Nominate a River Hero!

River HeroWho is a River Hero? Anyone who has worked to make the James River a better place for both people and wildlife.

The Friends along with cosponsors The Galley Restaurant, Real Richmond Food Tours & More, Once Upon a Vine, Riverside Outfitters, TaZa Coffee 'n Creme, Golden Squeegee Imprinted Sportswear & Embroidery and Critter Town Bath House join together with the hope of bringing attention to the magnificent, scenic river that runs through Richmond and honoring the people who care for it.

Nominations accepted until May 1, 2014. Submit your nomination today!

Riverfront Plan Funding Shortfall

The City's FY15 budget currently lacks funding for projects recommended in the Riverfront plan, including the Brown's Island Dam Walk. The Dam Walk will be a unique feature of Richmond's riverfront, connecting Downtown to Manchester and allowing more people to enjoy the James River. Please contact your council person if you wish to show your support of this worthwhile project.

Upcoming Events

FoJRP Volunteer Day, April 19, 9am to 1 pm
Volunteers will be removing invasive english ivy and planting native flowers. Sign up to volunteer today.

JROC Outdoor Gear Swap, April 26
Great deals on gently used paddling, hiking, camping, bike gear and loads of other stuff. Learn more:

Sunday in the Park with Friends, April 27, noon to 6pm
Forest Hill Park will explode with balloons, bubbles, bands, and so much more! Friends of Forest Hill Park invites you to bring a picnic and enjoy the park during this annual event. Treats and ice-cold bottled water will be provided FREE. Richmond's famous "foodie" trucks will also be on hand for you to purchase other edible goodies. Your canine friends will enjoy their own hospitality tent. (The city requires a leash on dogs at all times in the park.) While you're there stop by the FoJRP table and say hi. All activities are free and under tents so this event is rain or shine.

Riverfront Public Art Meeting, May 6, 6:30 to 8 pm, Plant Zero, Zero East 4th Street
The city is hosting a public meeting to gain input from the community on a project to develop public art along the James River in association with Brown's Island Dam Walk and Southbank Pathways project.

Dominion Riverrock, May 16-18
Family-friendly and including booths providing both information and hands-on activities, the East Coast's premier outdoor lifestyle festival brings athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown's Island. Learn more:

FoJRP Annual Picnic, June 7
Join the Friends as we host our riverfront community at the iconic Pumphouse. Enjoy food, music, the company of fellow river lovers and celebrate the award for the 2014 River Hero(es).

26th Clean the Bay Day, June 7
Clean the Bay Day is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual stream and shoreline clean-up, during which citizen volunteers remove litter and debris from Virginia's creeks, streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. People from all over the Commonwealth work by land and boat to give the Bay a massive spring cleaning. Learn more:

Catfish Workshops at Pony Pasture, July 22 & 31
Join DGIF Angling Education and Captain Mike Ostrander for a day of instruction and fishing on the James River at Pony Pasture in Richmond. Learn more: Worshop Schedule

James River Sturgeon Film wins first place!

Congratulations to Melissa Lesh, whose film James River Sturgeon has one first place in the Fourth Annual RVA Environmental Film Festival held in February 2014! As first place winner, Lesh receives $1,000. Lesh's film is part of the Science in the Park section on this website.

James River Sturgeon from Friends of James River Park on Vimeo.

Zip line proposal threathens Conservation Easement

Are you aware that a California company wants to put a zip line across the James? Sounds exciting, at least at first. But as we consider the full impact this venture would have on our natural and protected wilderness park, we realize the following:

  • there would be towers marring our skyline and our land and
  • the development would violate the Conservation Easement protecting the wilderness that characterizes most of the James River Park System.

Although a zip line could be exciting and cool, it must be sited in another location -- and not in our Park System. The mission of the Friends is to protect the JRPS. The Conservation Easement documentation calls our Park "unique, environmentally sensitive, immensely popular and invaluable to the character of the City," but also "vulnerable to misuse."

