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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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Harry Potter Themed Frozen Custard Tonight

Head over to the Westover Hill United Methodist Church. The custard truck will be in the lot on the corner of Westover Hill Blvd and King William Road.

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Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Arrest Made in Forest Hill Avenue Shooting

Still no details on motive.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives have identified the victim in Thursday’s homicide on Forest Hill Avenue as Candace Gomness, 23, of Chesterfield.

At approximately 3:13 p.m., officers were called to the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue for the report of random gunfire. Officers arrived and located a vehicle on West 44th Street which had collided with a curb and stopped near the intersection with Forest Hill Avenue.

An adult male and an adult female, Gomness, two occupants of the vehicle, were both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. They were transported to a local hospital where Gomness succumbed to her injury. The male’s injury is not considered life threatening.

Miguel Rampersad, 20, of Richmond has been charged with Attempted Murder and Use of Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Additional charges are pending.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Major Crimes detectives believe the shooting may have occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue, near the intersection of Roanoke Street.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective B. Neifeld at (804) 646-3246 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.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Very little information at this time on the tragic event.

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From RPD:

At approximately 3:13 p.m., (Thursday) officers were called to the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue for the report of random gunfire. Officers arrived and located a vehicle on West 44th Street which had collided with a curb and stopped near the intersection with Forest Hill Avenue.

An adult male and an adult female, two occupants of the vehicle, were both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. They were transported to a local hospital where the female succumbed to her injury. The male’s injury is not considered life threatening.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Major Crimes detectives believe the shooting may have occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue, near the intersection of Roanoke Street.

Anyone with information about this death investigation is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective B. Neifeld at (804) 646-3246 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.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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