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FOJRP Chosen for Create-a-Thon!

FOJRP's proposal to improve our outreach to Hispanic and Latino park visitors was chosen to be a part of VCU's spring Create-a-Thon! We will be the beneficiary of an intense program run through VCU's esteemed BrandCenter that will put the creative brains of students to work on non-profits' quandaries. We look forward to seeing what the collaboration will produce and we'll keep you posted.

The James River and the Capital Region Collaboration

If you haven't had a chance to participate in this group's work -- a cooperative effort among partners from the Richmond Region's local government, business and community organizations -- now's the time. You can read up on this initiative about our region's future and take a survey. The James River keeps coming up as something residents care very much about, so please make sure your thoughts are heard.

FOJRP secures 501c3 nonprofit status

The Friends of James River Park (FOJRP) received notification September 15, 2010 that our 501c3 application was approved by the IRS retroactive to when we filed for it in 2008! We are now an independent, charitable organization, apart from the nonprofit Enrichmond Foundation (formerly Richmond Parks and Rec Foundation), under whose umbrella nonprofit status we had operated since our inception in 1999.

Operating under the foundation was the right thing to do for the early years of our existence as the foundation's administrative support has brought us and many a fledgling friends group along. But once Friends of James River Park had grown and prospered, it was time to become independent. FOJRP member Jamie Canup did yeoman's legal work pro bono for FOJRP to get us to this point, and we are eternally grateful for it. Outgoing officers Charles Price, George Wickham, Mary Helen Sullivan, and Gay Leahy deserve lots of credit, too.

Our stand-alone 501c3 status will streamline our bookkeeping, make it less confusing for members and those giving donations, allow us to use PayPal on our web site, and free us to apply for grants to help us maintain, preserve, and protect our beloved James River Park System. Contributions to FOJRP have always been tax-deductible, and they will continue to be so.

Thanks so much to John and Bucci Zeugner, Karen Townsend, Noel McKenzie, and all the Enrichmond Foundaton board members for their hard work and support over the years. We've left the nest, but we'll see them around the woods.

Friends dined at Pescados China Street

pescados china streetWe had a great crowd at Pescados China Street on Monday, March 14, 2011. Thanks to all who visited, as 15% of all the day's sales will be donated to the Friends of James River Park. We don't have totals yet, but we do know that everyone enjoyed a delicious meal. Reports are that the avacado tart is better than chocolate!

The menu at Pescados is fresh, creative and incredibly tasty...and for fish-phobes, there are plenty of carnivorous or vegetarian alternatives. The next time you stop by Pescados, thank them for their generosity.

The Boathouse at Rockett's Landing's Tasteful Generosity

In 2011 and 2012 The Boathouse at Rockett's donated to the Friends of James River Park from the sales of the Watershed Special featured on their menu.

The Boathouse donated 20% of sales of those specials to the FoJRP -- over $4,000 by the end of the campaign. Thank you for your partnership!

March Ivy Attacks on Buttermilk Trail: Trees Nod Approval

Ivy swingingThrough the month of March 2011, Friends Volunteer Coordinator, Elaine Marolla and the James River Park’s Andrew Mondak have led several groups of wonderful volunteers to pull back the invasive English Ivy from old growth and newer trees bordering the Buttermilk Trail near the Reedy Creek Headquarters. If interested, please contact Elaine Marolla, ElaineMarolla@yahoo.com to join in and check Facebook for updates.

HandsOn Richmond at the Pumphouse Park

More than 30 volunteers came out to Pumphouse Park on Saturday, October 16, 2010 to clear brush that had taken over the old and original James River Canal. It was a beautiful day and FOJRP so appreciates the good cheer and hard work of everyone who signed up through Hands On Greater Richmond.

Showing of Andy Goldsworthy Rivers and Tides

Thanks to all who joined us on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011 to watch Rivers and Tides, a stunning documentary about the natural, often kinetic, sculptures of Andy Goldsworthy. We had a nice, lively crowd at Capital Ale House -- about 50 folks braved the cold for this awesome screening.

Partners Helping the Park

Halycon Vintage Clothing and Deep Groove Records, both Fan businesses that are fans of the James River Park System, gave generous donations recently, which we so appreciate. A percentage of proceeds at recent rummage sales at both businesses net the Friends $250 from each business. Both storeowners remarked how happy people were knowing the money was going to help the James River Park. Thanks so much to everyone who participated and to Halcyon and Deep Groove for thinking of FOJRP.

Our friends at Riverside Outfitters are consistently great stewards of the park, showing residents and visitors alike how to enjoy the water and woods in RVA. Recently they showed FOJRP how much they care about the JRPS when they donated more than $1,000 to us! We are so appreciative. Partners like RO make Richmond and the James River Park System a more vibrant place to be.

Finally, The Boathouse at Rockett's Landing Watershed Special continues to benefit FOJRP. We've received more than $3,000 from the only restaurant in town that overlooks the James River (and part of the JRPS) since this great promotion started in the summer, and we sure are grateful for it!

Invasive species removal help

VCU’s Green Unity, an environmentally conscious student group, with some help from Friends of James River Park's Elaine Marolla, put aside studying and preparation for Halloween festivities to gather at the Pony Pasture for removal of invasive species. October 30 was the big day.

They began their clean up adventure with an informative walk along the trails with park naturalist/manager Ralph White. Once these energetic young folks were trained in the why and how to remove bush honey suckle, they put on the gloves, grabbed the tools and dug in. Many of the students had spent time at the river in the past but for others it was a first experience and one they hoped to repeat.

Even the “wraps” delivery man was in awe of our beautiful Pony Pasture and mentioned that he would bring his family next time. Thanks to Ronald L. Brown of VCU’s Service Learning component and Amanda Elizabeth Schutt of Green Unity for helping to organize a positive experience for all.


RVA James River news

Richmonders love their river. There are many sources for James River specific current news.

Here's a sampling: