Hello, Friends of the James River Park!

I hope many of you are taking the chance to get outside with your family and friends over these next few days. Thanksgiving is an important time for reflecting on the things that we are grateful for. As an organization, we are grateful to all of our supporters for helping us take such good care of our Park.

With your help, we have been able to take some big steps toward our JRPS Master Plan goals. Since I began working with Friends in July we have been able to secure grants that will help us build an outdoor classroom, replace the interpretive signage on Belle Isle, conduct invasive plant removal, and plant more native plants in the Park.

You were also essential to the effort to get more funding for parks and green spaces as part of the Mayor’s American Rescue Plan Act spending. First, you responded to the City’s survey in such great numbers that 50% of the allocated funds were set aside for park-related projects throughout the city. Later, that plan passed unanimously through City Council because so many of you let your elected officials know that you saw the value in making such a big investment in parks. This work could not have been done without you and we are proud to have been a part of this process.

We are excited about the City’s renewed commitment to parks! The JRPS Master Plan items that will be completed as part of this historic plan include the James River Branch Trail, The Crooked Branch Bridge (part of the Reedy Creek Greenway), and a new Texas Beach access tower. Work on these projects will be completed over the next 5 years or so.

Josh Stutz, Executive Director

Josh Stutz, Executive Director

We have many big projects on the horizon that will improve our Park. One of the highlights will be our signature event, the Wood River Run. This 5k memorial run will take place at Pony Pasture on April 23rd, 2022, and will honor the memory of Christian Wood, a young kayaker who lost his life on the river in 2018. Funds raised through this event will support JRPS improvement projects and provide scholarships to send kids to Passages Adventure Camp.

We hope that you will continue to be a part of the work that we do as we enter the new year in just a few weeks. If you would like to find out more about how you can support our work you can visit that section of our website by clicking here. You can also contact me directly at [email protected].

Thank you, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.