Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Events

Ongoing through Dec. 11 – Holiday Craftsman Sale, Pine Camp Arts & Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Rd. – This sale features gift items made by some of the area’s best artists and crafters, and a portion of every sale goes toward funding art classes for city youth. It goes on Tuesdays – Fridays 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Pine Camp, and in the lobby of City Hall at 900 E. Broad St. on Friday, Dec. 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (804) 646-3674.

Dec. 5, 4 p.m. - “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Landmark Theater, 6 N. Laurel St. – The department’s ‘Holiday Gift to the City,’ this heartwarming musical about a young shepherd boy and his mother is FREE to attend. Seating is general admission. For more information, call (804) 646-1031.

Dec. 7 – Dec. 16, noon – Caroling at City Hall – Stop by the lobby of City Hall, 900 E. Broad St., Tuesday, Dec. 7 through Friday, Dec. 10 and Monday, Dec. 13 through Thursday, Dec. 16 for a FREE holiday concert. Each day a different school choir will perform "sounds of the season" that are guaranteed to put you in a festive mood! Co-sponsored by Richmond Public Schools, call (804) 646-5733 or see the calendar at for information on which school is performing.

Dec. 11, 4:30 p.m. – 18th Annual James River Parade of Lights – Richmond families are invited to view this annual twinkling flotilla of holiday-decorated boats on the James River. Entertainment will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Libby Hill Park, located at 2801 E. Franklin St. Parade viewing will begin at 6 p.m. at the Intermediate Terminal at Dock and Water streets. This FREE event is a partnership program of the James River Advisory Council.

Dec. 18, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Breakfast with Santa, Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 E. Belt Blvd. - The entire family will enjoy dining with Santa when he stops by to visit at Hickory Hill! It’s FREE, but reservations by Monday, Dec. 14 are required. Please call (804) 646-7934.

Dec. 28, 7 p.m. – Kwanzaa Celebration, Hickory Hill Community Center, 3000 E. Belt Blvd. - Bring the entire family and celebrate Kwanzaa with music, food and fun. This FREE celebration is co-sponsored by Deep Water Productions. For more information, call (804) 646-7934.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Public Meeting on Go Ape Ropes Course Postponed

Due to internal changes, the public meeting scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 18, at the Carillon on the proposed Go Ape ropes course for Byrd Park has been postponed. A new date and time will be announced when it becomes available.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Youth Football Championship Games set for Nov. 13 at City Stadium

The department will hold its youth football championship games on Saturday, Nov. 13 at City Stadium, previously known as the University of Richmond Stadium, which is located at 601 McCloy St. Three games with players ranging in age from 8-years-old to 15-years-old will be played starting at 10 a.m. to determine the junior, midget and peewee championship teams.
The teams represent the department’s community centers located throughout the city. Approximately 1,720 children in the city play football through the department’s athletic programs at city community centers. They are led by department staff and largely supported by volunteer coaches and parents.
The games this year will include a halftime program featuring the Huguenot High School Marching Band.
Come out and support the city’s youth and get a glimpse of the football players of tomorrow. Tickets can be purchased at the gate and are $2 for children age 11 and younger and $4 for adults and children age 12 and older.
For more information, call (804) 646-1091.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cheerleading Jamboree set for Nov. 10th

The department will showcase its largest athletic program for girls at its Cheerleading Jamboree from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 10 at the Landmark Theatre.

This is the department’s 25th annual cheerleading competition. The high-energy event highlights the cheering squads from department community centers as well as local high school squads and other local cheering talent from the Richmond Raiders, Virginia State University and Virginia Union University. A total of 20 teams will participate.

Tickets to the event can be purchased at the Landmark box office and are $2 in advance and $4 at the door for youth ages two through 11. For children and adults age 12 and older, tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door.

Approximately 500 children ranging in age from 4 to 14 are involved in cheerleading at the department's community centers located throughout the city.

For more information, call (804) 646-1441.

