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Hills & Heights

James River Association’s ‘Kids in Kayaks’ program aims to establish a lifelong love for our waterways

The James River Association (JRA) will once again be providing their annual ‘Kids in Kayaks’ programs to get students in the Middle and Lower James River Watershed on the water for several days of adventure, appreciation, and education.

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The James River Association (JRA) will once again be providing their annual ‘Kids in Kayaks’ programs to get students in the Middle and Lower James River Watershed on the water for several days of adventure, appreciation, and education.
The program began at the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail and Baltimore National Heritage Area in 2015. In 2018, Fort Monroe created a new chapter in collaboration with the James River Association and National Parks Conservation Association.

Kids in Kayaks exposes a diverse group of middle school-age students to kayaking while they also learn environmental topics covered in the 8th Grade Virginia Science Standards Of Learning (SOL). This program gives students practical life skills, and encourages them to enjoy their surrounding environment.

“It is essential for students to have hands-on experience within a wetland to truly understand the beauty and science that happens daily.” says Katie Ferrell, JRA’s Lower James Senior Environmental Educator. “We want students to have these opportunities to become responsible environmental stewards that value the James River. It is of utmost importance to teach our students the importance of keeping our waterways safe, clean, and viable for many generations to come; teaching our students to love the James River is our number one priority because if you love something you nurture it into the future.”

Student participants will experience a variety of fun activities that connect them to the river and teach them about the importance of natural resources. These activities include paddle trips, seine netting, an exercise called ‘Wetlands in a Bottle’ that drives home the infrastructure and importance of our wetlands, and several lessons based around watershed education.

“The James River Association is so excited to partner with Newport News Parks and Rec, James City County Parks and Rec, Newport News Public Schools, and Hampton City schools for another great year of kids in kayaks!” Ferrell continues. “This is a great way to safely get kids outdoors this summer. We cannot wait to get back on the water!”

Programs will be provided through Hampton City Schools, Newport News Parks and Recreation, Newport News Public Schools, James City County Parks and Recreation, and the Richmond Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club.

Ken Samuel, Education Manager for the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, reflects on past Kids in Kayaks programming: “A majority of the students had an absolute blast. They had a great time in the canoes racing against their friends. They enjoyed the pontoon boat and being able to handle different varieties of fish, and also being able to hold the crabs and know whether they were male or female. They also talked about lazily floating along the river, seeing the houses along the banks, and feeling the peacefulness of the water. It was a new experience for many of them and their confidence and stamina grew as the week went on.”

As part of the program, JRA is also partnering with the Richmond Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club to provide free pontoon boat trips for families on Saturday, May 15. JRA educators will facilitate the trips and teach participants about current issues facing the James River, and efforts to improve its health.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Drink Beer and Help Friends of James River Parks

Raging James Pilsner is the latest release from Legend Brewing and a portion of each sale will got to Friends of James River Park.

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Friends of James River Park announced their latest partnership today and it’s tasty.

Legend Brewing Company is the oldest operating craft brewery in Virginia. As their Vice President of Operations, Dave Gott, told us, “It’s important that you be a part of the community – not just IN the community.” Legend has hosted our board meetings and annual get-togethers. On any given weekend (and often any given day) their parking lot is full of cars carrying kayaks and bicycles, and their patio is crowded with people who have spent the day enjoying the James River Park System.

Given their proximity to the James River and our Park, we were elated when they floated the idea of creating a special beer for our organization. Raging James Pilsner is their newest release, and a portion of the sale of each can will help us continue our efforts. Legend has supported Richmond for almost 30 years, and as we approach 50 years of commitment to the Park, we’re honored to partner with them on this.

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How to move a snapping turtle across the road and why.

You’re most likely to see a female Snapping Turtle on the road crossing to find a good dry spot to lay her eggs.

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Snapping Turtles are one of the scariest and coolest looking critters you can run across in the Richmond area. Unfortunately many times you’ll see them on the road and that is not a good spot for a Snapping Turtle or any turtle to be. It’s egg-laying season so female Snapping Turtles are on the move and crossing roads. Snappers travel long distances away from water to search for a nest site on dry land.

NEVER pick up a Snapping Turtle by its tail because doing so can cause spinal injury. Gloves are recommended when available. Always move turtles in the direction they were headed and do not relocate.

Snapping Turtle populations have declined significantly in recent years due to over-harvesting, poaching, and poor reproductive success.Snapping Turtles don’t reach maturity until 6 to 7 years of age and female turtles lay a single clutch of 26 to 55 eggs once a year. There is a high nest failure rate, with most of the eggs eaten by predators resulting in only 6 to 9 percent of hatchlings surviving.

If you can here is how to safely move a snapping turtle.

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Suspect Sought in McDonough Street Shooting

Today at approximately 2:43 p.m. RPD officers responded to the 900 block of McDonough Street for the report of shots fired. Officers arrived and located two adult males down with apparent gunshot wounds.

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From RPD

Today at approximately 2:43 p.m. RPD officers responded to the 900 block of McDonough Street for the report of shots fired. Officers arrived and located two adult males down with apparent gunshot wounds. One of the victim’s injuries are considered life threatening.

They were both transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact

Major Crimes Detective C. Tovar at (804)-646-6739 or Crime Stoppers at

(804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

From other reports we’re hearing a bartender and a customer at Ironclad Pizza were the victims.

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