James River Week, an annual celebration of river-based adventures, trips, educational opportunities and more – all to celebrate Virginia’s greatest natural asset, the James River – kicks off Saturday, September 10th.
Six organizations including the James River Association (JRA), James River Advisory Council (JRAC), Friends of the James River Park (FOJRP), Maymont, Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, Chesterfield County Parks & Recreation, and Chesterfield County Public Library teamed up earlier this year to plan James River Week 2022, and they have recruited partners and participants from across the watershed to make this year’s event better than ever.
James River Week officially begins on Saturday, September 10 and runs through Saturday, September 17, kicking off with the 23rd year of JRAC’s James River Regional Cleanup from 9am-noon on Saturday, September 10th. This beloved cleanup is a true collaboration spanning more than 75 miles of the James River. Walkers, powerboats, paddle craft, and hikers can all participate by registering through JRAC’s website.
“JRAC enjoys the collaboration and community engagement during this special week!” said Janit Llewellyn, Co-Chair for JRAC. “Come out and enjoy a program, event or gathering to celebrate our region’s most notable gem, the James River.”
The first day of James River Week also features the return of Hardywood’s James River Jamboree at their West Creek location in the greater Richmond area. The day will be packed full of interactive vendors, music, cold beer, and tasty food trucks, with proceeds benefiting the James River Association.
Families can participate in several kid-friendly activities during the week, including James River Story Time at Chesterfield County Public Library, Toddler Time at Maymont, and a James River Bateaus experience at Deep Run Recreation Center in Henrico County.
“James River Week is a great time for Virginians to celebrate the great river resource that flows through our state,” said Krista Weatherford, Director of Programming and Community Engagement for Maymont. “Maymont is excited to participate as a location where people can learn about the river’s ecology at The Robins Nature Center or participate in engaging activities and programs.”
Animal lovers will delight in Maymont’s Run of the River at their Robins Nature Center, as well as Animals of the River Live! at Libbie Mill Library, while recreationists can revel in several opportunities to enjoy time both on and by the water, from historic batteau trips provided by JRA in Lynchburg to Hiking the Belle Isle Loop with Blue Sky Fund.
River lovers can make a difference for the James by attending a rain barrel workshop at Broad Rock Branch library, or volunteering with Friends of the James River Park System. Richmonders can also attend several fun events celebrating the river, including a river-themed trivia night at Starr Hill Brewery, as well as the JRPS 50th Birthday Party, in celebration of the James River Park System, where participants will have the chance to try out a number of the different activities available in the park system.
“Friends of the James River Park is proud to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the creation of the James River Park System during James River Week this year,” said Joshua Stutz, Executive Director for Friends of the James River Park. “We are excited to see so many great partnerships taking place in support of the James River!”
Perhaps one of the most anticipated events of James River Week, JRA’s The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon trips give the public an opportunity to learn about this “living fossil”. Atlantic sturgeon spend their adult years in the Atlantic Ocean, but return to the rivers where they were born twice a year to spawn. They are often seen breaching, which can make for a spectacular sight!
“Is there a better way to celebrate James River Week than by watching Atlantic sturgeon splashing their way upriver to Richmond?,” said Justin Doyle, Director of Community Conservation for the James River Association. “Atlantic sturgeon make their fall spawning migration up the James at the end each summer and can be seen breaching as far upriver as Richmond in September. We look forward to welcoming participants on the Spirit of the James to catch a glimpse of this charismatic fish species that swam with the dinosaurs.”
Last but not least – back for its second year with three times the number of restaurants participating in 2021 – ‘Seafood for the James’ will feature 20+ eateries, bar & grills, wine bars, and more giving back to the river with locations all across the watershed. 10% of select seafood and fish dishes at participating restaurants will be donated to JRA to protect and conserve the James River.
For a complete list of all James River Week events and opportunities including dates, times and more, please click here.
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.