Nathan Burrell named new park manager
The Friends of James River Park are happy and proud to have our home-grown Nathan Burrell become the new park manager. Ralph White's shoes are hard to fill, but we can't think of a better fit. Nathan has been with us for years now, tirelessly improving the park, keeping it clean, and coming up with new ideas for expansion and betterment. We're just happy that all that hard work has enabled him to succeed Ralph and continue making Richmond the best river town in the USA.
Chapel Island ready to explore
Chapel Island, which is city property and accessible from the Great Shiplock Park section of the James River Park System and adjacent to the Capital to Capital Bicycle Trail, adds so much to Richmond's robust urban park system.
FOJRP is proud to be part of a project that has opened river access of what is now an underused area to underserved communities. River access at Chapel Island offers health benefits, wildlife viewing opportunities, fishing, walking, paddling, and other environmentally friendly activities to a wider community.
That happy feeling? It comes naturally!
We always suspected it, and now there's proof: Parks, gardens and green space in urban areas can improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people living there, says a University of Exeter study. The study found that individuals reported less mental distress and higher life satisfaction when they were living in greener areas. Just one more reason to support the park, and to get out there and enjoy it! Read the article.
Pick up the Poop and Don't Pollute!
It's unpleasant, it's squishy ... but it takes just a few seconds to do the right thing and clean up the poop! City of Richmond billboards went up last October to encourage pet owners to pick up and dispose of their dogs' waste, and the Friends are huge supporters of this campaign. To further the effort, park visitors will see signs advising owners to pick up pet waste and in many locations they will find bag stations available.
Not yet convinced it's worth the time and effort? Here are a few good reasons to pick up after Fido:
- It's the law -- by ordinance a pet owner can be fined $250 for not removing waste from public and private property.
- According to the city, an average sized dropping of dog waste can cause over three billion coliform bacteria that can come in the form of Salmonella.
- When dog waste and runoff ends up in the James River, it ends up in our drinking water. Our drinking water comes from the James River!
- Parkways that are free of pet waste make for a more pleasant experience for all visitors.
Please help us keep the James River Park System and our James River clean. Pick up the poop and don't pollute!
James River Park Conservation Easement
Each year the Friends, along with other river partners, inspect the James River Park Conservation Easement. Our 2013 outing, always held in the winter so we can have an especially clear view, was successful!
The James River Park Conservation Easement is a legal agreement that protects areas of James River Park from being developed or sold. With the Richmond area's current rate of growth, areas of wilderness within the city limits are becoming more and more scarce. The Conservation Easement ensures us that James River Park land is protected FOREVER, so that future generations may enjoy the park as we do today.
Accolades, memories as Ralph White, JRPS Park Manager, retires
UPDATE: At our March Board Meeting, Ralph White was unanimously awarded a Lifetime Membership to the Friends of the James River Park. We look forward to Ralph continuing to serve and influence the James River Park System through our organization.
Celebration of Ralph's retirement hosted by FOJRP and JROC at Southampton Community Center (photos by Rich Young)
Beloved Park Manager, Ralph White retired in January 2013. After all Ralph has done for the JRPS and the city, it will be impossible to fill his shoes (and kneesocks!), but it's been gratifying to see the outpouring of gratitude and affection from river lovers of every stripe. It is no hyperbole to say that Ralph and his work in the JRPS has improved and enriched the lives of millions of people, and will continue to. Pretty cool. We're so thankful to be among those who know and love him.
Read local articles about Ralph's retirement:
- Ralph White leads final tour along James River, Richmond Times Dispatch, Dec. 22, 2012
- Outdoors: Ralph White leaving trail of legacy, Richmond Times Dispatch, Dec. 9, 2012
- "Bruised and Bloody," Ralph White to retire, Style Magazine, Dec. 6, 2012
- James River Park Manager to Retire, Richmond.com, Dec. 6 2012
RVA Best River Town!
Thanks in part to the thousands of Richmonders who voted, posted photos and waxed poetic about our wonderful river city, readers of the magazine will learn much about what makes our city great.
- Read Outside Magazine's press release.
- Check out the Outside article.
- Head down to the river to celebrate!
JRPS license plates are available at DMV
James River Park license plates are now making money! We've surpassed the 1,000 plate plateau and all proceeds for plates from now on will earn money for the park.
To order yours, check out the DMV Specialty License Plate section!
Spring at the park
These bleeding hearts were planted by FoJRP volunteers!
Order t-shirts online!
Our snazzy t-shirts have been getting rave reviews from stylish river buffs. Snag one today.
Memberships are also available online on our Be a Friend page. Thanks, as always, for your support!
Protection and Preservation Fund
A special thank you to all who donate to our long-term fund. See our growing list.
Spanish translation on site
Amigos del Rio offers Spanish-speaking and park-loving web visitors an overview of the Friends and useful information on two hot spots -- Belle Isle and Pony Pasture. And thanks to the help of VCU's CreateAThon, you'll see park signs in Spanish and may hear public service announcements in Spanish as well.
Our favorite line and sign: Take Pride. Éste es tu río.