I spent a little time this past weekend watching the James River Park staff and Richmond MORE volunteers work on a re-route of the Buttermilk Trail in an area below Riverside Drive at 42nd Street. Continue reading
A dozen volunteers from HandsOn Greater Richmond did something Saturday that might help bring more butterflies to the James River Park — they planted wildflowers in two meadows at Reedy Creek near the visitor center and along Riverside Drive. Continue reading
The Reedy Creek Meadow is getting a wildflower makeover. Nathan Burrell, trails manager for James River Park will be leading a group of HandsOn Greater Richmond volunteers — including many children — Saturday morning to plant plenty of new seeds! Continue reading
On Monday, Richmond City Council unanimously approved the November 2010 report issued from Mayor Dwight Jones’s, Pedestrian, Bicycling and Trails Commission recommending changes to make the city a more bike and pedestrian friendly city. The Commission was composed of city staff, business leaders, educators and interested citizens from the area. Continue reading
The James River is one of the top regional priorities and “probably the defining feature for our community” according to a presentation from members of the Capital Region Collaborative, which has been entrusted to encourage an efficiency of efforts for Richmond area localities in regards to development and planning. Continue reading
By Phil Riggan – James River News Hub
The fallout from the City of Richmond’s floundering Go Ape! ropes course planned for Byrd Park has for now put the plans to build a biking & hiking trail through the park on hold.
Nathan Burrell, trails manager for the City of Richmond, announced the delay Wednesday night during a James River Outdoor Coalition meeting, indicating that city planners wanted to take a closer look at any plans within Byrd Park. The land for the proposed ropes course is not part of the same land that is to be used for the bike trail.
Burrell said that the city’s development of “bike trails has had a positive influence on neighborhoods, like at Forest Hill Park” and that one of the side benefits of trails is that they bring well-intentioned people to areas of the city that have had reputations for neglect or crime.
Richmond-MORE, the volunteer trail building group that has helped build and maintain the city’s highly regarded network of trails, was set to begin the work on 2-3 miles of trails in the wooded area between Pump House Road and the back of The Carillon in Byrd Park later this month.
Burrell said that the plan is to link the trail through Pump House Park to the James River Trail loop and North Trail at the Boulevard Bridge.
“We’re looking to expand our system and grow it at Dogwood Dell,” Burrell said, noting that the next two years will mark an “aggressive approach to trail building” in Richmond.
Greg Rollins, president of RA-MORE, said in September that the land is all city property and that the blessing had been given from the city to install the trails at least a year ago. Work was done by HandsOn Greater Richmond volunteers in October to remove invasive species and cut overgrown weeds and undergrowth in Pump House Park.
“RA-MORE likes to work and get things done,” Rollins said at the Mayor Dwight Jones’s Bike, Pedestrian and Trails Commission, noting that the volunteer trail work comes free to the city and that the trails were part of the mayor’s greenways plan.
Richmond is making plans to improve biking and walking on city streets. But you say you don’t know much about greenways and rails-to-trails? From an article on Richmond.com:
A greenway is a corridor of protected open space set aside for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, usually with the intention to connect parks or civic landmarks. Richmond already has an extensive network of mountain bike trails and is slowly developing more people-friendly paths.
WCVE’s Virginia Currents discovers how old railroad tracks can become today’s trails and bike paths on a road to tomorrow. Champe Burnley, president of the Virginia Bicycling Federation; city councilman Doug Conner and James River Park System trail builder Nathan Burrell are featured in a video from late spring 2010 about an on-going rails-to-trails project effort to convert a former CSX railroad line, the James River Branch Line, that runs 2.5 miles between Belt Boulevard and Hopkins Road. The segment is about 12 minutes long, but contains plenty of good information and incite into the heart of the plans for Richmond.
VIDEO: “Virginia Currents” #1925 from Community Idea Stations on Vimeo.
Burnley is passionate about greenways and said that “rails to trails is a great way to get people out of the house, off the couch and get some fresh air and sunshine.
“We find if we put a rail to trail or greenway in someone’s backyard, it really improves property values. People find that if you put a facility like this in a neighborhood, its like being next to a golf course or a marina. Next thing you know, everyone wants to live next to the trail because it is so convenient,” Burnley said. That has proven to be true with the Westover Hills, Woodland Heights and Forest Hill Park neighborhoods in South Richmond.