A planned expansion of the James River Park System — and its conservation easement — is advancing, with Richmond’s City Council set to approve an ordinance for the acceptance of grant funds from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation that will allow for the transfer of Vauxhall Island to municipal ownership.
The City plans to incorporate the nearly three acre island near downtown into the James River Park System. Ultimately the Capital Region Land Conservancy will include Vauxhall Island into the conservation easement it co-holds with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and Enrichmond Foundation on nearly half of the park system’s 600 acres.
The planned acquisition from the Enrichmond Foundation (which purchased the island at auction in 2014) aligns with the Richmond Master Plan’s mandate to “preserve the river’s waterways and adjacent riparian lands” and to “increase public access to the James where appropriate and feasible.”
Part of a chain of low-lying, flood-prone islands at the end of the eight mile stretch of state-designated Scenic River known as the Falls of the James, Vauxhall is legally accessible only by water and is undeveloped save for a single un-illuminated billboard which is now slated for removal.