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2012 River Heroes Celebrated

May 11, 2012 | River Hero

The Boathouse and Friends of the James River Park announced the 2012 River Heroes!

  • Robert Steidel — After the removal of many of paddler takeouts, Bob, in his position as Director of Richmond’s Department of Public Utilities, was instrumental providing solutions to this problem. He examined the feasibility of adding removal points on DPU land and established a Memorandum of Understanding between DPU and the Parks Department designating riverside property as a takeout. Under his direction DPU staff moved a fence or two and James River Park employees along with dozens of JROC volunteers pitched in to create a first-rate take-out facility. Mr. Steidel takes a broader view, and as a result has contributes significantly to the public good and the James River in ways others would likely miss.
  • Greg Velzy — An Adventure Programmer for Chesterfield Parks and Recreation, Greg has introduced thousands of people to the James River. Greg has taught them how to enjoy our river and its environs to the fullest extent, while doing it in ways that are safe and have minimal impact. Despite being an expert paddler himself, Greg’s patient nature encourages novice boaters to step out of their comfort zones and many have become hooked on paddling. After completing the course, each participant has progressed from someone whose only contact with the water may have been to drive over a bridge, to perhaps becoming a regular paddler or at the very least, another steward of the James River. He is active with JROC (the James River Outdoor Coalition) and sits on the Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Board. His excellent leadership skills led him to be named Chair of the Falls Advisory Committee.

Thanks also to The Boathouse, Discover the James and Real Richmond Food Tours for gift and financial support.


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