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Friends of
the James River Park
September - In This Issue:
September 17 and 18 


The Amazing Raise is a 36-hour online giving challenge hosted by The Community Foundation. This 36-hour fundraising push gives nonprofits like FoJRP the chance to encourage support of our work and the opportunity to win incentive prizes ranging from $500 to $15,000!


This year the Raise begins on September 17 at 6 a.m. and ends on September 18 at 6 p.m. Please support us in our efforts to provide an improved park experience for all.  


For a fun opportunity to donate, please join FoJRP board members, volunteers and park staff at Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream on Forest Hill Ave., Wednesday, 9/17, from 5 to 8 p.m. We'll enjoy happy hour, environmental films, good company and a chance to win great door prizes!





Earlier this spring Friends, along with JROC, funded the purchase of visitor counters to be placed in various park entrances in order to confirm what we all know -- JRPS is the most visited place in Richmond!


July's park visitors numbers total over 150,000 even though the North Bank counter was inactive for 4 days. Belle Isle (north and south entrances) and Pony Pasture are the clear favorites among the seven tracked locations.


The park will continue to supplement the counters with visitor surveys. Information gathered will be used to gain a greater understand of park use. According to Nathan Burrell, the information will serve a number of purposes. "We can build the case for why we might need more staff or extra equipment and more parking, but... we can also use these numbers to come up with an economic impact of the park on the city," Burrells said.  


This late-summer event returns on Sunday, September 14


Looking for a fun way to support a project within the JRPS? Then don't miss the upcoming Tubes and Taps! Enjoy a relaxing float down the James, followed by an enjoyable evening of food, suds and music at Crossroads. Plan to bring your own water to stay hydrated during the float (please no glass or alcohol in the park), and make sure to eat before the float begins as this is an hours-long event. All you need to know to attend is listed below.

  1. A pre-registration party/T-shirt pick-up, starting at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13, at Crossroads on Forest Hill Ave, will showcase some of the beers from New Belgium, Foothills, and Legend breweries. Music too!
  2. $40 tickets include the tube, transportation between Crossroads and the river, and food.
  3. Participants arrive at Crossroads at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, the 14th.
  4. The tube ride lasts 2-1/2 to 4 hours, depending on river conditions.
  5. Return to Crossroads for food, music, and the 3 breweries' tap takeover. (Note that beer isn't included in the ticket price.)
Event profits will fund additional park counters with one being placed at the Pump House.

And remember, the river can be a dangerous place. Please no drinking alcoholic beverages before or during the float portion of this event. We want all participants to have a fun, safe day on the river!



Maplets offline map app (cost $2.99) makes it easy to navigate your favorite place -- JRPS -- with a GPS-enabled map. This service lets you download and store a JRPS map on your device, then locate and orient yourself without internet access. Added to that is the ability to annotate any map by adding your own notes -- place a pin at a point of interest, or draw a path for route planning.


The app works on the iPads, iPhones and Androids, making it easy to grab a map and add information on your trip to your favorite park.

PHOTO CREDIT: Alexa Welch Edlund, Richmond Times Dispatch


Graffiti is vandalism. It is a crime. It is not harmless and it is costly to remove.


Staff and volunteers spend hours painting over graffiti on the boulders and concrete structures in the JRPS. 


Please support our efforts to preserve the natural and wild state of the park and leave your paint at home.



For those who don't know, Mayo Island is a privately owned 13.9-acre island right in the middle of the James River at 14th St. It offers magnificent views of the downtown skyline, as well as a commanding 360° view of the river. This unique property can be yours if you can come up with nearly $10 million. And while the property does sit in the 100-year flood zone, promoters don't believe that fact should be a barrier to redevelopment.

What is the best use for this land? Making it part of the James River Park System has been floated at Richmond's Riverfront planning meetings. Adding it to the park definitely has our vote; the question is how? Click here to download a PDF of the sale sheet:

A Northern Water Snake. It's illegal to kill a snake in Virginia unless it poses a safety threat.

The Northern Water Snake is seen swimming in the James River or basking on banks, rocks, logs, stumps or other objects next to water. When disturbed it dives into the water and swims away from the threat. While not venomous, it will bite if cornered or captured, usually not hesitating to defend itself.


