Due to the outlook for afternoon rain, Task Force volunteers will begin setting up by 11 a.m. We expect the goats of Bright Hope Farm to be on site by 10 a.m. Feel free to come by early for a better chance of staying dry!
Join the JRPS Invasive Species Task Force to celebrate awareness week, starting with an all afternoon kick-off at Pony Pasture on Saturday, February 25. Members will answer questions about the task force's work in the park and talk about identifying invasive species, removal techniques and the importance of native plants in maintaining a local ecosystem.
1 and 1:30 pm: Two guided walks
Cultural History of Pony Pasture and Plant ID, natives and invasives; join us for both!
2-4 pm: Free A Tree
Volunteer opportunity to remove Enghish ivy, winter creeper and privet; tools provided. Please register with Hands On Richmond.
1-5pm: RVA Goats Demonstration
Watch these hungry hard-working munchers in action!
Other volunteer opportunities have been scheduled through March 3. Check out the Invasive Species Task Force calendar.
Hardworking Friends in 2016
Your financial support and volunteers' time made a big difference in the JRPS in 2016. First among the many accomplishments of 2016 is the establishment of the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force, which provides a strategic, long-term solution to the park's most pernicious challenge. Under the leadership of JRPS manager Nathan Burrell and with the support of Friends of the James River Park, and working with the consulting firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., we began the work, which produced a plan for invasive management and restoration ecology in the park.
This plan is informed by a data-driven baseline study that will guide control of invasive plant species. Friends, along with over a dozen other partner organizations, now share the Task Force's devotion to the health of our park system.
To learn more and participate in this effort visit the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force website.
Other Friends accomplishments in 2016 include:
- Development of a strategic plan
- Redefined the FOJRP's Mission Statement
- Created a Global Calendar for FOJRP website
- Provided direct financial support to the park of approximately $43,000
- Applied for and and received the Virginia Forestry Grant of $6,762 for planting of native species within the park
- Organized monthly park clean-ups to engage our members and improve the park
- Met our initial funding goal for the Protection and Preservation Fund of $100,000
- Welcomed six new Board Members
- Began new Board Member orientations
- Established a new committee -- the Advocacy Committee, to create a stronger voice for our organization and the park with City Hall and beyond
- Hosted the annual Ralph White River Heroes event, members' picnic and solstice celebration
These accomplishments, along with your volunteer and financial support, enabled FOJRP to support JRPS staff as they work to meet the demands of the record 1,404,903 park visitors and 2,738 program participants in 2016. If you aren't a member of FOJRP, please consider joining in 2017. Or plan to participate in any of the many volunteer events held throughout the year.
Annual Conservation Easement Inspections are here
In conjunction with the Capital Region Land Conservancy, the Friends are undertaking their annual duty to inspect each parcel of the James River Park System subject to a conservation easement.
We have divided the duty up by parcel and are inviting volunteers to assist to ensure no new pervious service or illegal structures have been implemented in the Park that would violate the conservation easement.
FrogWatch looking for citizen scientists
FrogWatch USA is a nationwide program which relies on volunteers to monitor frog activity, then provide data about the health of our amphibian population.
JRPS is currently looking for volunteers to provide this data for the Wetlands Park. The four hours of training includes information on the FrogWatch Program, an introduction to the site and information on how to monitor and identify the calls of our local frogs.
Training sessions are:
- Evenings: February 22 and March 1 from 6:00--8:00 p.m.
- Saturday: March 4, 10:00 a.m.--2:30 p.m.
For more information or to register, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 804-921-8166.
JRPS staff is repairing trails in the Wetlands and Pony Pasture. The improvements include grading, laying stone and gravel, and compacting these materials to create the ideal trail surface. Work should continue through February, weather depending. This effort is estimated to cost $30,000. We appreciate Park staff efforts to continuously improve the park!
New Grant for the Manchester Climbing Wall
The Richmond Chapter of the American Alpine Club recently awarded a $7,000 grant to repair and improve the Manchester Climbing Wall and surroundings. Volunteers from the Club as well as JROC will carry out the improvements, which will include rebolting walls, replacing wooden benches, refurbishing gravel pathways and providing a new information kiosk. The work will be done in February and March.
