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Friends of the
James River Park
JANUARY 2018      
2017 volunteer stats
2017, a Year of Achievements

Last year your financial support and volunteers' time made a big difference in the JRPS. We are proud of what has been accomplished and grateful to the many dedicated, hard-working people who together make it possible too keep our Park an area of unspoiled natural beauty -- a little bit of wilderness in the heart of the city.

In 2017 we...
  • Sponsored Richmond Outside's RVA Osprey Cam and partnered with them to present a naming contest for the birds, now known as Maggie and Walker
  • Developed educational materials for use in conjunction with the osprey cam
  • Worked to improve the user experience for visitors to the website (ongoing)
  • Solicited proposals for development of, and initiated fundraising efforts for, the James River Park Master Plan (Friends of the James River Park donated the first $50,000)
  • Conducted the annual Conservation Easement inspections
  • Welcomed new Director of Parks and Recreation, Chris Frelke
  • Attended City Council meetings to promote the needs of the park
  • Contracted with VCU for an Economic Impact Study of the park and promoted the completed study
  • Finalized the Preservation and Protection Fund policy
  • Advocated for better GRTC access to all sections of the park
  • Funded a second port-a-john at Reedy Creek
  • Supported park staff travel to Richmond Upon Thames
  • Paid RVA Goats to provide animals for invasive vegetation removal at the Manchester Climbing Wall
  • Received license plate revenue in excess of $33,000
  • Organized monthly park clean-ups to engage our members and improve the park
  • Hosted the annual Ralph White River Heroes Awards event (recipients: Joey Parent for Education, Warren Foster (memorial) for Promotion, Laura Greenleaf for Preservation, and Margaret Maslak for Outstanding Volunteer, the members' picnic and the annual Winter Solstice Celebration
These accomplishments, along with your volunteer and financial support, enabled FOJRP to support JRPS staff as they work to meet the demands of close to 2,000,000 annual park visitors. If you aren't a member of FOJRP, please consider joining in 2018. Or plan to participate in any of the many volunteer events held throughout the year.
Leave No Trace logo
JRPS Adopts Leave No Trace Principles
Beginning in 2018, the JRPS became a "Leave No Trace Parks and Municipalities Partner." This initiative marks a big change for the JRPS and goes beyond the "Pack it in, Pack it out" rule many of us are familiar with. Leave No Trace is built on seven core principles that provide comprehensive guidance on how to enjoy our natural world in a sustainable way: minimizing human-created impacts.

Most noticeable will be the removal of the many standalone trash huts which will be replaced with centralized dumpsters, requiring Park users to either carry their waste to these dumpsters, or even better, home with them. Current plans include dumpsters to be placed at these locations:
  • Pony Pasture Parking Lot
  • Huguenot Flatwater Parking Lot
  • Belle Isle Pedestrian bridge (north end)
We encourage all visitors to the Park to get involved with this bold initiative! Find out more about the Leave No Trace and Center for Outdoor Ethics at
Volunteer Event 
Ancarrow's Landing River Cleanup | January 13, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Join Friends of the James River Park as we lead a river cleanup at Ancarrow's Landing in honor of the Martin Luther King's Day of National Service. We will be picking up litter along the shoreline, in the parking lot, on the historic slave trail and beside the roadway on Brander Street. Your must register at HandsonRVA to participate at this event.
gps referenced emergency sign
Help Where You Need It

Visitors may have noticed the addition of red and brown tags placed on posts along the pathways within the Park. These coded tags are there to help emergency services find your location should you call for assistance. The unique letter/number combinations provide GPS information to park staff, police and EMS. This improves response time should you have an emergency that requires a call to 911.

The tags also help police find the source of a non-emergency concern should you see and want to report something out of the ordinary in the Park. Reportable things include problems of natural or human origin -- graffiti, large amounts of trash, trees down across main trails, fires of any sort, unruly behavior, etc. You can report your concerns by using the non-emergency police number: 804-646-5100.
Winter Solstice Success

For the eighth year, JRPS staff served hot chocolate, cider and cookies (or attempted to after running out of cups) to visitors on Belle Isle during our annual Winter Solstice Celebration. With over 1000 Facebook likes and a article published the previous day, this usually low-key event saw record attendance. Several drummers and a trumpeter provided entertainment for visitors huddled around the small bonfire enjoying the company of friends as together they greeted the beginning of winter and welcomed the return of longer days.
Support the Park!

Your green keeps us green! Want to show your support? Visit and choose how:
  • Become a member
  • Make a donation
  • Get a park license plate
  • Buy a T-shirt
  • Contribute to the Preservation & Protection Fund
James River Rx: Connect to Nature | January 10, 12:00 - 1:00pm
The James River Association is prescribing you a dose of nature! Research has shown that time in nature is good for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Join Amber Ellis, JRA's Watershed Restoration Manager, at Pump House Park, 1799 Pump House Dr., to slow down, take a breath, and be reminded that we are in this together! To register contact: Amber Ellis at: [email protected] or phone: 804-788-8811.

Shiver in the River | February 24
It the fourth year for this Keep Virginia Beautiful fundraising event for where you can clean up, walk/run, or jump in the James River -- or do all three! To find out more go to:

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:
Become a member today 
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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