The Friends of the James River Park is one of the few local volunteer groups without which the river would be a different place. Same goes for groups like James River Outdoor Coalition and Richmond MORE. The river, trails and wilderness areas Richmonders know and love would be fundamentally different places without their efforts. And each group could always use more members, more donations and more volunteers.
With that in mind, the below is a newsletter from the Friends reminding people about upcoming chances to make the park a better place. If you’re not a member, take a look at their site and consider becoming one. Or just get out there and volunteer.
Volunteers from ALTRIA have been busy in the JRPS working on a myriad of projects, including the Belle Isle Skills Park and testing out a new Geology App developed by FOJRP Board member and VCU Assistant Professor Anne Wright. We owe a lot to all park volunteers–a more user-friendly park and a big thank you at the very least.
If you’ve been meaning to step up, now is the time to step out in the Park to help the Friends and the JRPS. The park does not have enough staff power to keep up with its popularity, so it’s up to volunteers to jump in. With Ralph’s retirement looming, a strong FOJRP is key to keeping the JRPS a little bit of wilderness in the city. Please get involved at these upcoming events and see where you can best pitch in! A few board positions are open if you can’t get enough. Coming to our events and attending a board meeting (annual picnic will be our next one) are the best ways to get involved. Please send a quick note to Friends@JamesRiverPark.orgto volunteer for almost anything!
BELLE ISLE BIKE SKILLS PARK
Saturdays, May 5th and 12th, 9-2; Sundays, May 6th and 13th, 9-2
The work has begun on Belle Isle for the mountain bike skills park, but if you want to play, you need to pay with some elbow grease, backbone and even a stiff upper lip (or back, depending how long you work). Join RA-MORE, other volunteers and park workers if you can.
RIVERSIDE DRIVE CLEAN UP
Pony Pasture Saturday, May 12th 9-11 a.m. Our quarterly clean-up will be next Saturday ahead of the summer rush. Besides picking up trash between Huguenot Flatwater and Pony Pasture, we’ll be planting native plants and mulching and doing whatever other chores Ralph needs us to do. Expect to get dirty and bring gloves and wear sturdy shoes. Please email Friends@JamesRiverPark.org to sign up.
Friday-Sunday, May 18th-20th on Brown’s Island
Adventure in the big city. See how much fun can be had along the James River in Richmond during this 3 day extravaganza that has bouldering, slacklining, mountain biking, kayaking, trailrunning, stand up paddleboarding, flying dogs, music, food and so much more. This year the James River Park System Trailmarking Project is the official charity of the event, so more park improvements will be coming our way! Check out the busy and bustling schedule.FOJRPwill be in the Green Zone. Come and see us to get park info, learn about volunteering with us and get your FOJRP t-shirt for $15! Volunteer at our booth to meet and greet and put salamander tattoos on children’s arms. It’s really a fun time!
PONY PASTURE PARKING PATROL
Memorial Day Weekend: Monday, May 28th 12-5 in particular
Ralph White has asked for help handling the parking scene at Pony Pasture once again. Contact him at email@example.com or 432-1832 to give him a hand.
JAMES RIVER ADVISORY COUNCIL ANNUAL CLEAN-UP
Saturday, June 9th, 9 – 3 at Pony Pasture and Reedy Creek
JRAC hosts this event at various locations along the James. In the JRPS meeting places are Pony Pasture and Reedy Creek. Get details and sign up in advance here.. Wear sturdy shoes or boots that can handle dirt. Gloves, trash bags and grabbers will be provided as well as water and lunch. People are always needed at Reedy Creek around lunchtime to help sort the trash and recycling. It’s a dirty job and somebody’s got to do it!
June 9th and 10th on Brown’s Island
Our friends at Luck Stone are back sponsoring this exciting adventure weekend along the river. They’ve asked the Friends to be a part of their tent activities to spread the good word about the JRPS. If you know and love the park, this is the place for you! They’ll be raffling off a bike to benefit FOJRP (and the raffle winner!) Stop by and see us or email Friends@jamesriverpark.org if you’re interested in staffing our spot for an hour or two.