The Northern Water Snake can grow up to 4 feet in total length.These snakes have dark crossbands on their necks and dark stripes and blotches on the rest of their bodies. This coloring often leads novices to misidentify them as cottonmouths or copperheads.


If you see any snake, the best action is to leave it alone and move away. It's illegal to kill a snake in Virginia unless it poses a safety threat. Illegally killing a snake is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail.


Sunday, September 7 | Byrd Park and The Carillon Walking Tour

Join Richmond History Tours from 2 to 4 p.m. for a walking tour of historic Byrd Park. A trained master guide will enable participants to experience familiar aspects of the park in a new way. The tour highlights Dogwood Dell, The Carillon, Arts in the Park, Shields Lake, the Pump House and the adjacent Carillon neighborhood. Meet at the Christopher Columbus statue at the southern end of the Boulevard. $15 per person or $5 for The Valentine History Center members and children under 12. Walk-ups welcome. Cash or check, or purchase online at


Monday, September 8 | Full Moon Series at the Sugar Pad

This will be the second in a series of events focused on transforming the Sugar Pad into a public asset. Set to coincide with the sunset and moon-rise each month, the series will provide a monthly entertainment venue. The September event is a Celebration of Cycling. Random prizes will be awarded. Intermediate Terminal, 3101 Wharf St. 7 to 10 p.m. Contact Rick Tatnall at Replenish Richmond at [email protected] or


Saturday, September 13 | 15th Annual James River Regional Cleanup

Join the FoJRP and JRAC from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. as we clean up the James River watershed. Volunteers collect hundreds of bags of trash and recyclable materials. To register go to and choose the location of your choice. Richmond locations include Reedy Creek and Pony Pasture. Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m. and refreshments will be provided between noon & 1 p.m.


Saturday, September 13 | Life at the Falls: 17th Century Richmond Walking Tour

Learn about the failed English settlements at "the Falls," the development of trading posts along the river, and the bloody clashes that marked the seventeenth-century landscape. Meet in front of St. John's Church in Church Hill, 2401 E. Broad St., 9:30 a.m.-12 noon. Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring your own water and your receipt. Cost $10 per person, pre-registration required via Paypal, calling 804-222-8595, or emailing [email protected].


Sunday, September 14 | 6th Shockoe-on-the-Half Shell

Shockoe On-the-Half-Shell is a celebration of oysters. Join some of Richmond's most loved seafood chefs for an amazing array of delicious oyster foods and other local dishes. The festival also features cold beverages and live local music. The event is free to attend, and food and beverages are available for purchase.12-5 p.m., 17th Street Farmers' Market.


Friday, September 19, 6:00 p.m. through Saturday, September 20, 9:00 a.m. | Family Camp-Out: Creatures of the James

Take an evening hike through Maymont in search of native nocturnal creatures, make s'mores and enjoy stories around the campfire. Following a night in your tent on grounds, enjoy a continental breakfast and take a morning hike. Ages 4 and older; one adult must register for every four children. Register online ( by September 17. Fees apply. For more information, visit or call 804-358-7166, ext. 324.


Saturday, September 27 | James River Loop 8-Miler

This classic trail run starts and finishes on the grounds of Maymont and ventures onto the Buttermilk and North Bank trails as they loop through the James River Park System. Be prepared to run on rocks and roots, through mud and sand, and over the natural obstacles on these single-track trails. Please note: This is not an event for walkers. Maymont, 1700 Hampton St.. 6 a.m.-9 a.m. Must be at least 9 years old to participate in the 8-mile trail run. Fee for event participants is required. See Maymont X-Country Festival at 

Monthly Volunteer Days

Our monthly volunteer day will return soon from summer vacation. In September we will join with JRAC for the 15th Annual James River Regional Cleanup on Saturday, the 13th, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. We invite you to be a part of this tremendous regional effort!


Signing up is easy: select one of the JRPS locations (Pony Pasture or Reedy Creek) and register. Please join us as we work to make the park a better experience for all.


For a list of official James River Regional Cleanup sites and to register go to:  

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.