April 21 and 22, April 28 and 29, May 5 and 6 from 10am-11:30am OR 1pm-2:30pm

For more about Forest School, safety protocols and registration: https://elizabethriverprojec.wixsite.com/kids/field-programs

Our popular Forest School at Paradise Creek Nature Park now enrolling - get your youngsters adventuring this spring!
Your young nature explorers, pre-K to second grade, will feel care-free and energized when they participate once a week in this outdoor program to celebrate the trees, birds, sunshine and wetlands of our 40-acre urban park, a partnership with the City of Portsmouth.

Cost: $20 for 4-week program (scholarships may be available - please contact Sarah McBride)
Dates/Times: Wednesdays and Thursdays, April 14 and 15, April 21 and 22, April 28 and 29, May 5 and 6 from 10am-11:30am OR 1pm-2:30pm

For more about Forest School, safety protocols and registration: https://elizabethriverprojec.wixsite.com/kids/field-programs

Did you know that you are allowed to forage our beautiful wild native blackberries?  Look for peak berry around the four...
03/10/2021

Did you know that you are allowed to forage our beautiful wild native blackberries? Look for peak berry around the fourth of July. See you out there!

Park visitors got a treat yesterday when a local Red Tailed Hawk decided to take a rest our "Steel Workers" sculpture at...
03/10/2021

Park visitors got a treat yesterday when a local Red Tailed Hawk decided to take a rest our "Steel Workers" sculpture at the entrance of the park. Hawks have the ability to turn their heads 180 degrees while looking for prey.

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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...