JAMES RIVER ORGANIZATION: Friends of James River Park
WHY YOU LOVE THE JAMES: As a proud city dweller, I love living in a neighborhood where I can walk to my bank, job, grocery store and post office. Ralph White calls James River Park, “A little bit of wilderness in the heart of the city.” I take a break from the urban landscape by walking the trails of James River Park. I leave refreshed and ready to focus upon my responsibilities again. I have walked there everyday for 10 years with my best buddy, a golden retriever named Zorro. He passed away last summer, but I am teaching our new puppy about the joys of James River Park. My husband and I also love to pack lunch and kayak over to one of the many islands in the James for a picnic.
HOW YOU HELP THE RIVER: I have volunteered countless hours for the Friends of James River Park over the past 10 years. I think that I have held every leadership office, and helped coordinate their ongoing efforts for park improvements. In addition to rolling our sleeves up and helping the park staff with whatever they need, the Friends of James River Park does important advocacy work to promote the park with our city and state officials. We conducted a user survey one summer that showed that over 50 percent of this city park’s visitors reside outside of the city limits. Yet, James River Park remains funded solely through the city of Richmond. For me, everyday is a clean up day in James River Park. I always pick up trash when I see it and urge others to do the same.
WHAT WOULD YOU IMPROVE OR CHANGE:
- I would like everyone who uses the park to support the Friends of James River Park and their many efforts for park improvement! It’s not expensive and easy to join through the website: www.jamesriverpark.org
- I would like to meet with city officials, and river groups to brainstorm a solution to the many cars looking for parking places. Park visitors need easy transportation that can transport people, dogs, boats, inner tubes, and picnic coolers.
- I would love to see Park Rangers in the park to provide impromptu education and answer questions and remind folks when it is not safe to go rock hopping if the river is too high.
- I would like the surrounding counties to recognize James River Park for its regional value, and contribute to its maintenance and upkeep.