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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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Bulk Pick-ups Coming this Weekend

Time to tidy up the yard and/or basement.

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Zone 9 – Neighborhood Clean-Up #2 for the Westover Hills, Forest Hill and Woodland Heights neighborhoods will be this weekend. Our crews will be back in the area this Saturday, September 25 from 8 am to Noon.

Reminder – During Neighborhood Clean-Ups, DPW crews will collect items curbside and in alleys (wherever your trash is normally collected). We take

EVERYTHING except: electronics, construction debris, hazardous waste items & broken glass.

Examples of acceptable items include: furniture, mattresses, tires (4 per household) & appliances.

All brush must be cut into four-foot lengths.

Go to http://rva.gov/public-works/neighborhoodcleanups\

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Soccer Community Collecting Balls and Jerseys for Afghan Refugees

Look for donations bins in various parts of the city or you can make an online monetary donation.

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photoloni / Pixabay

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The RVA Soccer Community is working with Fort Pickett and Fort Lee to collect soccer balls and jerseys for Afghan refugees. If dropping off doesn’t work for you make a donation here.

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Hull Street Homicide Investigation

Yesterday at approximately 1:44 p.m., Richmond Police responded to 3400 block of Hull Street upon call of a person shot.

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From RPD:

Yesterday at approximately 1:44 p.m., Richmond Police responded to 3400 block of Hull Street upon call of a person shot. Officers arrived and located an adult male with an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Anyone with information about this homicide investigation is asked to call Major Crimes Detective A. Sleem at (804) 814-7123 or contact 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.

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