When Ralph White agreed to manage the fledgling James River Park System in 1980, few imagined the impact that he would have. For over 30 years, he cleaned and built and trimmed and educated and advocated for the Park that we all love today. When he first pulled on his shorts and strapped on his boots and waded into the underbrush, the Park was just shy of 200 acres. The James River Park System is now over 600 acres, and many of the trails and spaces that we enjoy – Buttermilk, Pony Pasture, Belle Isle, North Bank – are the result of his hard work and vision for what an urban park could be.
On Thursday the 15th, as part of our 50th Anniversary Celebration, Ralph will be at Basic Beer Company. He’ll talk about the history of the Park – both before and after its creation – why it’s such an important resource for our region, and will welcome your questions. You can learn more about the Evening with Ralph White here.
On Saturday the 17th from noon until 4 PM, the public is invited to Belle Isle for our open-to-all Birthday Celebration. There will be demonstrations of the many activities you can enjoy in the Park, and plenty of family-friendly and safe interactive experiences so that you can try your skills at biking, climbing, kayaking and more. See more about the Birthday Celebration here.
Finally, Friends of the James River Park, donors, and Park supporters are invited to an evening of drinks, food and music at Legend Brewing Company on Saturday the 17th from 5 PM until 9 PM. Not a Friend of the James River Park yet? Make a donation at the door and come on in! You can RSVP for the Legend gathering at this link.
We’ve created something magical over the past 50 years. We wouldn’t have the James River Park System without your support. We hope to see you at one or all of these fantastic events.