All Aboard The Learning Barge!



Barge Bulletin

First Lady Boards Our Barge

– April 18 – We’re so honored that First Lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe came aboard our Learning Barge today to experience a student field trip aboard “America’s Greenest Vessel.” Read more.


Photo Essay: Climbing aboard the Learning Barge

On a fall morning, a lot is happening on the steel deck of the Dominion Virginia Power Learning Barge. A stream of fourth grade students from Granby Elementary School follows Robin Dunbar, the Elizabeth River Project’s deputy director of education, onto the vessel where they will measure oyster shells, listen to osprey calls, find periwinkles in the wetland observation pool and make traditional mud art. MORE


Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Ward welcome teachers from the Norfolk Public Schools

 – Kudos to Norfolk Public Schools teachers working with our Learning Barge staff. Their pioneer efforts on a new river curriculum landed them a visit with the Governor and Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources! Photo Album







Barge Cited for Excellence

Our Learning Barge was named one of the state's top 10 "centers for environmental education excellence" Sept. 8 by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. "Barge on," as our students say! Robin Dunbar, Deputy Director - Education, received the award at Natural Bridge Park. 

She's Absolutely Beautiful

Learning Barge “Splashes” After Donated Spruce Up Thanks for Unprecedented Support, Maritime Heroes!


New GreenSTEM Barge Program coming soon! Accepting field trip reservations now.

Contact Robin Dunbar, Education Director for more information. 757-392-7132  

The Elizabeth River Project's Dominion Virginia Power LEARNING BARGE is the world's first floating wetland classroom and America's Greenest Vessel. It's a "steward ship," teaching the children of the river environmental stewardship actions and showing how to make the Elizabeth River healthier! 


Powered by sun and wind and equipped with live wetlands, an enclosed classroom, composting toilets and a rainwater filtration system, the 120 by 32 foot Learning Barge is designed to both model and teach ecology and sustainability to the next generation of lower Chesapeake Bay stewards. The mission is to help teach how to help restore the Elizabeth River by 2020.


54,892 have been educated on the barge since its 2009 launch. 
Over 20,000 were K-12 students.


The barge will be docked at various locations including near the port highlighting the working river. Check out the map for the barge's latest location and download Field Trip Summary for the barge's docking schedule.

The best way to schedule a field trip is to download and fill out the Field Trip Request form and email to Robin Dunbar, Education Director, at If you prefer, you can also call


The Learning Barge came to being thanks to the generous sponsorship of numerous organizations and individuals. Special thanks go to Dominion Virginia Power, the lead sponsor of the vessel's construction, and Lowe's, sponsor of the enclosed river lab onboard.

Current leading sponsors of our field trips include NOAA Bwet, PNC, American Honda Foundation, Virginia Environmental Endowment, The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Advisory Committee and Kinder-Morgan. Our generous maritime community also donates countless services for maintenance and tug moves!


Special thank you to the public and private schools that continue to support the Learning Barge.


For more info | 757.392.7132 |

Field Trip Information Flier email

Track the Learning Barge!


2971 Kimball Terrace, Norfolk, VA 23504, USA

2971 Kimball Terrace, Norfolk, VA 23504, USA

Grandy Village Learning Center

The Elizabeth River Project

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