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Mural Proposed for 21st Street Pedestrian Tower

A colorful mural will hopefully cover up part of an ugly brown staircase.

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The three pedestrian towers in the area are great in that they allow safe and legal access across the railroad tracks and folks can get to the river. They are however ugly, blocky pieces of architecture. The Texas beach staircase was helped last year by a mural project jointly sponsored by City of Richmond Parks and Recreation, VCU Painting and Printmaking Department, Friends of the James River Park, and James River Hikers, students from the VCU Painting and Printmaking Department. In total there are 30 murals painted on the tower.

If everything goes according to plan at tonight’s Public Art Commission meeting the southside will be getting it’s own staircase mural by artist Mac Wood who received a CultureWorks Grant. The plan is to paint the 21st Street Tower that is used by thousands to get to the James River Park

More on Mac from the staff report on the project. The staff report also recommends approval of the project.

Mac Wood has experience working with Richmond muralists Will Davenport and Ian Hess, and public art experience working with Joshua Wiener on the metal rings by the Potterfield Bridge. He also has experience removing invasive vines with the Friends of James River Park. Throughout the conception of this project, the artist worked alongside members of the James River Park System particularly Bryce Wilk, park superintendent, who reviewed the design to ensure it stays true to the vision of the Park’s Master Plan and assisted in talking to volunteer organizations who will help priming the tower. The Friends of the James River and the James River Hikers—stakeholder organizations at the Park—have also been engaged in the development of this project.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Black Bear’s Visit to Richmond Comes to a Safe End

No picnic baskets, bears, dogs, cats, or humans were harmed in today’s adventure.

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A black bear decided to explore Richmond today. First spotted on the Northbank Trail he later headed into town. Previous reports earlier in the week had the bear up near Pony Pasture. The picture above is from RACC Instagram which reported on the sedation and transportation of the bear.

We just received a call about a bear-and it really was a bear. Sometimes we laugh and arrive on scene with a giant Rottweiler, but nope-this was a real bear. We named him Fuzzy Wuzzy. Shout out to @richmondpolice for helping keep us safe and to @virginiawildlife for tranquilizing and relocating the bear out of the City!

Bear on Northbank this morning! from r/rva

Here he is in town.

Bear at Byrd and 5th from r/rva

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Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.

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Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Blue Jay
Scientific Name: Cyanocitta cristata
Length: 8.7 – 12 in.
Weight: 2.3 – 3.8 oz
Wingspan: 13–17 in

Quick Facts (Courtesy of the Cornell Lab)

  • Thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes and Atlantic coasts, but much about their migration remains a mystery. Some are present throughout winter in all parts of their range. Young jays may be more likely to migrate than adults, but many adults also migrate. Some individual jays migrate south one year, stay north the next winter, and then migrate south again the next year. No one has worked out why they migrate when they do.
  • The Blue Jay frequently mimics the calls of hawks, especially the Red-shouldered Hawk. These calls may provide information to other jays that a hawk is around, or may be used to deceive other species into believing a hawk is present.
  • Tool use has never been reported for wild Blue Jays, but captive Blue Jays used strips of newspaper to rake in food pellets from outside their cages.
  • The pigment in Blue Jay feathers is melanin, which is brown. The blue color is caused by scattering light through modified cells on the surface of the feather barbs.

Kurt Cobain at Richmond SPCA

 

With the food out it’s less dangerous
Here we are meow, entertain us
I feel frisky and outrageous
Here we are meow, entertain us

Age: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Orange
Declawed: No
ID: 44163819

Adopt Curt Kobain at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.

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Resident Tests Wayside Springs

Spoiler it’s not spoiled.

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Wayside Springs is one of the few natural springs that still accessible to city dwellers. It’s located down a set of stairs where Prince George Road hits New Kent. The stone staircase that leads to a landing area featuring two pipes gushing spring water was built in the 1930s  and a cornerstone in the wall is inscribed with 1895. A cool oasis in the city.

Mark Holmberg had a short story back in 2017 about this spot and some of the other local springs.

Meanwhile RTD has this story on the spring in Byrd Park and this story from 2008 about signs warning that the water might not be safe. The article goes on to say, that the signs went up since they had stopped testing not that they had found anything wrong.

Bryd Park Spring 1959 – Photo Credit RTD

Resident Matt Sprinkle was curious about the water that comes from Wayside Springs so he purchased a WaterSafe well testing kit and went work. It should be mentioned that this is an over the counter testing kit and is not “official” in any way shape or form.

Ran these last week a few days after the big rains, and still, the only contaminant to note is the Nitrate, which is still well below a concerning level even for ordinary drinking water. (Cured sausage is way higher in nitrates and nitrites.) So, not a definitive thing, but helpful nevertheless to know that it’s within normal parameters for safety. Drink up.

The results and tip of the virtual hat to Matt for sharing the results.

 

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