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.
Poe at the Pump House
All profits of the event will go to preserve the Pump House.
Come for a tour of Richmond’s own historic Byrd Park Pump House and listen to Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest works being read by an Edgar Allan Poe actor! This historic building, and its open air ballroom, offers the perfect venue and environment to hear Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest works.
From 4:00-7:00 PM on October 23rd we are offering 3 one-hour long sessions, starting on the hour at 4:00, 5:00, & 6:00. Please arrive at the front doors of the Pump House a few minutes early to sign in with an event volunteer.
These one hour sessions will include a history tour of the Pump House and readings of Edgar Allan Poe’s work.
We are limiting tours to 20 people and we will be taking measures to keep visitors safe while inside the building.
- As always, we require hard hats while inside the building, which will be provided as well as sanitized after each use.
- As a Covid-19 response this event requires visitors to wear masks at all times, hand sanitizing, and social distancing where possible.
- The building is not ADA accessible and those with mobility impairments may find some sections of the Pump House difficult to maneuver. Please reach out any further information or questions.
- Kids are welcome, but are recommended to stay near an adult during the tour.
- And as much as we love animals, the Pump House is not a safe place for them and they are not permitted, other than service animals.
Pipeline Update Work Continues
The hope is that work will finish up at the end of this month. Work is taking longer than expected.
Our work continues! It’s progressing! And it’s slower than we thought it was going to be.
Our team is doing detailed, meticulous work with an abundance of care, and doing it right! They’ve also faced some less-than-ideal weather and river levels that were too high.
Our crew is essentially papier-mâché-ing a 43.13″ diameter elevated pipe located in the James River (one of our more tricky, but also more beautiful, work locations) with layers on layers of mesh and more mesh and different sized mesh and epoxy. Before all that, our crews clean each pipe segment with acetone wipes to allow for excellent adherence.
Most importantly, we are SO sorry for the delayed repair process at Pipeline–we know no one likes an elongated trail closure, but we can’t rush this important work.
We appreciate your patience as we complete these repairs to protect the James River and your health and safety when you visit this spot so many of us favor!
The latest we heard was a hope that repairs would be complete by the end of this month. We will keep you updated as we move toward that end-of-October target!
Following the completion of the repairs, our team will once again CCTV (closed-circuit television) the pipe to get an internal look. Only after we check our work and give it the green light will the trail and beaches alongside it be reopened. Until then, Pipeline trail and its adjacent beaches are closed from Brown’s Island (under the 9th Street bridge) to the downstream, eastern end of the trail behind Virginia Street and Vistas On The James.
And, finally, an important reminder: all wastewater flows have been diverted upstream at Tredegar, so any flow you may see leaking at Pipeline currently is river water that’s seeping in from Haxall Canal, groundwater, and/or stormwater from rainfall.
Tommy’s Express Tunnel of Terror Returns
Drive your car through a spooky good time.
Tommy’s Express is excited to announce they’ll have a Tunnel of Terror again this year after the success of last year! It will be bigger and better AND at two locations this year: 7048 Forest Hill Ave. and 10100 Hull St Rd.
A spooktacular experience for the family. Plus, your car will leave looking boo-tiful! There will even be GIVEAWAYS. We are talking a FREE month of the TommyClub for each adult attendee and candy for the kids! Share this event to enter to win 3 MONTHS of unlimited car washing.Our Tunnel turns terrifying on:
- October 15th- 6-11 PM
- October 16th- 6-11 PM
- October 22nd- 6-11 PM
- October 23rd- 6-11 PM
- October 29th-6-11 PM
- October 30th- 6-11 PM
- October 31st- 6-11 PMCost: $25.00 per vehicle