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

"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!

Planting natives is a great way to ensure your garden is part of our ecosystem!
10/08/2020

Planting natives is a great way to ensure your garden is part of our ecosystem!

Happy Friday!

Looks can be deceiving, what at first appears to be animal scat is actually a fungus that is busy breaking down branches...
09/23/2020

Looks can be deceiving, what at first appears to be animal scat is actually a fungus that is busy breaking down branches that have fallen to the forest floor.
The inedible fungus Daldinia concentrica is known by several common names, including King Alfred's cake, cramp balls, and coal fungus.
Historically people have used this type of fungus as a way to transport smoldering embers to re-light a fire in a different location!

When most people hear about shrimp in Portsmouth they normally think about Wickers Crab Pot. But what if I told you that...
09/19/2020

When most people hear about shrimp in Portsmouth they normally think about Wickers Crab Pot. But what if I told you that there are shrimp in the salt marsh at Paradise Creek Nature Park? A healthy population of grass and brown shrimp means a healthy ecosystem in the marsh!

Justin Greene and Thomas Jones just completed their second summer as Youth Conservation Interns here at Paradise Creek N...
09/14/2020

Justin Greene and Thomas Jones just completed their second summer as Youth Conservation Interns here at Paradise Creek Nature Park. Expanding on their horticultural skills with Conservation Curator Yolima Carr, she says, "both young men grew in their knowledge of the park, time management, and leadership."
When asked about their favorite accomplishments this summer, Justin mentioned a tour he led for a visiting group, realizing just how much he knew about the park. Thomas replied without hesitation, "kayaking!"

Special thanks to our partners at Hampton Roads Workforce Council for once again helping to make this opportunity possible.

09/13/2020
Hummer on a vine

A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird tales a break from collecting nectar at Paradise Creek Nature Park

We have been very lucky to have the opportunity to watch Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds from our office windows these last f...
09/12/2020

We have been very lucky to have the opportunity to watch Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds from our office windows these last few weeks.

Virginia Native Plant Society South Hampton Roads Chapter
09/12/2020

Virginia Native Plant Society South Hampton Roads Chapter

Do you want to see and have butterflies in your garden?. It's easy, you need to have the native host plants for them to have want they need ... food and shelter. The chart below shows the #butterflies and their #hostnativeplants. #vnpsshrc #VNPS Please do not forget to like and follow our page and/or become a member of the VNPS South Hampton Roads Chapter. Thanks.

Another choice for late season color is Callicarpa americana, the American beautyberry, is a native shrub of the Souther...
09/12/2020

Another choice for late season color is Callicarpa americana, the American beautyberry, is a native shrub of the Southern United States. American beautyberries produce large clusters of purple berries, which birds and deer eat, thus distributing the seeds.

If you are looking for a plant to bring late season color to your garden. Physostegia virginiana, the obedient plant, ob...
09/11/2020

If you are looking for a plant to bring late season color to your garden. Physostegia virginiana, the obedient plant, obedience or false dragonhead, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, It is considered a good plant for adding late-season flowers to a garden.

U.S. Forest Service - Research and Development
09/10/2020

U.S. Forest Service - Research and Development

Although birds readily consume fruit from invasive species, scientists and land managers are concerned that these non-native fruits are essentially avian junk food. A recent publication (https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/60746) by scientists from the University of Massachusetts and the #NorthernResearchStation reports on observations of bird foraging in western Massachusetts. Study findings showed fruit-eating birds prefer fruit from native species over invasive species and were better dispersers of native fruits than of invasive fruits. Higher consumption of invasive fruits was negatively associated with bird health indicating nonnative plant invasion may lead to reduced habitat quality for songbirds.

Nathan W. Pyle
09/08/2020

Nathan W. Pyle

Our fresh water wetland project is bursting with color. This project not only created habitat that provides food and she...
09/05/2020

Our fresh water wetland project is bursting with color. This project not only created habitat that provides food and shelter for native species, it increased biodiversity and is also a beautiful addition to the neighborhood.

Our butterfly garden is hiding several passion fruit, if you know where to look...
09/02/2020

Our butterfly garden is hiding several passion fruit, if you know where to look...

09/01/2020

Here is the coolest video of a bee covered in pollen feeding at a passion fruit blossom you will see all day!