The JRPS' location in downtown Richmond makes it especially appealing to developers intent on capitalizing on the renewed interest in the downtown area. Without the protection that conservation easements offer, these properties could be lost forever.

Please stand firm with the Friends of the James River Park System on this issue. For more information, read John Zeungner's letter which explains the Concervation Easement and why we are opposed to the zip line.

Chapel Island ready to explore

Chapel Island, which is city property and accessible from the Great Shiplock Park section of the James River Park System and adjacent to the Capital to Capital Bicycle Trail, adds so much to Richmond's robust urban park system.

FOJRP is proud to be part of a project that has opened river access of what is now an underused area to underserved communities. River access at Chapel Island offers health benefits, wildlife viewing opportunities, fishing, walking, paddling and other environmentally friendly activities to a wider community.

Field Guide for Springtime at the James River

Tracy Brockwell is an environmental educator, and coincidentally the "first lady" of James River Park (she's married to Nathan Burrell). She has been working with a group of students for the past year to produce a field guide for Springtime at the James River.

All of the programs the guide supports have been held in the city at various parks and sites along the river and surrounding areas, and each child participant receives a copy of the book. Books are also available to the public from the online publisher, Blurb, with ALL profits going to Friends of James River Park.

The book will be dedicated to Ralph White for his amazing lifetime of service to James River Park. The children suggested any proceeds raised go to native plant restoration.

JRPS license plates are available at DMV and making money for the park

James River Park license plates have now generated over $7,000 for the park! To order yours, check out the DMV Specialty License Plate section!

And remember ...

$ x 2If you're making a donation to the FOJRP, consider asking your employer to match your gift. Many local businesses are happy to support Richmond's wonderful park system. All gifts and bequests are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law, and donors will receive a letter acknowledging their contributions; contributors to the Protection and Preservation Fund are also acknowledged on the FOJRP website.

more news and events »

Today in the Park

Current weather, water conditions, trails info, activities ...

Map it! Plan your park visit.

Map It!

Watch it! Check out these Science in the Park videos.

Odonates from Friends of James River Park on Vimeo.

spring at the river

The park in spring

Old Man Winter doesn't want to let go this March, but we see signs of spring in the park already. Can warmer weather, flowers and greenery be too far off?

T-shirts and pamphlets for sale!

shopping cartOur snazzy t-shirts and FOJRP interpretive pamphlets are available to purchase online. Order yours today!

Memberships are also available online on our Be a Friend page. Thanks, as always, for your support!

Keep the park safe

If you see something out of the ordinary in the James River Park, please report it using the non-emergency police number:


Reportable things include problems in the park system (of natural or human origin) -- graffiti, large amounts of trash, trees down across main trails, fires of any sort, unruly behavior, etc.

If it is an emergency situation, please dial 911.

Do you Bicycle in the Park?

Did you know that pedestrians have the right of way on ALL trails in the Park, except those marked Bicycles Only? Please be courteous when passing walkers; if you have a bell, use it or call out, "on your left" or "on your right". It's common courtesy and will prevent those enjoying the Park from being forced off the trails. This is also critical behavior for Park Visitors tending their kids or their dogs.

Protection and Preservation Fund

A special thank you to all who donate to our long-term fund. See our growing list.

James River Park Protection and Preservation Fund

Spanish translation on site

Amigos del Rio offers Spanish-speaking and park-loving web visitors an overview of the Friends and useful information on two hot spots -- Belle Isle and Pony Pasture. And thanks to the help of VCU's CreateAThon, you'll see park signs in Spanish and may hear public service announcements in Spanish as well.

Our favorite line and sign: Take Pride. Éste es tu río.

¿Se habla espanol?

Canine Friends of the Park

Probably some of the biggest fans of the park system are the dogs that walk the trails -- and they would want to keep the park clean too!

Please Pick Up After Your Pet

Read why it's important to pick up the poop and don't pollute! Catch up on other Canine news as well.

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