Friends Conducts First Cleanup at T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge
A big thank you to the 32 volunteers who came out to the South side of the new T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge to remove invasive Trees of Heaven and trash from this newly refurbished area of the Park.
FOJRP Committee Help Needed
Much of the work of the FOJRP, including, for instance, this newsletter, occurs behind the scenes in our committees. Our current committees include: Finance, Communications, Events, Membership, Advocacy, Fundraising, and a new ad hoc committee to assist with creating a master plan for the park. Our committees are staffed by Board Members, but are open to all FOJRP members and we encourage anyone with interest and/or expertise to reach out to email@example.com if you'd like to assist a committee.
We are also looking for someone to write this newsletter. If you re interested in volunteering to provide the copy for this monthly e-news please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
RVA Clean Sweep | Multiple days and times
This meet-up group is devoted to cleaning throughout the city in an effort to improve the quality of the James River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. Please go to meetup.com/RVA-Clean-Sweep for an opportunity that suits you.
Have you seen the mobile-friendly James River Park calendar?
The events below are pulled from the global calendar. Many JRPS-friendly organizations are posting their events to this calendar. Check it out!
JRPS license plates, matching gifts and AmazonSmile -- money for the park
James River Park license plates have now generated over $7,000 for the park! To order yours, check out the DMV Specialty License Plate section!
Bike helmets to support the park
I am RVA is a non-profit organization dedicated to bike safety. The Friends of the James River Park organization is one of four 2016 recipients of a percentage of the sales of their Giro-manufactured bike helmets.
To buy a helmet and/or learn more about this group, visit iamrva.com.
UPDATE: I Am RVA Donates $1,100 to the Friends
Thank you to I Am RVA for your support of the Friends of the James River Park! On January 27, 2017 I Am RVA awarded multiple organizations the proceeds from the 2016 sale of their iconic I Am RVA silver bicycle helmets. In addition to the Friends, awards were made to Greater Richmond SCAN, Sportable, and the Brain Institute of Virginia, in accordance with the group's mission "to foster enthusiasm for bicycling in Richmond by encouraging a sense of community, promoting safety among riders and drivers, and creating pride in the city."
If you're making a donation to the FOJRP, consider asking your employer to match your gift. Many local businesses are happy to support Richmond's wonderful park system. All gifts and bequests are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law, and donors will receive a letter acknowledging their contributions; contributors to the Protection and Preservation Fund are also acknowledged on the FOJRP website.
FOJRP registered with AmazonSmile
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support FOJRP. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you'll find the exact same shopping experience you get on Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate .5% of eligible purchases to an organization you select.
Simply go to smile.amazon.com, and on your first visit you will be prompted to select a charity. Select Friends of the James River Park, then shop!
Watch it! Check out these Science in the Park videos.
T-shirts and pamphlets for sale!
Our snazzy t-shirts and FOJRP interpretive pamphlets are available to purchase online. Order yours today!
Keep the park safe
If you see something out of the ordinary in the James River Park, please report it using the non-emergency police number:
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, unruly behavior, etc.
If it is an emergency situation, please dial 911.
Message from the Richmond Police Department on Summer Safety in the JRPS
Do you Bicycle in the Park?
Did you know that pedestrians have the right of way on ALL trails in the Park, except those marked Bicycles Only? Please be courteous when passing walkers; if you have a bell, use it or call out, "on your left" or "on your right". It's common courtesy and will prevent those enjoying the Park from being forced off the trails. This is also critical behavior for Park Visitors tending their kids or their dogs.
Stay on the Trails Please!
With so many bikers, joggers, hikers and dog walkers in the park, the trails get a lot of use. Winter freeze and spring rains make them vulnerable to erosion and long-term damage. When there are puddles on your route it can be tempting to go around them. Realize that, by widening the path, you are adding to trail erosion and destruction of vegetation ... creating problems.
The trails are maintained by park staff and volunteers who work to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation and the need to maintain healthy ecosystems. Become aware how your use impacts the park and TREAD LIGHTLY!
Protection and Preservation Fund
A special thank you to all who donate to our long-term fund. See our growing list.
Canine Friends of the Park
Probably some of the biggest fans of the park system are the dogs that walk the trails -- and they would want to keep the park clean too!
Read why it's important to pick up the poop and don't pollute! Catch up on other Canine news as well.