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Friends Announces Lead Gift for Park Master Plan
The Board of Directors of the FOJRP is pleased to announce it has made a $50,000 lead gift in support of the development of a long-range James River Park Master Plan. The total cost of the plan will be $250,000 and it will be developed in partnership with the consulting firms of VHB and Hargreaves once funding has been secured. The group is seeking gifts averaging $25,000 – $50,000 to support this effort.
Today the James River Park System is seen as a crown jewel of the region. The Richmond Tourism Corporation uses the river to attract tourists. The Chamber of Commerce uses the James River Park to help attract young people to the workforce, and the Park has won numerous awards. Additionally, the James River is counted as one of the eight regional priorities of the Capital Regional Collaborative.
The Park is expected to be used by at least 2 million visitors in 2018, far more than any other Park in the region. According to Park Superintendent Nathan Burrell development of this plan is a major priority for the Park. “Continued increases in visitation, limited ability for development due to easements; difficulty in obtaining funding for ongoing maintenance, infrastructure enhancements and improvements; wildlife preservation efforts; and better access to all areas of the Park predicate the need for a Master Plan.”
The master planning process will be an inclusive one with many public and neighborhood meetings over 9 – 12 months, resulting in a shared vision of what we all want our Park to be. This plan will also incorporate the work of other planning documents, building on successes and resulting in efficiencies and cost savings. The FOJRP and the City Of Richmond’s Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department will use this document as a road map to work with all vested individuals, public and private organizations to implement this long-term community vision. The development of a park master plan is supported by many organizations, including the JRA, JRAC, JROC, James River Hikers, RVAMore, the Falls of the James Scenic River Advisory Committee, Virginia Capital Trail Foundation and the James River Working group of the Capital Regional Collaborative.
According to Katherine Mitchell, FOJRP Vice President and Chair of the FOJRP Master Planning Committee, “We, along with our supporting partners, believe this master plan is an essential tool needed to protect one of the region’s most valuable assets, maintain the quality of the user experience, and provide access for all. The JRPS is a unifying force for our region, bringing together residents of all ages, ethnicity and socio-economic circumstance. The Richmond region clearly has a vested interest in protecting the James River Park.”
You can support the Park plan by becoming a member of the FOJRP. Members will enjoy special updates on the plan, the river, and an invitation to the FOJRP picnic held every June – the only party held at the Pumphouse. Any questions can be directed to Katherine Mitchell at [email protected] or 804-920-5912.