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Friends of the
James River Park
2016 benefits chart
Hard Working Friends

Your financial support and volunteers' time made a big difference in the JRPS in 2016. First among the many accomplishments of 2016 is the establishment of the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force, which provides a strategic, long-term solution to the park's most pernicious challenge. Under the leadership of JRPS manager Nathan Burrell and with the support of Friends of the James River Park, and working with the consulting firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., we began the work, which produced a plan for invasive management and restoration ecology in the park. This plan is informed by a data-driven baseline study that will guide control of invasive plant species. Friends, along with over a dozen other partner organizations, now share the Task Force's devotion to the health of our park system. To learn more and participate in this effort visit the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force website at

Other Friends accomplishments in 2016 include:
  • Development of a strategic plan
  • Redefined the FOJRP's Mission Statement
  • Created a Global Calendar for FOJRP website
  • Provided direct financial support to the park of approximately $43,000
  • Applied for and and received the Virginia Forestry Grant of $6,762 for planting of native species within the park
  • Organized monthly park clean-ups to engage our members and improve the park
  • Met our initial funding goal for the Protection and Preservation Fund of $100,000
  • Welcomed 6 new Board Members
  • Began new Board Member orientations
  • Established a new committee -- the Advocacy Committee, to create a stronger voice for our organization and the park with City Hall and beyond
  • Hosted the annual Ralph White River Heroes event, members' picnic and 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 the record 1,404,903 park visitors and 2,738 program participants in 2016. If you aren't a member of FOJRP, please consider joining in 2017 ( Or plan to participate in any of the many volunteer events held throughout the year (
working to improve Wetlands trails 12-2016
Trail Repairs

JRPS staff is repairing trails in the Wetlands and Pony Pasture. The improvements include grading, laying stone and gravel, and compacting these materials to create the ideal trail surface. Work should continue through February, weather depending. This effort is estimated to cost $30,000. We appreciate Park staff efforts to continuously improve the park!
New Conservation Easement Adjacent to James River Park System

Two neighbors with properties adjacent to the JRPS provided the park system with the perfect holiday gift -- the gift of conservation. The property owners who live along Riverside Drive had not to develop their riverfront properties without consulting one another. They decided to formalize their agreement by recording a conservation easement on the two parcels to be held by the Capital Region Land Conservancy. The total 1.4 acres under easement provide beautiful views of the River with downtown Richmond peeking up above the treeline. We are grateful for this public-spirited gift to the community. Read more here:
Pets Beware!

While many patrons are enjoying the new T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge with its sweeping views and proximity to roaring rapids, we want to make sure members are aware of a potential hazard for pets. Several users have reported that their pets' nails have become stuck in the narrow space between the metal walking surface. Leashed pets are allowed on the bridge but please be cautious when walking your pets on the bridge. It is also important that you pick up after your pets, since their waste goes directly into the river. More details here:
New Grant for the Manchester Climbing Wall!

The Richmond Chapter of the American Alpine Club recently awarded a $7,000 grant to repair and improve the Manchester Climbing Wall and surroundings. Volunteers from the Club as well as JROC will carry out the improvements, which will include rebolting walls, replacing wooden benches, refurbishing gravel pathways and providing a new information kiosk. The work will be done in February and March.
FOJRP Volunteer Event

Saturday, January 14, 9 a.m.-noon
Join the Friends of the James River Park on the southside of the new T. Potterfield pedestrian bridge. We will be working on removing invasive trees and brush, removing graffiti and will also be doing a river cleanup. Please be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring work gloves if you have them. It will be COLD so please dress accordingly. All supplies and materials will be provided. Please bring water and a snack.
Please register ahead of time here:

Saturday, February 11, 9 a.m.-noon
Look out for details regarding our February Volunteer Event on the JRPS Global Calendar ( to be held on Saturday, February 11. Event information will be posted to Please register in advance.
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
Shiver in the River | January 28
For those crazy enough to brave the elements at this annual event, see for more information.

RVA international Film Festival | February 27- March 5
This one-of-a-kind festival honoring some of the most singularly entertaining projects on the international film scene to be held this year at Bowtie Movieland/Criterion and the historic Byrd Theater.

The Banff Film Festival | March 9, 10 & 11
Tickets are now on sale, get yours before they sell out! More information is available here:

Conservation Easement Inspections | February & March
Look out for more information from FOJRP as we prepare to undertake our annual Conservation Easement Inspections in February and March. Plan to join us and look for scheduling information in our February newsletter.

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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