James River Park License Plates

This is starting to remind us all of public radio pledge drives. You'll keep being bothered about James River Park license plates until we hit the 350 completed application level. Sorry about that, but there's something you can do to stop me--you can go to your vehicle's glove compartment and pull out your auto registration to fill out the 1 page application. Completed applications are trickling in, so thanks to those who've followed through, but we need a flood of them if we are going to meet our January 1st deadline. 


The General Assembly needs to see at least 350 completed applications from us by the start of the session or we'll be spending our January mailing back hundreds of checks instead of sprucing up our cars in preparation for adding the lovely Atlantic Coast Railway Bridge over the James River scene to our vehicles. Your registration and your checkbook ($25 or $35) are all you need to complete this task that will eventually transform FOJRP's budget from a drought-stricken boulder zone to a roaring river of income.  And remember, James River Park license plates make a fantastic holiday gift!

Dept. of Parks, Rec., and Community Facilities

The Friends were saddened to hear the news that J.R. Pope resigned as director of the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities. No one condones the sort of waste detailed in the audits, but let's remember that under his leadership we were able to secure the Conservation Easement on much of the James River Park System, and the Forest Hill Park Lake renovation (which his department won a statewide award for) came in almost $140,000 under budget and ahead of schedule.


Those are just two of the many improvements he and his department produced that city residents are justifiably proud of. He polished the gems that we have here in Richmond. The Friends hope the Dept. of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will continue to fulfill J.R.'s vision of offering a wide array of amenities in our parks across the city while working closely with friends groups to get things done that aren't in the city's budget.


Our FOJRP president met with J.R. last week to talk about improving parking at Belle Isle, adding new maps and informational signs at trailheads around the park and marking trails so that the park can be enjoyed more fully by residents and visitors alike. We certainly hope these and other projects can move forward. The Friends want to work with the department so that the James River Park System gets the attention and care it deserves as the city's watery and woodsy Central Park.


Mayor Jones, Dr. Graham, and City Council members have received a similar message from us.  We'll miss J.R. and we wish him well.  

Capital Region Collaboration

If you haven't had a chance to participate in this group's work--a combo of Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission--here are two ways to do so. You can read up on this initiative about our region's future here: info and survey. The James River keeps coming up--as you knew it would--as something residents care very much about, so please make sure your thoughts are heard.


You can take part in the entire Capital Region Collaboration presentation at JROC's next meeting (to which we are all invited) which will be Wednesday, Dec. 1st at Legend Brewery at 6 p.m. The James River will be the focus, and discussion is welcomed, so come on down!

Wine and Beer Flow like the River
Our Wednesday Wine Night at The Boathouse at Rockett's Landing was lots of fun and well-attended. The wine flowed alongside the river, and many Friends stayed for dinner. The seasonal Watershed Special (oysters now) continues to pay dividends to the Friends and the park. We just received another check for several hundred dollars from The Boathouse for their October donation. We really appreciate such dependable generosity.

Next up is a series of Thursday evening gatherings at Capital Ale House locations around town. FOJRP will be the Community Chest recipient for all of December, so anyone who brings this  flyer  to any Capital Ale House location Thursday evenings in December will have 25% of their food purchases donated to the Friends of James River Park. Such a deal!  Dec. 2nd is the first one, and I am sure many of us will be at the E. Main Street location catching up and meeting new friends. Hope to see you there. Or feel free to start your own party at the South Side or West End (or Fredericksburg) locations, too!
Friends of James River Park
PO 4453
Richmond, Virginia 23220