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Friends of the
James River Park
March 2016 - In This Issue:
overveiw of new park location
photo credit: Richard MacDonald

February brought great news for Central Virginia nature lovers. The non-profit Trust for Public Land has purchased a one-mile strip along the James River in Chesterfield County, as well as another section to the west of I-95. The trust will convey these parcels to the county, which will create the James River Conservation Area, also making it a part of the James River Trail. Recreation options are in the works and will likely include hiking, biking, fishing, historical interpretation, and a boat landing. Read more:
Thursday, March 3, 7 p.m.

Speaking of the riverfront, you very likely will be interested in attending a forum at the Virginia War Memorial Auditorium, 601 S. Belvidere St. Hargreaves Associates will present an overview of the original Riverfront Plan recommendations for the area surrounding the former Lehigh cement plant-demolished several months now--and observations on proposed improvements to the greater East Riverfront Area. Since the aim is for the public to identify ways to make this vision a reality, the rest of the meeting will be open to questions and comments from the attendees.

The Friends encourage park lovers to attend this meeting and to press the city planning department, Mayor Jones and the city council to make sure funding is in place to complete the Dam Walk project as promised to the community.
Currently this project is not funded in the FY17 budget.
This means connecting the project to Manchester via 7th street and to create the missing link to connect to Belle Isle has been moved to the back burner! Let's raise our collective voice and let City Council know we want this project funded as promised or it might be forgotten.
paddling the James
photo credit: Elli Morris/Chesterfield Parks and Recreation

Whether you want to hike, paddle, tour state parks, fish or ride trails on your mountain bike, the parks and recreation departments in Central Virginia are ready to provide you with instruction and opportunities. Chesterfield County has the most options, but Richmond and both Hanover and Henrico counties offer programs for children and adults. Tee Clarkson gives an overview here:
egg mass
photo credit: Chris French

If the term "vernal pools" is new to you, they are pools of water in the woods or grasslands that appear in the late winter or spring but usually dry up as the summer heat progresses. Because they are ephemeral, they usually contain no fish, which means that amphibians and insects can deposit their eggs there with less fear of predation. Vernal pools do appear within parts of the James River Park System; please be careful and do not step on egg masses inside them!


If you are on Facebook, consider liking the page Vernal Pools VA to see some great photographs of what some of our state's pools are harboring now. The Reptiles Alive! LLC Facebook page also has a great video about wood frogs and vernal pools. Check it out!


FOJRP Volunteer Event | Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m.-noon
Volunteers will be removing mimosa trees, an invasive species, and clearing vistas at Riverside Meadow on Riverside Drive. They will also be doing a cleanup on Riverside Dr. Please park in the Pony Pasture parking lot, 7310 Riverside Dr., Richmond 23225. Bring gloves if you have them. Please register on

JROC Volunteer Event | Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. until noon
Participants will be replacing the decking on the floor of the Pony Pasture bathroom bridge. Please bring gloves if you have them. 7310 Riverside Dr., Richmond 23225.

Privet Removal on Belle Isle | Thursdays through March 31, 9 a.m.-12 noon
Meet Louise Seals and other volunteers (most from Tree Stewards) in the Belle Isle/Tredegar parking lot in time to leave for the island at 9 a.m. Bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes to keep your feet dry. There will be loppers and saws to lend. Louise's cell phone: 804-389-8798. This effort is a part of the great invasive species removal project ongoing in the JRPS.

Easement Inspections | March and April
Plan to join Friends volunteers for the annual easement inspections. We will be walking the park sections included within the Conservation Easement to ensure there are no violations.
Check the park's global calendar ( for times and locations, then e-mail Friends ([email protected]) for meet-up information.  


Your green keeps us green!


Summer is coming and with it T-shirt weather! Step out in style while you show your support of the JRPS! T-shirts, along with other items that support the park, can be found at

Urban Wildlife with a Side of Salamanders Talk | Wednesday, March 9, 7 p.m. 
Anne Wright, Director of VCU Rice Rivers Center Outreach Education, will discuss the game camera project in the James River Park System as well as vernal pools both there and elsewhere. Monthly meeting of the Sierra Club-Falls of the James Group. Jepson Alumni Center, 49 Crenshaw Way, Richmond, 23173. Free.

The Woods in Your Backyard | Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Register by March 9 for this workshop on how to create and enhance natural areas around your home. $20 per person or $30 per couple, lunch included.
Call 410-267-5732, visit or email [email protected]. VCU Rice Rivers Center, 3701 John Tyler Memorial Highway, Charles City.

Desserts and Discussion: Prothontary Warblers | Thursday, March 24, 7-8:30 p.m.
Dr. Lesley Bulluck, of VCU Biology, will be discussing a study where she and her team investigated the impacts of different types of prey on nestling growth and how algal bloom toxins can be transported through the food chain to riparian organisms like the warbler. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation will provide coffee, tea, and cocoa; bring a dessert to share if you can. CBF Office, 1108 E. Main, 2nd floor, Richmond 23219. Contact Blair Blanchette for more information: [email protected]. Free.
Closed for maintenance
Belle Isle: The bridge on the south side of the island will be closed for repairs/replacement Monday through Friday until May 1. The bridge will be open on weekends during this period from 6:00 p.m. Fridays until 7:00 a.m. Mondays. Belle Isle can be accessed via the north side
suspension bridge at Tredegar St
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
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.