Celebrate Veterans' Day at the Carillon

The department will hold a Veterans’ Day ceremony on Thursday, November 11, at 4 p.m. at the World War I Memorial Carillon building in Byrd Park. All veterans and the public are invited to attend.
The program will feature a concert on the Carillon bells by carillonneur Lon Mitchell, presentation of colors by the Huguenot High School Color Guard, vocal selections, and the presentation of a memorial wreath.
Retired Navy Capt. Dr. Carroll Londoner will speak on “The Last Mission of World War II.”
Heywood Harrison, director of music at Zion Baptist Church and staff musician at Ebenezer Baptist Church, will provide musical accompaniment, and Rev. Cheryl Ivy Green will offer the invocation and benediction.
For more information, call (804) 646-1031

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Holiday Craftsman Sale Opens Nov. 20th

The department, in conjunction with the Pine Camp Art Program Advisory Council, will open its annual Holiday Craftsman Sale at the Pine Camp Arts and Community Center’s Spotlight Gallery on Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is located at 4901 Old Brook Rd.
The sale features the work of some of the area’s best artisans and includes pieces in pottery, glass, and wood as well as paintings, jewelry, silk scarves, hand knitted items, baskets, folk art, photography and sculpture. A portion of all sales will go to help provide youth art scholarships.
The sale will continue through Dec. 11 on Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, call (804) 646-3674.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Special movie night set for Oct. 29

Families are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes to the final film in the department’s fall series of free outdoor movies, which will be shown at Dogwood Dell in Byrd Park on Friday, October 29.
The department will show Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” from 7 to 9 p.m.
“Our movies in the parks have been a huge success," said J.R. Pope, director of the department. "Families from all over the city have really enjoyed them. They’re a great way for families and neighbors to get outdoors and have some fun, and it's all free.”
The department chose to offer its free movie series to provide families with an affordable recreation option in the current economic environment. All the movies have been free to attend, and free popcorn is handed out for as long as it lasts.
Audiences should bring chairs or blankets and can also bring their own sodas and snacks. Food and drinks can also be purchased from the concession stand at Dogwood Dell.
As a reminder, no glass containers or pets are allowed at Dogwood Dell.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Department Wins Awards

The department was recognized with four awards at the 56th Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society held at the Hampton Roads Convention Center earlier this month. The society’s statewide awards program honors individuals, agencies and organizations throughout Virginia that have demonstrated excellence in 17 different categories during the previous year.

Richmond was recognized with a Best New Renovation/Addition Award for its restoration of the lake in Forest Hill Park. Through the years the lake had been neglected and become so overgrown that many people did not know it existed. The department restored it to its original historic appearance while working closely with the neighborhood to preserve the wetland environment. The project came in under budget and was finished ahead of schedule.

The department also won an award for Best Promotional Effort for a Specialty Piece for its note cards featuring the artwork of children attending the department's summer camps. The note cards were used by the children to send thank you notes to people who made donations in the Send-a-Kid-to-Camp campaign. they are also available for the public to purchase at community centers and City Hall.

Also at the conference, CarMax, the nation’s largest retailer of used cars, was recognized with a Distinguished Private Sector Service Award for its support of the summer basketball league. Since 2007, CarMax and its foundation have given $229,000 to improve the basketball courts at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center and to provide uniforms, equipment and staff for the league.

Sureatha McGhee, an employee since 1974, was also recognized at the conference with a Distinguished Service Award. She has been a member of VRPS since 1985 and served on many of the society’s committees.

“We would like to congratulate all of our award winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said VRPS President Lakita Frazier. “Entries from around the state in every population category allow us to recognize the best in our business while raising the standards and quality of media promotions and events across the board.”

“As a department, and with assistance from corporate partners like CarMax, we work hard to provide excellent parks and recreation services and facilities to the residents of Richmond and visitors to our city, and we are honored to receive this statewide recognition from our peers,” said J. R. Pope, director of the department.

More than 700 professionals in the park and recreation field attended the conference. The mission of the society is to unite all professionals, students, and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks, and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information on the society, contact the state office at (804) 730-9447 or visit

Friday, September 17, 2010

Exhibit to Feature Emerging Young Artists

The department will host an art exhibit featuring the works of several of Richmond’s emerging young artists. The exhibit, titled “The Up and Comings,” will open with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on October 1 at the Spotlight Gallery, which is located at the department’s Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Rd.

“This exhibit is an opportunity for the public to be introduced to these talented young adults as they move toward their artistic maturity,” says Shaun Casselle, who works with the department’s art programs. “The featured artists are either college students or recent graduates, and their artwork is fused with both traditional and contemporary techniques.”

