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Friends of the
James River Park
September 2015 - In This Issue:
amazing raise 2015 THE AMAZING RAISE
It's time to mark your calendar for the Community Foundation's Amazing Raise, an 18-hour fundraising opportunity for the Friends of the James River Park. We are asking all members and friends to consider making a $50 donation to FoJRP through the Amazing Raise website between 6:00 a.m. on September 16 and 6:00 p.m. on September 17. Every contribution made to the Friends will make us eligible to win additional cash to help us continue our support of the park. 
You know you've been missing the sonorous tones of Ralph White's voice, long an accompaniment to many a visit to the JRPS. And you know that our river is full of rocks, big beautiful rocks. If you want to know more about those big, beautiful rocks and you want to be there amidst those big, beautiful rocks, you can now take a cell phone tour around Belle Isle--and, big bonus, listen to Ralph White tell you what you're looking at in the process. Read more:
The JRPS's new environmental educator grew up surfing in Virginia Beach and came to Richmond in 2007 to attend VCU, where he earned a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies. Living in Richmond meant that his passion for the ocean transitioned to passion for the river. While finishing his degree, he worked for the VCU Outdoor Adventure program, leading many fun outdoor excursions. After graduating, he interned with the Blue Sky Fund, where he realized the value and joy of introducing children to nature. He has worked on projects with VCU and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on prothonotary warblers and snapping turtles and spent the last two summers as a raft and paddleboard guide here on the James. He is excited to explore this opportunity to share his passion for the outdoors with as many people as possible.
Not every mayor's press conference includes a wrecking ball, but on August 12 Mayor Jones's update on the riverfront plan had major percussive accompaniment as the Lehigh Cement silos started coming down, clearing the way to finish connecting the Virginia Capital Trail. In addition, Jones announced that work on the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge--the pedestrian/bike bridge connecting Brown's Island to Manchester--is underway. Read more in two articles: and
The hot weather lingers and the water's still warm. If you've been yearning for a chance to spend hours floating (and possibly bounding) on the river, Phil Riggan has put together a great guide to all things tubing. Read this before you set out:
Introducing a non-native species into an ecosystem usually doesn't end well, which is why there's now an experiment going on to try to "thin the herd" of blue catfish, which since the 1970s had been busily eliminating other species in the James River, not to mention in the Chesapeake Bay. Waterman George Trice has had a special license now for 2 years to electrofish this species in a venture that is part commercial--you can eat these catfish fillets--and scientific. VCU scientists, among others, are monitoring what happens as the numbers of these big blues drop. Read more here:
Style Weekly has an important advisory for pet owners, given that this summer is probably going to be one of the worst algae seasons recently. Please keep your dogs out of stagnant water. "Blue-green algae is a form of cyano-bacteria which has the potential to produce liver toxins and neurotoxins," per the VA Department of Health. Nathan Burrell suggests being cautious "on the back side of Belle Isle, near the 21st Street entrance, where you'll see pools of water."

To read more:
Community Improvement Blitz | Friday & Saturday, September 11 & 12
A partnership of Keep Virginia Beautiful and four other entities to prepare for the 2015 UCI Road World Championship bicycle race. Needed: both volunteer and financial support for necessary tools and supplies. To donate: Register to volunteer at HandsOn Greater Richmond ( or with the City of Richmond.
James River Regional Cleanup | Saturday, September 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sponsored by JRAC, this annual event is open to individuals, families, groups, boaters and paddlers! Bring water, gloves and wear closed-toe shoes. Registrants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to sign the liability form. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m.; cleanup begins at 9; lunch is served from noon to 1:00 p.m. Advance registration here: 
Our War on the Meadow | September 9, 7 p.m.
J. Christopher Ludwig, Chief Biologist of the VA Department of Conservation and Recreation, will address the decline of meadow-dependent species, such as monarch butterflies and Bobwhite quail. Hosted by the Sierra Club at the UR Jepson Alumni Center, 49 Crenshaw Way, Richmond 23221. Free milkweed seeds with germinating and growing instructions.

Volunteers as Chesapeake Stewards | Sept. 15-Nov. 10, 6-8:30 p.m.
Eight evening classes at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and two field trips cover water quality and stewardship. Participants then give at least 40 hours of Bay-related service. $35/individual or $50/couple. Apply by September 7: B. [email protected] or call Blair, 804 780 1392.
Sturgeon Tours on the James River | Sept. 10, 17, 24, 5-7:30 p.m.
Capt. Mike Ostrander and Dr. Matt Balazik, sturgeon researcher, lead tours of this amazing and ancient species aboard a covered pontoon boat. Snacks and drinks provided. $55. For tickets:
JRPS Adventure Recreation Program for September
FREE: As Richmond welcomes the world for the 2015 UCI World Cycling championships, James River Park invites both visitors and residents to learn about all the adventures here in the park. We'll offer daily tours and classes so that everyone can get a taste of urban wilderness adventure. Courses will run Tuesday-Friday for the month of September. Please note that the race week schedule is slightly different! Registration is required. For questions concerning the JRPS Adventure Recreation Program or to register, contact Penelope Davenport at [email protected].
sept 2015 activity chart  
 sept 2015 race week activity chart Trail Running
Explore the Main Area of James River Park when the warm weather's at its best: early in the morning. All fitness and ability levels are welcome for these conversation-paced trail runs.

Salamander Salutations: 
Do something good for yourself. Do something good for the park that you love. Learn some new stretches, bask in the sun, make new friends, and pick up a few pieces of trash. We're calling this young-adult event "salamander salutations" as a nod to the sun salutations that inspire us, and as tribute to the Friends' mascot, the spotted salamander that inhabits James River Park. 
Twilight Rock Climb: 
Geared toward young adults and the young at heart, these evenings provide top-rope climbing routes, basic instruction, and all the equipment you need in a relaxed and social atmosphere.
Frog's Eye Tour: 
Come snorkel, swim, and giggle in the water as we learn about the James River Park at the level of all our water friends. Please bring water, snacks and dress to be in the river. Sneakers or other closed-toe shoes are required.
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.