It has been nearly one year since the tragic accident at Bosher’s Dam that took the lives of two young women and refocused the community’s efforts on river safety. In that time Friends of the James River Park has been hard at work supporting several initiatives aimed at reducing accidents and spreading information about how people can keep themselves safe. Today, we are excited to announce two recently completed projects that will help improve safety in and around the James River Park System.
The first project is the replacement of the Tredegar St. boat ramp. This project removed and rebuilt a dilapidated boat ramp that had long served as one of the main launch points for the Richmond Fire Department’s swift water rescue team. Now that this project is complete rescue boats can be launched without the risk of damage, and recreational boaters have a better way to access the river at Tredegar St.
Your donated dollars counted for $20,000 of the $50,000 this project cost to complete. We are grateful to our partners at the City of Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation for making this project a priority and covering the remainder of the costs. Friends of the James River Park was an important catalyst in getting this project started, and that would not have been possible without the support of our donors.
The second new initiative I want to share with you is our new “River Safety Essentials” infographic and handout. This handy guide offers a checklist of things to remember before heading out for a day on the James. Our intent is to get this tool in front of as many eyes as possible and to build an educational curriculum around it that can hopefully be taught in schools as part of the existing drowning prevention efforts.
These river safety essentials were put together by our friends at RVA Paddlesports. They consulted with other river safety advocates and James River Park System educators to ensure the instructions would be easy to understand. Friends of the James River Park activated our graphic design partnership with Rocket Pop Media to complete the design, and we were able to use some of our river safety budget to print handouts. This project is another great example of the role Friends of the James River Park plays in making group efforts like this a reality.
If you would like copies of this handout to distribute at your business, to your students, or through your community organization please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will figure out a way to get them to you.
Thank you all for your support of our work this year. We still have one or two more surprises before the end of the fiscal year that we hope to share with you. None of this work would be possible without your continued support. If you have not made a gift yet this year, or if this work inspires you to get involved today, please visit us at jamesriverpark.org/donate.
See you in the Park.