The exhibit will be on display through November 5. Spotlight Gallery hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Historical Reenactment Commissioned

Richmond, VA – In honor of the Joseph Bryan Park 100th anniversary, the Friends of Bryan Park has commissioned local playwright and founder of Richmond’s African-American Repertory Theater Derome Scott-Smith to write and produce an historical reenactment about Gabriel, the slave whose life and death are forever entwined with the park’s history. The play, a one-man show, will be performed for free in the park on Friday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. and on October 1, 8, and 15, at 6:30 p.m. Local actor, Timothy L. Harris, who is an imposing 6 feet 6 inches tall, will portray Gabriel.

Gabriel planned a slave uprising in 1800, now known as Gabriel’s Rebellion, which was probably the largest conceived in the history of the South. During that summer, the insurrection's leaders met at Young's Spring, beside the creek that runs through Bryan Park. Saturday, Aug. 30, of that year was the night chosen for the uprising, but in a twist of fate, the plans were foiled by a rainstorm that caused flash flooding. The delay ultimately led to the capture and execution of 26 slaves, including Gabriel and his brother.

In the monologue, Harris will portray Gabriel while he was imprisoned awaiting his execution, speculating on his desire for the freedom of all men, his indignation at the injustice of slavery, the planning of his bold rebellion, and his thoughts while facing his own death.

The performances will take place outdoors beside the tennis courts near Picnic Shelter #1. Those planning to attend should bring a blanket or chair for seating. Signs will be posted to direct visitors to the parking area and performance site. In case of inclement weather, performances will be postponed.

The Friends of Bryan Park is a non-profit resident group founded in 1994 to protect and improve the park. The group works closely with Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and has organized the park’s centennial celebration, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon to 6 p.m. For more information, call 804-646-5733.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Outdoor movie, costume contest at Forest Hill Park

The department will show the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog” on Friday, August 27, in Forest Hill Park. Forest Hill Park is located at 4021 Forest Hill Ave. The movie is the final installment of the season in the department’s free outdoor family entertainment series, Friday Pictures in the Park.

The movie will begin at 8:30 p.m., and will be preceded by a prince and princess costume contest for children 12 years old and younger which will begin at 7:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners of the contest.

Both the contest and the movie are free, and free popcorn will be provided while supplies last.

Those planning to attend are reminded to bring blankets or chairs to sit on and their own water or soft drinks to go with the free popcorn.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Richmond Children Can Send a Message to the Future

City children are invited to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bryan Park by writing a letter or sending their artwork to the future.

Children who live in the city of Richmond and are in kindergarten through 12th grade can submit a letter or a drawing for possible inclusion in a time capsule that will be buried in Bryan Park on Sept. 25 during the park’s centennial celebration.

In their letters, children should give their age and tell the park’s future visitors about themselves, their family, the neighborhood where they live, what they like to do and where they like to go in Richmond and why. Children can also write about what they think the future will be like in 100 years. All letters should be signed with names and addresses.

Children can also submit drawings of themselves, their family, friends, house, neighborhood, or someplace in or around the city of Richmond, or a drawing of what they think Richmond will look like in 100 years. All drawings must be on 8½ by 11-inch paper and include name, age, and address.

Children can also send suggestions for items to be included in the capsule.

A panel of judges will select the items to be included in the time capsule.

The deadline for entries and suggestions is Sept. 10. All entries should be mailed to: FoBP Time Capsule Contest, P.O. Box 15481, Richmond, VA 23227-5481.

For more information, e-mail

Bryan Park Centennial Celebration Set for Sept. 25

Join the department and the Friends of Bryan Park in the centennial celebration for Joseph Bryan Park on Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon to 6 p.m. in the park.

The celebration will feature food, live music, children’s activities, and a wide variety of vendors and exhibitors, including local artists, non-profit organizations, and environmental groups.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and other dignitaries will provide opening remarks at 12:30 p.m., while Susan Greenbaum, the Chris Adams Band, and the Bopcats will provide the musical entertainment at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively. In addition, the Richmond Raiders professional indoor football team will be on hand to meet the public, and the Lady Raiders Dance Team will perform.

Arts and crafts, a tree climb, a moon bounce, a fire truck, Richmond's mounted police, and the SPCA's walk-through Tail Wagon will be available for children to enjoy. The RVA Hoop Lovers will provide hula hoop fun, and the Richmond SEAL physical training team will hold a tug-of-war.

