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Voice Your Opinion on the Future of Brown’s Island

Last year Venture Richmond created the Brown’s Island Improvement Plan and now they’d like to hear from the folks that use Brown’s Island.

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Rember concerts and festivals? Yeah, they’re pretty awesome but as the recent crisis has shown us they are only one aspect of our parks. The green spaces around us are used for much, much more than hosting massive parties, Brown’s Island is arguably the most well-used green space.

In 2012, Richmond City Council adopted the Richmond Riverfront Plan, which made recommendations to transform Brown’s Island into a daily destination for recreation, exploration, socializing, and experiencing the beauty of the James River.

Venture Richmond today released a survey to help chart the course for this invaluable local spot.

Venture Richmond is committed to seeing through the recommendations found in the 2012 Riverfront Plan, which include river and canal terraces, play spaces for children, more trees and landscaping, more ADA accessibility and other pedestrian improvements, shade, seating, and running water/permanent restrooms among other amenities. We are also committed to raising private funds for design and construction of these projects.

Last year, we created the Brown’s Island Improvement Plan, a conceptual plan which gets us one step closer to the level of detail needed to get improvements made to Brown’s Island that will help transform it into an even more attractive and accessible public space. The plan received conceptual approval from the City Planning Commission in December of 2019, but we still have work to do. That’s why we want you to take the Brown’s Island Improvement Plan Community Survey; to provide feedback on which projects and design elements are most important to you.

Take the Brown’s Island Improvement Plan Community Survey Now

This survey should take you about 30 minutes and is best taken on a laptop or desktop computer rather than your phone. The questions go in-depth into the various areas of Brown’s Island.

In the survey, you’ll be completing exercises like the one below. For the record, I picked River Creature, Slides, and Splash.

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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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Editorial

Editorial: Made more beautiful

“Sometimes, as in a forest, things have to burn to clear away the old, the dead, the decaying, to make room for new life.”

RVAHub Staff

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Originally on Life in 10 Minutes

It’s hard to put into words, but as you can see, I’m trying.

It’s hard to describe to someone who isn’t from Richmond, but I do want to try.

I grew up seeing those statues on a weekly or even daily basis. People from out of town (Yankees, carpetbaggers) don’t realize just how integral they are to this city.

They are not off in some historical park that you visit only on school field trips. Those statues are on a main thoroughfare, a graceful, sun-dappled avenue where many hundred-year old trees have not survived hurricane season and have had to be replanted. And yet the statues remain.

When I woke up Sunday and saw the images of those statues covered in graffiti, my eyes filled. Not in sadness but in pride, love, and hope.

I had to go see them for myself. I had to take my children.

So many different hands transformed them into their new existence. So many different colors of paint. So many perfectly conflicting messages of love, anger, rage, hope, peace . . . all coexisting in a gorgeous cacophony that was somehow utterly perfect.

My heart swelled to see them in person. There were skateboarders doing tricks using the base of the monument as a launch pad. There was a group of Black students protesting peacefully on the steps. There were kids climbing on them, jumping over the felled wrought-iron fences that protected them for a hundred years.

It felt like those statues were being reclaimed by the city that glorified them for too long.

It felt like visiting the Coliseum in Rome. We were there to see an ancient symbol, now in ruins, made more beautiful somehow by their ruining.

I can summon not even one ounce of sadness for the loss of their original state. They are better like this. They finally make sense.

Photos of these statues in their new form may be in history books in 50 years as a symbol of a change, like the Berlin Wall coming down, like protesters pulling over the statue of Saddam Hussein.

Do I exaggerate? That is how momentous it felt to me, a lifelong Richmonder who was raised to revere those statues both as important public art and as symbols of our history. They are new symbols now. They have finally been contextualized.

I grieve for George Floyd. I grieve for Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Marcus David Peters. Trayvon Martin. Philando Castille. Alton Sterling. Sandra Bland. There are too many to name.

But I do not grieve for the statues. I do not grieve for the Daughters of the Confederacy building. I do not grieve for old ideas. My heart swells with hope; my chest fills with pride.

Sometimes, as in a forest, things have to burn to clear away the old, the dead, the decaying, to make room for new life.

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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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