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Life Jackets Save Lives!

A Friendly, timely, and important reminder that if the James River Level is 5' or above, life jackets are required. The level of our beloved James reflects the amount of rain received here (duh!), but also areas west of Richmond. So, river rises can sneak up on us all! Whatever happens west of here eventually comes our way. So, don't forget to check river levels and always grab a life jacket if you plan on boating or swimming in the river!

Here's proof: NBC Channel 12 news coverage of 4 people rescued from the James at the Z dam.

Read on, Below for How to Check River Levels with Your Smart Phone
And, note that the River's z-dam is a very dangerous area -- always.

Forum on Dogs in the Park ~ July 9
Tuckahoe Library from 6:30 - 8:30 PM

FoJRP Members who wish to attend the forum should arrive, to register, by 6:15 PM. The Dog Forum will be held on July 9 at the Tuckahoe Library. Many JRPS visitors are concerned about canine management issues in the JRPS and, in particular, the Pony Pasture / Wetlands areas. This includes dog lovers and those not so keen on our K-9 friends. Here's your opportunity to be heard and help problem-solve! Small groups will respond to prompts provided by an expert group facilitator. Woof! Remember that the forum is open to only members of FoJRP -- and it's closed to members of the news media. Sit. Stay. The ultimate outcome of the Dog Forum, which will end promptly at 8:30 PM, will be recommendations regarding dogs-in-the-park presented to JRPS Superintendent Nathan Burrell. Tail wags. Also, a summary of park visitors' (547 two-legged visitors) attitudes, will be presented. These data were collected by VCU summer service learning students working under direction of a Psychology Department faculty member.

Looking Back

Summer Solstice Celebration ~ June 21~Turning Basin
A large group welcomed in Richmond's summer with lit candles set afloat in the early evening breeze. Though many candles blew out quickly, don't despair, word has it that every candle dimmed represented a new wish that was granted.

Firefly Foray ~ June 28~JRPS Wetlands
The monsoon rains of Southeast Asia begin in mid-May and June ... and so it was that they appeared on Richmond's southside, too! That didn't keep over 30 fantastically fervent firefly fans from showing up. Mud and darkness deterred some, but about half of these brave and intrepid explorers followed Ralph White all the way to the banks of the James. They finished watching the bugs about 11PM. Bravo, folks, bravo!

Sunday in the Park ~ June 30~Forest Hill Park
Many Friends of the river and of lovely Forest Hill Park met and enjoyed music and merriment on this summer Sunday afternoon in Forest Hill Park.

A Nice Thank You
This was sent to FoJRP Board Members Myrna Hartley and Betsy Slade after the Chesapeake Bay/James River Park Clean up in June:

On behalf of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), I extend our sincere
appreciation for your leadership at this year's first ever Clean the Bay Day for the James River Park System. It was wonderful to meet you and the dedicated volunteers of the Friends of the James River Park. We are especially thankful for your generous donation of lunch for the hungry volunteers sorting recyclables at the end of the event!

Ann F. Jennings
CBF Virginia Executive Director

Looking Ahead

Progress at Texas Beach

stairs at texas beach

If you take a walk down to Texas beach these days (and we sure hope you will!) you'll see these beautiful, brand new stairs. Thanks to Ward Prescott and other volunteers we have this great new walkway! This is Ward's Eagle Scout project which FoJRP helped finance and some of you helped build!

MoonLight Paddle~July 20 8:45 pm~Huguenot Flatwater
(if it's not raining, and the river is below 5 feet)

You'll recognize this guest writer's flair! Join our resident river guru, Ralph White, for another unforgettable summer 2013 river experience. Ralph says:

"There is no better time to experience the sensuousness of the James. The water is warm, the air is humid, the night air is in the high 80s. The moonlight strips all the color from the scene and everything looks like a picture on a black and white TV from a half a century ago. Since actual full moon isn't until Monday, the nearly full moon will be well up by darkness. When you float in the river in your life jacket, as I hope we do, and you close your eyes, its hard to tell when your hands are in or out of the water ... and small fish will find refuge in your loose shirt or baggie shorts. If you come earlier, say 7:30, you may be able to paddle up into the sunset. An almost psychedelic experience when compared to the grays of your return.

You will need to bring your own kayak or canoe. (Riverside Outfitters can rent you one at a reduced evening rate and may provide delivery and pick up if you notify them in advance). Bring a headlight. Insect repellent. Lifejacket. Something to drink besides the river -- ice tea is great. (no glass / no alcohol in the parking lot).

This is not really a good time to take your first boat trip. You really should have had experience paddling some where else several times. If you are a male/female team, the rule is that the person in the bow always gives the orders. (Note that there is no whitewater, and the current is very slow, but we will probably bump into some submerged rocks now and then and you'll need to be able to back up, go cross-current, and find new channels occasionally. There is no fee for this river excursion. However, if you want to make a donation to FOJRP please do so."

And, we all say: Please note that this excursion is not sponsored or managed by any person or organization -- this is simply a group of like-minded people enjoying the river. You are doing this on your own.

Remember ...

If you see something out of the ordinary in the Park, you may report it (and we hope you will) at this non-emergency police number: 804-646-5100

Reportable things include problems in the park system (of natural or human origin) -- graffiti, large amounts of trash, trees down across main trails, fires of any sort, really unruly behavior, etc.

Pick Up The Poop/Don't Pollute

Pick up the dookies~Don't pollute and Keep in mind the Park leash law for your K9 companion!

See you in the Park!

Friends of James River Park
PO 4453
Richmond, Virginia 23220