A friend of ours lives in London. She recently posted a picture of Piccadilly Circus. It’s kind of like London’s “Times Square”. The streets were empty. We’ve seen similar sights in New York City, Los Angeles, and indeed here in downtown Richmond.

But one place that hasn’t been abandoned is the James River Park System! As people took comfort and took to the trails for exercise in the Park, our visitor count for 2020 exceeded two million!

That’s a lot of love.

You hopefully started your 2021 with a First Day Hike (or a Day Two- or Three hike!). While our current forecast says that we may see snow by weeks end, it IS Richmond in the Winter, so you never know when we’ll get our next taste of mild, Spring-like weather.

And the Park will be ready.

Fixing pathways

Volunteers re-establishing slate pathways and placing split rail fencing along sensitive areas.

Throughout the pandemic, and with an eye towards our Master Plan, the staff at the Park have worked with hundreds of volunteers to improve trails, remove invasive plants, and generally improve the amenities and access points in the Park. This work continues today, and will certainly ramp up in the Spring.

So, what can you do to show your love for the James River Park?

  • It’s because of your love of the Park that we’ve become one of the premier urban parks in North America. Our visitors are also our eyes and ears, and are often the first to tell us of a tree blocking a trail, a troublesome litter spot, or something that simply doesn’t belong. And most of our Park users are courteous enough to do a bit of litter collecting during their visit.
  • In addition to organized hikes and educational events, our calendar is also filled with opportunities for you to get involved with the improvements to the Park.
  • Join Us. Whether it’s a one-time donation or becoming a Friend, your financial support allows us to do things that are outside of government budgets.
  • Start at Home. If you live in Richmond, you’re directly linked to the James River. What you do around your home – recycling, planting natives, creating habitats – contributes to the overall health of the James River, and by extension, the Park. The James River Association has a great program to turn your house into a River Hero Home. It’s easy.

Arial James River ViewWe may still be in the grips of COVID, but 2021 is a new year. There have been glimmers of hope over the past few weeks. Rest assured, when we’re given the “All Clear” we’ll be ready to host an amazing party.

But what you do daily can show your love for the James River Park System.

  • Landscape photos from Dave Parrish Photography