Tag Archives: Andy Thompson

Kayak jump ramp to return to Dominion Riverrock

Dominion RiverrockRead Andy Thompson’s column on TimesDispatch.com from Friday about the spectacle that is the kayak jump ramp, on display at the Dominion Riverrock, scheduled for May 13-14. That was a fun show last year and I’m psyched for  this year. Check the schedule! Continue reading

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Have man-made spawning beds helped Atlantic sturgeon in James?

Richmond Times-Dispatch outdoors columnist Andy Thompson caught up with some experts to find out more about the Atlantic sturgeon population on the James River and how the man-made spawning beds established two years ago have impacted the numbers: Continue reading

Cleaning trash ‘carries a bit of the willful excitement of vandalism’

Trash recovered from the James River in RichmondRichmond Times-Dispatch outdoor columnist Andy Thompson has taken ownership of the James River Park. I wrote this past summer about how I had taken ownership of Pony Pasture and often go to the river for walks with my trusty bucket to snag any trash or recycling that I see. Andy had some great notes in his column and showed off his vast outdoors library: Continue reading

Last week for Everette’s ‘The James and Assorted Wanderings’

Andy Thompson’s column in the Richmond Times-Dispatch is about nature photographer David Everette’s gallery “The James and Assorted Wanderings” at the United Network for Organ Sharing, which is scheduled to end on Saturday, Feb. 26. Continue reading

Time to schedule summer camps on the James already?

Spring is almost here, and summer isn’t far behind. Time to start scoping and scheduling summer camps and fun times on the James River. Check back soon on James River News Hub for suggestions, but for now, Richmond Times-Dispatch outdoors columnist Andy Thompson has several great ideas, including Passages Adventure Camp, Riverside Outfitters and Virginia Fishing Adventures.

What would your park be without you, oh steward?

Whenever I get a break and take a little time for myself and a walk in a park, I usually take a plastic bag or a bucket to collect trash — especially down by the James River. One of the easiest things for me to do to make myself feel like I’m being useful is picking up that one extra piece of trash or recycling and putting it in the right receptacle. It’s an uphill battle, but worth the time. My kids are learning to appreciate the earth along the way, which can’t hurt.

The outdoors columnist Andy Thompson has a similar approach with English Ivy and wrote about it in a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch column:

We’re all familiar with ivy. It can be quite lovely as an ornamental, but when it escapes human care, it becomes a menace. As with most non-native species, it evolved in a world where other species ate it, competed with it and limited its spread. This world offers none of those restrictions.

That’s why most of my winter walks — with baby, dogs or alone — turn in to attacks against ivy’s onslaught. I just can’t help it: When I see the vine that can grow up to eight feet a year inching its way up a maple sapling, the impulse grabs me. I rip at it. Pull it off the tree. Wrench it from the ground. Fling it to the side.

Anybody else have that desire to be a steward, that personal attachment to a park or landscape that makes you keep going back to clean trash, pull invasive species, ward off vandals, etc.? Do you bring your tools with you (bags, rakes, gloves, etc.)?

State capitals with nesting bald eagles? Richmond and…

Great tidbits from the Richmond Times-Disaptch’s Andy Thompson in a recent column about wild birds, nature and our beloved James River:

Juneau, Alaska and Richmond are the only state capitals with a nesting pair of bald eagles within the city limits….Richmond is the only Virginia city with a nesting pair of peregrine falcons.

There is much more touting of our great urban nature preserve:

“It’s a true testament to the efficacy of our conservation and environmental protection laws [that the James is as clean as it is],” said Ed Clark founder of the Wildlife Center. “Clearly there’s much more work to be done, and you don’t reverse 200 years of pollution with 30 years of environmental consciousness, but it is remarkable how quickly some areas of the ecosystem have bounced back. The James River is a perfect example.”

It’s not just falcons and eagles. Every spring for five years now, great blue herons have set up a rookery on an island in the James in the shadows of downtown. It’s quite a sight to see dozens of herons busying themselves with nest making while cars whiz by on the Manchester Bridge.