Celebrate a River Hero! River Hero logo

Each year, the Friends of the James River Park acknowledge and honor individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to James River Park.

The award is now called the Ralph White River Hero Award in honor of former Park Manager Ralph White — one of the 2014 River Hero Award recipients.

Past recipient’s wide-ranging efforts included volunteer work, educational efforts, preservation, and promotional activities that encourage responsible use of the Park.

The nomination period has now closed, but it is now time to buy tickets to the award ceremony.

The award ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, on the 15th floor of the Troutman Sanders Building, overlooking the James River (1001 Haxall Point, Richmond 23219). Heavy hors d'oeuvres and beverages will be served.

If you wish to attend, please fill out this form (PDF) and send your check for $35 per ticket by April 30 to Friends of the James River Park, P.O. Box 4453, 23220. (Please note we'll keep a list rather than sending out paper tickets.)


Science in the Park News

Our urban wildlife are now on Facebook! facebook

flyerMollusc Lecture on May 5, 2016!

Science in the Park is pleased to present -- Molluscs (snails, slugs, clams, oysters, squid, octopi, and their relatives): Their role in Art, Economics, Fashion, History, Literature, Music, Pop Culture, and more...

Read more on the Science in the Park section.


Tackling invasive plants in the JRPS

JRPS Invasive Plant Task ForceFriends has taken the lead by sponsoring the development of the James River Park System Invasive Species Management Plan. Phase one is to survey and record the type and location of invasive plant species to determine the relative abundance of these plants throughout the park. Phase two is to remove the invasives. The Friends are primarily responsible for the Reedy Creek/Main Area of the park.

New website!

Learn more about the plan, the JRPS Invasive Plant Task Force and how you can help on the new task force website.


Audio Tours Feature Ralph White

audio-tour iconScience in the Park audio tours

Explore the secrets of the James River Parks' unique geology with new smart phone audio tours. Former James River Park Manager Emeritus Ralph White narrates these guided tours, which were produced by Anne Wright for Science In The Park and developed by sound artist Vaughn Whitney Garland. Follow along on your mobile device, guided by live mapping. Read the Times Dispatch article about the tours, and check them out yourself:

headphone icon Take the North Bank Tour or the South Bank Tour.

More audio tours now available!

Ralph WhiteThree more tours are now available to park lovers. You’ll hear about what you are seeing, how it got there, and some of the reasons why the JRPS is special and worth preserving!

  • The Ecology of the River and Shoreline: A Sound History for the Trails of The Pony Pasture
  • Indians To Industry: A Sound History For Belle Isle
  • A Sound History For The Manchester Flood Wall

The above three tours were written and narrated by Ralph White and produced and developed by Vaughn Whitney Garland with financial support from The Friends of the James River Park.

headphone icon Listen to any of the tours listed above at righthereonce.org


Park Improvements

Riverfront Plan update

A number of organizations have signed off on a letter to the city of Richmond to urge that additional funds be included in the next budget to implement parts of the riverfront plan, including the completion of the southern end access to the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, as well as components of the plan around the Intermediate Terminal.

Closed for maintenance

Belle Isle: The bridge on the southside of the island will be closed for repairs/replacement Monday through Friday from February 15 until May 1. The bridge will be open on weekends during this period from 6:00 p.m. Fridays until 7:00 a.m. Mondays. Belle Isle can be accessed via the north side suspension bridge at Tredegar St.

Manchester Climbing Wall temporary closing update

The stair access from the base to the top of the Manchester Climbing wall will be closed starting early November 2015 due to construction. Access to the climbing walls will remain open but only from the bottom of the wall and eastern side for access. Fencing will be put up to at the top of the stairs to block access.


Volunteer Opportunities

FOJRP Volunteer Event | Saturday, April 16, 9am to noon

Volunteers will be doing a cleanup on the 22nd St. dry rocks as well as painting over graffiti. Please park along the street on either 21st or 22nd and meet at the 21st St. entrance across from 2000 Riverside Drive. Closed-toe shoes are a must! Bring gloves if you have them. Register in advance at Handsonrva.org (coming soon)

JROC Volunteer Event | Saturday, April 16, 9am until ...

Participants will meet at the Reedy Creek parking lot to work on re-graveling the trail to the river access and fixing the fence to allow for rafts and similarly sized boats to make it through the fence during hours when the gate is closed.

Easement Inspections | March and April

Plan to join Friends volunteers for the annual easement inspection. We will be walking the park sections included within the Conservation Easement to ensure there are no violations. Check the Park's global calendar for times and locations then e-mail Friends (friends@jamesriverpark.org) for meet-up information.

Any Saturday Meetup

Almost any Saturday you have free time, you can help keep the James River watershed clean by going to www.meetup.com/RVA-Clean-Sweep and finding a location that needs your strong back and warm heart.


In Around and For the James River Park

Have you seen the new 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!

$ x 2Matching gifts

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.

amazonsmileFOJRP 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!

more news and events »

Today in the Park

Current weather, water conditions, trails info, activities ...

Closed for maintenance

Belle Isle south bridge: The bridge on the southside of the island will be closed for repairs/ replacement until May 1, 2016. The bridge will be open on weekends during this period from 6 p.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Monday. Belle Isle can be accessed via the north side suspension bridge at Tredegar St.

Map it! Plan your park visit.

Map It!

Listen and Learn! Tune in to our audio tours. headphone icon

Listen and learn with out audio tours

Watch it! Check out these Science in the Park videos.

Otters in the James River Park from Friends of James River Park on Vimeo.

T-shirts and pamphlets for sale!

shopping cartOur 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:

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, 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.

James River Park Protection and Preservation Fund

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!

Please Pick Up After Your Pet

Read why it's important to pick up the poop and don't pollute! Catch up on other Canine news as well.


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