RVA Summer in review

The Friends hope you enjoyed your RVA summer even though actual river access was limited. We had some amazingly high water levels this summer, keeping kayakers and paddle boarders in bliss, but wreaking some havoc on the trails -- unless you like your trails extra muddy!

As FoJRP holds its annual retreat, we look back at our year and the projects our organization identified and supported. These are some of our accomplishments. Many ideas developed with help from members like you!

James River Clean up on September 14

This clean up was so enthusiastically supported that registration was closed weeks before. Thanks to those of you who participated. Go RVA!

friends cleaning up the park

Check River Levels with Your Smart Phone

No more going down to the river with a tape measure ... or calling in to the old-fashioned phone number for river levels. FOJRP member David Roop created a free smart phone app that provides information on river levels and water temperature (so you don't even have to stick your toe in first).

Available on both Android and Apple.

Nice David!

Stairs at Texas Beach

Progress at Texas Beach

stairs at texas beach

If you know this Park site, you know what a steep drop off it is to the river. Thanks to Ward Prescott's eagle scout project, FoJRP and many volunteers who have put two stair cases in place (word has it there are more to come)!

Hey -- What About that Dog Forum, and the Dog Survey?

Results have been compiled into two reports and passed along to Park Superintendent, Nathan Burrell. Nathan intends to set up a formal meeting with City officials, including the Director of Richmond Animal Care and Control. Patience is the word, folks. We collected views from many individuals at the Dog Forum, and VCU Psychology students interviewed a total of 547 JRPS visitors. More info will be forthcoming after Nathan has his meeting. (So, for now, it's sit and stay.)

So, FoJRP, What Have You Done for Me Lately?
We Are So Glad You Asked!
  • Paid for new and improved kiosks like the one at Tredegar
  • Added historic granite boulders to Pony Pasture
  • Pumped up license plate sales, which have generated over $7000 for the Park (Hope you have yours.)
  • Updated Park maps showing Williams Island as part of the Park (Yay)!
  • Painted the roadside box at Reedy Creek entrance a more fitting and lovely shade of green
  • Kept our eye on Skansak and their promise to landscape underneath the new Huguenot Bridge
  • Made improvements to Great Shiplock Park and Chapel Island (Watch for official opening on Oct. 21.)
  • Helped make Tubes and Taps quite the success on August 30th
  • Worked with VCU's Dr. Karen Kester and other bug enthusiasts to restore our bug garden at the Visitor's Center at the Reedy Creek site
  • Teamed with Department of Public Utilities and Department of Parks and Rec to ensure the stability of our spotted salamander pool and, in the process, discovered ferry shrimp in our vernal pools!
  • Organized the Forum on Dogs in the Park on July 9
  • Partnered with VCU Psychology to survey JRPS visitors regarding dog management issues in the Park
  • Coordinated Park staff and groups of volunteers to do clean ups, invasive species removals, painting, mulching, flower-planting and other projects in the Park
  • Walked the entire easement area (phew!) to insure the ongoing integrity of the Conservation Easement
  • Celebrated the changing of Park command with proper pomp and circumstance
  • Maintained Facebook postings and updated website (check us daily)
  • Lobbied for greater police presence in the Park
  • Added 25 new members/membership generated $6000 for the Park
FoJRP t-shirts

online at www.jamesriverpark.org or at Taza Coffee in Westover Hills!

Our snazzy t-shirts have been getting rave reviews from stylish river buffs. Buy yours today. We hear they're the warmest t-shirt around, just so perfect for Fall!

Coming Up

New/Old Park Trails Manager
Michael Burton has been around as Park staff for a while, but now he is officially our JRPS Trails Manager. Congratulations Michael and the Department of Parks & Recreation for another excellent hire!

FoJRP's Stance on the Tredegar Amphitheater

This letter was sent to appropriate officials.

Dear Fellow Lovers of the James River,

I am writing today to support the building of an amphitheater that enhances our art community and preserves our unique history.

The Friends of the James River Park, whose mission is to preserve the natural beauty and integrity of the James River Park in Richmond, feel that preserving the historic water route around the fall line is an integral part of promoting the park system by connecting the Pump House with its historic past. The James River Park System is one of the main reasons Richmond has reached national prominence as a river town and is experiencing a renaissance of art, outdoor activity, and annual festivals. Without the park, this would not have been possible.

The Pump House is part of that history and attraction. An amphitheater that preserves the canal would amplify our art community, help preserve the Folk Festival, and Richmond's unique history. The concept of a natural amphitheater, people drawn to Richmond to see national acts, while an active and vibrant canal system transporting people to parts of the park, the Pump House, and other Richmond attractions is, frankly, amazing.

Build the amphitheater, but build it responsibly. Give Richmond the potential to reach even further into our history and share it with the country.

Philip Dawson
President, Friends of the James River Park

Science in the Park
Watch for geo tours to be launched in the next few weeks.

Pump House Tours
Interested in spending some time at Richmond's Iconic Pump House? This is the Pump House -- not Short Pump. Uh, much better! Tours are given by volunteer Lyn Lanier on most Saturdays, 10-4 p.m. (weather permitting) April - October. Special tours or small group gatherings can be arranged by contacting Lyn. (804-230-0298).

Pick Up The Poop/Don't Pollute

Pick up the dookies~Don't pollute and Keep in mind the Park leash law for your K9 companion!

Remember ...

If the James River Level is 5' or above, life jackets are required. The level of the river is affected by rain that falls west of Richmond, and in Richmond proper, which eventually flows our way. Don't forget to wear a life jacket if you plan on boating or swimming in the river!

If you see something out of the ordinary in the Park, you may report it (and we hope you will) at this non-emergency police number: 804-646-5100

Reportable things include problems in the park system (of natural or human origin) -- graffiti, large amounts of trash, trees down across main trails, fires of any sort, really unruly behavior, etc.

See you in the Park!
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Friends of James River Park
PO 4453
Richmond, Virginia 23220