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Friends of the
James River Park
June 2014 - In This Issue:
Saturday, June 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Spend an evening at Richmond's iconic Pump House! Don't miss this year's picnic on Saturday, June 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The Friends will provide chicken, beverages, and music by the Cary Street Ramblers. We ask that you bring a side dish and portable chair to enjoy an evening with fellow river lovers and celebrate the presentation of the 2014 River Hero(es) award.

Please note: there is quite a stairway to negotiate to enter the ballroom. And remember, alcoholic beverages are not allowed in the Park.
Saturday, June 7 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

What better way to build up your picnic appetite than to spend your morning volunteering at the 26th Annual Clean the Bay Day? Folks working along the banks will go to the Reedy Creek parking lot to get their assignments; paddlers will start from Pocahontas State Park. The 2014 Volunteer Registration forms can be found at:
Re:Market | Richmond landmark reimagined

A commercial and social center since 1737, the 17th Street Farmer's Market is one of the country's oldest operating public markets and has existed in many incarnations. The current structure was developed in the mid-1980s. The availability of more localized, neighborhood-based farmer's markets, however, has precipitated a period of decline for the 17th Street Market.

The city's plan to convert the site to a more flexible, open-air plaza includes dismantlement of covered shelters, walkways, and support structures that will be salvaged and stockpiled for future use. The James River Green Building Council has partnered with Enrichmond to develop a Green Spaces Design Competition. Entrants are required to provide a design solution that re-purposes the salvaged building materials. Entries will be judged by a local jury consisting of professionals in fields such as architecture, design, and planning. The entry that best addresses the specifications and general considerations will be awarded a cash prize.

To find out more about this unique opportunity go to:

Richmond Regional Ride Center wins Bell Helmet grant


Thanks to an extreme number of votes from our extremely supportive river community, the Richmond Regional Ride Center has officially won a grant contest from Bell Bike Helmets and the IMBA worth more than $33,000.


The Bell-Built program consists of $100,000 in grants to fund three regional mountain bike trail projects that create places to ride for a broad spectrum of mountain bikers. Bell and IMBA narrowed the field to 12 finalists that were announced in early March. Voting ended Sunday, May 18. Richmonders blew up the vote with a total at 13,896, the highest in the entire competition among the three regions. The other winners include Cottage Grove, Minn., in the Central Region and Ft. Tuthill in Flagstaff, Ariz. in the West Coast Region. Congratulations!

An area of the Buttermilk Trail west of the Boulevard Bridge may close due to a property dispute with the City of Richmond. This area of the trail is not owned by the city and not an official part of the James River Park System. According to RVAMore, "The owners of the property have been working with the city for the past 6 years asking the city to give a liability easement for the property that Buttermilk is on. They are asking the city to accept that liability just like they do in all the park areas. Last fall the Mayor agreed to an easement and asked the city attorney to work on it. The city worked on it internally last winter, but has not contacted the owner."

On Wednesday, May 14, Richmond made a temporary agreement to add the owners to its current liability insurance policy. This temporary fix should allow time to work out a permanent easement for public access to trails on their land within the next year.
Watch a video of this dramatic rescue:

On May 14, a dramatic river rescue took place involving a state police helicopter landing on a small boulder in the river in order to pick up an injured person for transport. This took place about 100 feet downriver from the Powhite Parkway Bridge. All indications are that the injured person jumped from the bridge. The airlift from the middle of the James River was captured on video by CBS 6 News from the Powhite Parkway. Officials said the victim's injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.
Tubing Trips Saturdays through July
Matthew Mason, Volunteer Coordinator for the James River Park System, will be leading tubing trips from Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek on Saturdays through the end of July. Cost is $5 per person which covers vest and tube. Meet up is 2:00 pm at Reedy Creek Park Headquarters, 4001 Riverside Drive but you must register with Matt in advance.  >> [email protected]

Community Conversation June 5
Gather with Ralph White, former JRPS Manager, and Rick Tatnall of Replenish Richmond at 7 pm on the Sugar Pad to discuss future opportunities and possibilities for the Intermediate Terminal, including the city transferring the property to the James River Park System. The address is 3101 Wharf Street. Bring a portable chair.

Whitewater Kayaking: Play Days June 11 & June 25 

Informal, after-work instructional time for newer whitewater kayakers who wish to get time on the water. Sessions will be held at Pony Pasture Rapids, 6-8:30 pm with no down river runs. All equipment is provided. See the Chesterfield County Summer Recreation Guide >> 


Environmental Films June 14
The City of Richmond Public Library is hosting a viewing of locally produced films focusing on the James River, its wildlife and human interaction. Co-sponsored by RVA EFF and RPL, this event is from 2 to 4:00 pm in the Main Library at 101 East Main St. >>


Candles on the Canal June 21 
Ralph White and the Friends will continue a summer solstice tradition of lighting candles on the canal at the Turning Basin, starting at 9:00 pm. As is the custom, lighting a candle and setting it afloat on Summer Solstice will set your concerns free as they float away in flickering candlelight.
James River Storytelling June 24
Chesterfield County Public Library and the James River Advisory Council sponsor a free educational storytelling hour for ages 7 and younger. Chester Library, 11800 Centre St., 10:30 am. Author will be available for signing books after the program.

Catfish Workshops at Pony Pasture July 22 & 31

Join DGIF Angling Education and Captain Mike Ostrander for a day of instruction and fishing on the James River at Pony Pasture in Richmond. >> Workshop schedules 

Monthly Volunteer Days on vacation until fall

Three hardy FoJRP board members, two Boy Scouts and their dad, and staffer Matt Mason spent the morning of May 10 at Ancarrow's Landing collecting trash and painting a bridge. They all tried to work quietly in order not to disturb the many fishermen and women along the banks! Due to the park's busy summer season, these volunteer Saturdays will go on hiatus until the fall, although the Friends encourage all river lovers to pick up trash any time they visit the JRPS.

T-SHIRT WEATHER IS HERE. Be comfortable while you show your support!
Your green keeps us green!
  • Become a member 
  • Make a donation 
  • Get a park license plate 
  • Buy a T-shirt
  • Purchase a pamphlet
  • Contribute to the Preservation & Protection Fund 

Our Mission
The Friends of James River Park is an all volunteer 501(c)(3) organization created by a dedicated group of citizens in 1999. Our mission is to provide an ongoing source of citizen support for the conservation, enhancement, and enjoyment of the 550-acre James River Park System and its natural and historic environments.