Welcome Seana Wilson, new Interpretive Ranger at Paradise Creek Nature Park. A Portsmouth native with a degree in Recrea...
08/27/2020

Welcome Seana Wilson, new Interpretive Ranger at Paradise Creek Nature Park. A Portsmouth native with a degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism, she says "you are never too young or too old to find your passion for the outdoors." You can meet her most Saturdays presenting "pop up" nature activities like wildlife tracking and critter demos for all ages.

"There are very few groups out there that can make genuine environmental and social impact like the ERP, and we want to ...
08/26/2020

"There are very few groups out there that can make genuine environmental and social impact like the ERP, and we want to help insure their success well into the future," says firm owner Clay Dills (pictured).

Dills Architects put together an impressive team of engineers, architects and even a solar company when they bid on design for Elizabeth River Project's planned expansion of the Beazley River Academy here at Paradise Creek Nature Park. Then the entire team decided themselves to donate their services entirely, even donating solar equipment (thanks, Convert Solar)!

You too can help expand river education and much more with your gift to the Next Wave Campaign. Your dollar is matched 1:1 by the Frank & Aimee Batten Challenge while it lasts! We're 85% to goal. Help us go the last mile: https://elizabethriver.org/thenextwave

We still battle some of these invasives that often escape into natural areas. But, come visit the park for some native p...
08/25/2020

We still battle some of these invasives that often escape into natural areas. But, come visit the park for some native plant inspiration for some ideas of what to plant instead to actually benefit wildlife at your home.

What a treat! The eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina). When one carolina just isn't enough.
08/25/2020

What a treat! The eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina). When one carolina just isn't enough.

The early morning visitor to the park gets to see the best variety of mushrooms, some varieties such as these Parasol mu...
08/22/2020

The early morning visitor to the park gets to see the best variety of mushrooms, some varieties such as these Parasol mushrooms shrivel and disappear with the first rays of sunshine.

With the summer blooms coming to an end our Kosteletzkya virginica, or seashore mallow, sweat weed, Virginia saltmarsh m...
08/20/2020

With the summer blooms coming to an end our Kosteletzkya virginica, or seashore mallow, sweat weed, Virginia saltmarsh mallow, or salt marsh mallow are hanging tough!
The pink-flowered seashore mallow is both a perennial and a halophyte, or salt-tolerant plant, that grows in areas where other plants cannot.

08/19/2020
Butterfly Garden

Sometimes you just need to get outside and breathe.
#paradisecreeknaturepark

We had the great luck of being visited by a couple of Snowberry Clearwing moths yesterday. Often confused with hummingbi...
08/19/2020

We had the great luck of being visited by a couple of Snowberry Clearwing moths yesterday. Often confused with hummingbirds or bees. These guys can hover like a hummingbird and they have the distinctive yellow and black coloration of a bee. In some parts of the country they are referred to as Hummingbird moths or my favorite Flying Lobsters.

Dogtown, a boarding and dog daycare in Norfolk, recently visited Paradise Creek Nature Park as one of their "20 Places t...
08/18/2020

Dogtown, a boarding and dog daycare in Norfolk, recently visited Paradise Creek Nature Park as one of their "20 Places to Take Your Dog in 2020." We hope you enjoy the photos from their visit and bring your pups to see if they give the park two paws up!

This is no ordinary team of volunteers. This is the "A-Team" of Paradise Creek Nature Park, fondly dubbed that because t...
08/13/2020

This is no ordinary team of volunteers. This is the "A-Team" of Paradise Creek Nature Park, fondly dubbed that because they're a small group of older professionals who cheerfully take on the most challenging tasks.

This time, they found a giant in the forest and adopted her. The American Elm towers 115 feet tall (they've measured it), but was hidden behind invasive vines and saplings.

"We can make a path," said George Bangs, retired wetland scientist. John Joyce, physician, brought his wood chipper to help remove the invasive privet. When the chipper died, Joyce offered to help raise funds for a new one plus native ferns and shade plants for what he calls "the Great American Elm Project."

There's so much more the six A-Team volunteers do, ages 66 to 82, while helping each Thursday to revitalize this urban park in our partnership with the City of Portsmouth. Russell Flynn teaches poetry to our Youth Conservation Interns. Bangs is making an old-fashioned "herbarium" to catalog park plants with pressed specimens in a binder. Thank you also to George Willson, Dick Parker, and Rex Gerard... A plus!

Support all our volunteer and education programs at Paradise Creek Nature Park with your gift to the Next Wave campaign: https://elizabethriver.org/thenextwave

Address

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...