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Friends of the
James River Park
August 2016 - In This Issue:

In May, the FoJRP Board asked our membership to respond to a 14-question online survey. One objective was to understand how members use the park so we can most effectively focus our efforts. Another objective was to ensure that we conduct business in a manner consistent with your desires. As an incentive to complete the survey, respondents were entered into a drawing for a rafting trip for two, generously donated by Riverside Outfitters.

First, we congratulate the rafting trip winner, Tom de Sostoa, whose name we announced at our annual picnic in June. Next, we want to share some of the information generated by the survey.

It might come as no surprise that most respondents are city residents (58%), followed by Henrico County folks at 24%. Also, unsurprisingly, most respondents visit the park about 4 times a week. The answer to "how do you use the park?" is overwhelmingly physical exertion: 83% listed trail-use (walking, hiking, jogging), followed by dog walking (37%) and water access (28%).

In the communication category, this e-newsletter is how 63% of you get your park news. While visiting the park you heard about the Friends (51%) via "word of mouth." Unfortunately, most of you are unaware of our Preservation and Protection Fund created in part to protect the park's conservation easement (for information on the fund, visit:

Many of you would like the Friends to sponsor more events, with the educational category uppermost (76%). The good news is that 87% are willing to pay to attend a variety of new endeavors. As well, thanks to the many who would volunteer to help plan and implement such activities. Stay tuned as this process unfolds. In the meantime, be sure to visit the park's global calendar ( to learn about events happening daily. You may be surprised by both the frequency and variety of the new offerings.

Probably the most important thing learned from this survey was the overwhelming support our members show toward the initiatives our board is currently developing. Advocacy, conservation and keeping the park wild are your top concerns. Next in order are increasing the land held by the conservation easement and our maintaining the monthly park clean-ups, followed closely by invasive species removal, educational outreach and increasing member involvement. Overall there was a less than 1.5% difference between the top and bottom rank of these eight initiatives.

We want to thank the members who took the time to respond to this survey and assure you that we plan to use this information as we move forward.

Twenty seven high school students from several James River basin locations have just completed the sixth annual James River Expedition, a James River Association program that teaches our future leaders conservation, stewardship, and river history. Paddling downriver and camping out for 6 days, these teens tested water quality, sampled macro-invertebrates, identified wildlife, and met with farmers and other business folk whose livelihoods are involved with the river. Each teen participated in one of three trips, as the program is divided into the upper, middle and lower James. Read more here: and

Not only have remotely triggered night cameras caught these guys red-eyed, but you probably also know that a couple of them have killed a pet dog. The Richmond Times Dispatch published an informative article about the coyote population in the JRPS. Biologist Anne Wright says we will have to learn to live with these animals and that their position as predators is more beneficial than not. The article also gives tips on how to protect yourself and what to do if you encounter one of these animals:

Six artists won the competition to paint 6 storm drains along Tredegar Street between the American Civil War Center and Brown's Island. The objective for this public art is to remind us that whatever we put down those drains is going directly into the river, our source for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning. Read more here:
volunteer day

The Friends group is looking for a volunteer to support our social media tools. This person would provide frequent posts to our Facebook page and write the content for our monthly e-newsletter. To express your interest, contact: [email protected].

Our volunteer events, as well as those of JROC, are suspended during the summer when the park staff is the busiest. If you have a hankering to volunteer, please visit and

In addition to becoming a member or donating to our Preservation and Protection Fund, you could also show your support by buying and wearing a teeshirt. Check it out at
iNaturalist Workshop | Saturday, August 13, 9 a.m.-noon
Come document species in the JRPS: following an introduction by naturalist Paul Bedell, you will walk through the park to photograph and return to park headquarters to post your results. Registration required: [email protected]. You'll need a camera or iPhone, laptop, field guides, binoculars. Free. JRPS headquarters, 4001 Riverside Dr., Richmond 23225.

Creative Writing Workshop | Sunday, August 21, 2-3 p.m.
Come indulge your creativity, explore the park, and get inspired in an on-site creative writing workshop, facilitated by the park's artist-in-residence. Writing materials will be provided, but feel free to bring a favorite notebook and pen. You may also wish to bring water and a blanket or towel to sit on. Meet inside the park gate of the Pumphouse Park (1627 Pump House Dr., 23221); look for the "'Writing Workshop" sign. All skill levels are welcome. Free. (Rain date: Sunday, August 28.)

Films on the Floodwall | Wednesday, September 14, time TBA
The James River Advisory Council, James River Outdoor Coalition, and James River Association are organizing this free community film screening during James River Week. They are also encouraging local filmmakers to submit their original films for this event: contact the JRA at The screening will take place at Diversity Park, which is between the Manchester Canal and the Floodwall at the 14th Street Bridge.

JRAC's James River Days brochure available now
If you don't have a printed copy of the invaluable "James River Days" brochure, listing activities on and around the river through October, download it here:

Looking for more events and activities?
There are more and more things happening in the park! The JRPS global calendar is your go-to source to find where and when the events and activities you enjoy are happening. Check the schedule at:
Our Mission
We are citizen stewards of the James River Park.
We do this by providing ongoing support for conservation, enhancement, and recreational enjoyment of the James River Park System, while protecting its natural and historic environments.

Friends of James River Park, PO 4453, Richmond, VA 23220
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