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

We just finished our first Amazing Raise and the results are impressive --- $2,275 in donations were received during the 36-hour event. This money will be used to support our work with the JRPS. We want to express our thanks to all the folks who supported us during the Raise.

Congratulations to the winners of the door prizes (a climbing pass from Peak Experiences, two rafting trips from Riverside Outfitters, and five tubing trips lead by JRPS staff) at our Amazing Raise Happy Hour.

And we want to extend a special thanks to Will Herring of Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream for his generous sponsorship of our Amazing Raise Happy Hour. Will went above and beyond to support our fundraising efforts!
Andrew was on-hand at the September cleanup.

Join us as we welcome Richmond native Andrew Alli to the JRPS staff as a provisional Maintenance Technician.

Andrew grew up visiting local parks and developed a particular appreciation for the James River Park System. After he received a Bachelors in Environmental Studies from VCU he worked with Backyard Farmer, a small company that focuses on designing and  building sustainable food garden systems for schools, community centers, and private homes. Andrew was primarily responsible for the food garden programming and maintenance at a number of Richmond and Chesterfield public elementary schools. During this time, he also worked at the Fulton Hill community center as a Student Garden Teacher in its afterschool program.

Eager for a career outdoors, he gained a position at Powhatan State Park as a Trades Technician. This August he began working with the JRPS. His duties include maintaining and developing all aspects of the park infrastructure. He is excited to be a part of the park's team and to support the growth of the park and its community.
Phil Dawson, President, FoJRP, with packaged-up trash he collected at Texas Beach on a recent Sunday morning.

One of the more amazing things we see in the park is when folks pack up their trash, then thoughtlessly leave it behind. Nice, I guess, you're packing up your trash so someone else can more easily carry it out. Litter is litter -- contained or not; it all causes the same problems downstream. If you have the physical ability to carry in a full 12-pack (by the way, alcohol is not permitted in the park), carry the empties out. They're lighter, after all. Respect the Park.

And we want to say thank you to all of you who are responsible and who take out everything you bring in to the park.
A safety reminder to our park visitors

When you are accessing the river from within James River Park from North Bank Park to Pump House Park, you should use designated access points. If not, you are trespassing on CSX property and could be arrested or injured by an oncoming train.
New book revolutionizes how we think about water

In his new book Blue Mind, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water. He combines neuroscience with personal stories from top athletes, leading scientists, military veterans, and gifted artists, showing how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success. Blue Mind not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water; it also provides a paradigm-shifting "blueprint" for a better life when we experience this connection.

Are we surprised? No. While most of the supporters of JRPS might not understand the science behind this aquatic relationship, deep inside we intuit how contact with water allows us to release our inner selves. The real question is: Can a deepened understanding of this brain science be applied for enhanced protection of oceans, rivers, streams, and aquifers?

Local climber Michael Greeby has produced a guide to climbing the Manchester Wall and pillars.

One of the more unique aspects of the JRPS is the Manchester Climbing Wall. Although most climbers would not consider it a destination, for many it is the nearest outdoor climbing venue and an invaluable training tool. This climbing area, under the Manchester Bridge in downtown Richmond, is a series of abandoned train trestles that have been equipped with bolts and shutts. Here climbers can hone their skills of leading, both trad and sport, rappelling, and self-rescue. Climbers and non-climbers alike will enjoy a visit to this uncommon section of the JRPS.

NOTE: there is currently con
struction work being done under the Manchester Bridge which might create parking issues.

In September, Friends joined with JRAC for the 15th Annual James River Regional Cleanup. On Saturday the 13th, 342 folks showed up and spent their morning working to spiff-up the park. Their efforts generated the removal of 95 bags of trash and 142 bags of recyclables. Attendees also spread six loads of mulch, brushed on 15 gallons of paint and uprooted two large piles of
invasive English ivy. Thanks to all who participated in this tremendous regional effort!

Recreational Tree Climbing | October 18

If you've ever enjoyed climbing in trees, here's your chance to really go up! Utilizing specialized tree-climbing equipment, the staff of Riverside Outfitters will assist you as you ascend into the canopies.
Ages: open to 8 years old and up, 8-13 must be accompanied by an adult. $19.00, 10:00 am to noon, JRPS Pony Pasture, 7310 Riverside Dr. »<clickid=09_99234522_38684ae3-6da1-4614-9724-d7162fbbc63c<cmp=194590

Mountain Bike Clinic | October 18
Join Endorphin Fitness coaches for a mountain bike clinic to benefit RA-MORE. This clinic will teach basic and advanced mountain bike skills. Since riders will divide into several different ability groups, this is a great opportunity for anyone from a first-time rider to an advanced racer. This clinic will take place in Forest Hill Park from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and costs $30. Coaches are volunteering their time to help the community enjoy cycling AND to support non-profit RA-MORE! »

Virginia Boating Safety Education Classroom Course | October 20

All operators of personal watercraft and motorboats with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater in Virginia are required to complete a Boating Safety Education Course and to carry a boating safety education course completion card on board when operating a PWC or motorboat. This course is recommended for motivated students 12 years and older who want to learn more about the fundamentals of safe and responsible boating. Free. Registration required. REI, 2020 Old Brick Rd., Glen Allen. 5:30 to 8:30 pm. REI, »

What's Out There Weekend | October 25
Nathan Burrell, James River Park Superintendent, guides a free tour of the post-industrial parkland integrated with the James River to form the Brown's Island section of JRPS. This section bears the remnants of historic heavy industry, which utilized the whitewater rapids at the river's fall line. Meet: Brown's Island Way & Tredegar St. parking lot, 470 Tredegar St., tour from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Space is limited. Registration required. »

Arbor Day RVA | October 25
Join Richmond Tree Stewards for classes, tree walks, and fun during RVA Arbor Day. Meet at the Stone House area of Forest Hill Park on Saturday. For details see:

3rd Day of the Dead Festival | October 30
Enjoy native Mexican food along with live performances from traditional Aztec musicians and dancers. Learn about time-honored traditions connected with this beloved Mexican holiday, including Ofrendas, beautiful private altars built to honor deceased family and friends. The event is free. Food and beverages are available for purchase. 17th Street Farmers' Market, noon to 5:00 pm. More at:

October Volunteer Day

Reedy Creek HQ, 2301 Riverside Dr.

Saturday, October 18, 9:00 am until 1:00 pm.

Come and help us maintain the amazing Butterfly-Bug Garden that was planted a few years back at Park HQ. We will be spreading mulch and compost, weeding and planting, and tamping down crush stone on the paths.


This fall we have initiated a new sign-up procedure -- partnering with HandsOn Richmond to reach a larger audience. Sign up and join us for this event. Register at:


 See you in the garden!

LEARN ABOUT THE PARK Purchase one -- or more -- of Ralph White's informative pamphlets!
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 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 550-acre James River Park System and its natural and historic environments.