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Friends of the James River Park
May 2014 - In This Issue:


FoJRP member Hudson Hoen kindly shared with us an interesting article, "Salamander's Hefty Role in the Forest." The NY Times article states that salamanders are the "white hats of the forest, eating insect larvae, adult beetles and springtails." Their immense appetite helps reduce leaf litter retention which prevents the carbon in the leaves from being released into the atmosphere.

The article highlights a study in the journal Ecosphere entitled "Salamanders Play a Significant Role in the Global Carbon Cycle." Of course, we already knew our spotted mascot benefited the Park!
FoJRP Annual Picnic June 7


Meet and greet fellow river lovers at one of the city's premiere historic sites! The Friends annual picnic will be held at the Pump House on Saturday, June 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. This event includes the presentation of the 2014 River Hero(es) award which recognizes those who have worked to make the James River a better place for both people and wildlife.
Please bring a side dish and a portable chair; the Friends will provide beverages and chicken. Join us at this beautiful location but be aware there is quite a stairway to negotiate to enter the ballroom. Oh and remember, no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Park.

Fifteen CSX cars carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire along the James River near downtown Lynchburg on Wednesday, April 30. Three of the cars fell into the river, spilling an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 gallons of the crude.


According to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, checks along the James show no signs of serious environmental problems from the oil spill.


Richmond Times Dispatch photos
by Paula Mays.
The assessment of Pat Calvert, who monitors the James River's ecology for the nonprofit James River Assn., shows there is a possibility of long-term damage. In a recent press release he stated: "We remain concerned over impacts to the river from the spill, particularly on migratory shad and herring during their spawning season because their populations are already dangerously low." The press release continued, "Some impacts may not be evident until later in the year when season monitoring is conducted."


Fortunately, the JRA plans to continue monitoring the river downstream of the spill in the coming months to determine if there are any effects from the spill. JRA reports are available on-line at 



The Friends of the James River Park wish to express their profound sympathies for the loss of Tyler Potterfield. Tyler was a scholar, a constant advocate for our city, a champion of our river and a friend to the entire community. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and the many others who knew and respected him.
During June, America's Great Outdoors Month, we celebrate the land entrusted to us and resolve to pass it on safely to future generations by promoting outdoor recreation, protecting our landscapes, and connecting the next generation to this natural treasure. This nation-wide event started in 1998 as Great Outdoors Week and expanded to Great Outdoors Month in 2004. We encourage you to take part by enjoying our shared resources, whether by exercising or by participating in volunteer programs. Check our FB page for a listing of events in the Richmond area. 
BELL Helmets is giving away $100,000 to build 3 dream trail projects!

The RVA project, called the Richmond Regional Ride Center and sponsored by the Virginia Area Trail Association, will rehabilitate 15 miles of existing mountain bike trails and construct an additional 20 miles of trail. The goal is to incorporate approximately 15 miles of stacked-loop singletrack and an additional 5 miles of flow trail which will focus on a progression of difficulty.


The project will also focus on improving the existing trails on-site in order to diversify the trails and improve the overall depth of experience within the system. In addition to these singletrack trails, the project seeks to develop a new gateway trail with two loops suitable for novices, children, handcycles, and bicycles pulling child-trailers.


Please place your vote for the Richmond Region, one vote per email address. Right now the New York region is ahead of us in the voting!  


Voting ends May 18, 2014. Please go to and vote for RICHMOND REGIONAL RIDE CENTER today! 


DamNation May 22

The James River Outdoor Coalition (JROC) presents the premiere of the movie DamNation on Thursday, May 22, at 9 p.m. at the Manchester Floodwall Park, 3 Hull Street, Richmond 23224. "This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers." Suggested donation is $5. It's a fabulous place to watch a film!


Dominion Riverrock May 16-18

This family-friendly event includes booths providing both information and hands-on activities. Bringing athletes, spectators, musicians and even dogs to Brown's Island, Riverrock is the East Coast's premier outdoor lifestyle festival. >> 


FoJRP Annual Picnic June 7

Join the Friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. as we host our riverfront community at the iconic Pumphouse. Enjoy food, music, and the company of fellow river lovers and celebrate the award for the 2014 River Hero(es). 


26th Clean the Bay Day June 7
Clean the Bay Day is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's annual stream and shoreline clean-up, during which citizen volunteers remove litter and debris from Virginia's creeks, streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay. People from all over the Commonwealth work by land and boat to give the Bay a massive spring cleaning. >>


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 p.m. 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.

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
Eleven volunteers attended April's clean-up at the Wetlands. They removed invasive species and planted both bluebells and jack-in-the-pulpits to aid in our crusade to return native species to the Park, while warding off the interminable ivy growth.

Join in the clean-up fun on May 10 at Ancarrow's Landing, 2000 Branders St. Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., volunteers will be painting and picking up litter. This will be our last clean-up until the fall, as park staff is stretched thin during the busy summer months when it cannot provide support for this event. >> Sign up at 
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT! Purchase one of Ralph White's informative pamphlets from our web site.
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
Friends of The 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 James River Park System and its natural and historic environments.