Check out the RVA Osprey Cam!
Friends of the James River Park has partnered with Richmond Outside to present RVAOspreyCam.com! The camera, placed above the nest near the Manchester Bridge, provides a live action view of the activity in Richmond's favorite osprey couple's nest.
Currently there are three eggs (two laid around March 20, the third a couple of days later) and we expect the chicks to hatch mid-April. Activity on the nest is being viewed worldwide so join us as we cheer the home team!
Keep a watch for events surrounding the celebrated chicks' hatching!
Two professors from VCU have recently completed an economic impact study of the James River Park System that details its positive impact for the river city. Funded by the Friends, the study focuses on two factors -- property values and tourism -- and reveals that, among other things, every dollar in the park budget returns over $60 in visitor spending.
Voting ends April 30, 2017!
The National Recreation and Park Association is providing grants to 16 communities to improve local parks through projects that connect kids to nature, inspire kids and families to live healthier lifestyles, and increase kids' access to sports through the Meet Me at the Park initiative.
Help the City of Richmond win a grant by voting at meetmeatthepark.org.
Share on social media #MeetMeAtThePark
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.
Save the Date -- June 10, 2017
This year the Friends of the James River Park will host its annual Member Picnic on Saturday, June, 10! Members should save the date and plan to attend for an evening of fried chicken, folk music, and fun with the Friends!
Not a member? You can join now online or you can join at the picnic!
Ancarrow wildflower photographs delight, inform
Newton Ancarrow, a Richmond boatbuilder, environmentalist, and James River Park advocate, took thousands of wildflower photos in the 60s and 70s. Now these beautiful images, documenting more than 400 species, are available digitally through the efforts of the VCU Library in conjunction with the VCU RICE Rivers Center and Lewis Ginter Botannical Gardens. Visit the Science in the Park's plants page to find out more.
T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge update
The south entrance to the T. Tyler Potterfield Bridge is currently closed. The ramp is undergoing repaving to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The grade of the slope of the prior ramp was too steep for compliance. The entrance will reopen soon and be more accessible and inviting to everyone!
FOJRP Volunteer Event | April 15, 9am to noon
Join The Friends of the James River Park as we undertake a trash cleanup to the entrance of the Flood Wall Walk and the southern entrance of the new T. Pot pedestrian bridge. With increased foot traffic in the area, trash has become more prevalent. Please wear closed toe shoes and clothes you do not mind getting dirty. Trash grabbers, gloves and bags will be provided. Please bring water and a snack. Parking is limited, carpooling is encouraged!
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.