One highlight of the day will be the burial of a time capsule in the park. Richmond children in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit a letter or poster for possible inclusion in the time capsule and to make suggestions for items to be included. For complete information on the time capsule, visit or e-mail

The 262 acres, now known as Bryan Park, were given to the city of Richmond 100 years ago in January 1910 by Isobel “Belle” Lamont Stewart Bryan and her five sons to be used as a public park in memory of her late husband Joseph Bryan. Come help us celebrate the park's 110 years.

Friday, August 6, 2010

City Youth to Attend National "Traditions" Golf Tournament

Seven young Richmond golfers will participate in a national tournament in Bloomington, Indiana Aug.7 - Aug.8. They range between the ages of 13 and 15 and are participants in the Department's Challenge Golf League held at The First Tee of Richmond.

The Enrichmond Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports parks and recreation programs throughout the city, raised the funds to cover the cost of the young golfer's travel and tournament play.

The Traditions of Golf Challenge is an annual event that combines playing scores with the rules and etiquette of the game and knowledge of golf's history. Each team's score from their round of golf is combined with their "Traditions of Golf" score to determine the overall champion of the two-day tournament. Knowing what to do after a ball has splashed into a lateral water hazard and how to properly repair a ball mark are just as important as sinking birdie putts.

This is the 12th year that teams from the United States, Canada and Mexico have come together to test not only their golf skills but their knowledge of the game.

The players representing the City of Richmond include: William Redford, Aaron Green, Geoffrey Gill, Mary Ann Gill, Noah Barboza, Quantae Robinson, and Rodney Green. Their coaches are Donald Coleman and Raiford Beasley. According to Coleman, the seven youth were selected based on their skills, attendance record, attitude on the course, and overall coachability. Half of the team has never traveled on a plane nor competed in a tournament.

For more information about the tournament or the Challenge Golf League please contact Noel McKenzie, Executive Director of the Enrichmond Foundation, at 804-405-3366.

Department to Hold Ed Perry Football Camp for Children

Approximately 200 Richmond children will have the opportunity to learn some football and life fundamentals, next week under the instruction of former National Football League (NFL) player Ed Perry. Perry, who was born in Richmond, also played football at Highland Springs High School and James Madison University before being drafted by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins in 1997.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and Open Arms Child Development Center have partnered to offer the Ed Perry Football Camp to children, who range in age from 9 years old to 14 years old, for free. The camp will be held at City Stadium Aug. 9 – 13 from 9 a.m. to noon.

The goal of the camp is to inspire the children to become better athletes as well as to provide them with instruction in life skills. Each day of the camp will include training on basic offensive and defensive football skills, followed by a 30-minute life-skills session covering topics such as nutrition, conditioning and character development.

The Open Arms Child Development Center is a non-profit organization that provides services for at-risk children and families.

Media are invited to visit the camp at any time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Department to show Michael Jackson movie, hold dance contests

Aug. 5, 2010 - The Department will show Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” Friday, Aug. 6, at its Broad Rock Sports Complex as part of its free Friday Pictures in the Park series of outdoor family entertainment. Broad Rock Sports Complex is located at 4801 Old Warwick Rd.

The movie, which will begin at 8:30 p.m., will be preceded by a Michael Jackson dance contests for children and teens at 7 p.m. and for adults at 8 p.m. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place in each contest.

Both the contests and movie are free, and free popcorn will be provided for the movie as well.

The public is encouraged to dress the part and participate in the dance contests, and to bring blankets, chairs and water or soft drinks to enjoy the movie.

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Park Festival July 18

July 16, 2010 What could be better than spending a Sunday afternoon in the park with family and friends? Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City Council President Kathy Graziano, Friends of Forest Hill Park and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities invite you to do just that on Sunday, July 18, from noon until 4 p.m., in Forest Hill Park at the annual Sunday in the Park with Friends.

This free family festival will explode with balloons, bubbles, bounces, bands and bikes, as families are encouraged to bring a picnic and enjoy the park. Dogs are welcome, but they must be leashed at all times.

Free snow cones, ice cream, watermelon and water will be provided, as well as fun, park games and activities for both children and adults, including face painting, clowns, an inflated carousel bounce, sack races, carnival games, and a corn pool.

A new addition to the festival this year is a bike rodeo sponsored by the Richmond Police Department, RA-MORE off-road bike enthusiasts, and several local businesses. The bike rodeo is designed to teach young people and first time bicycle riders safety and riding skills.

The rodeo is for children ages 5 to 12, and written parental permission is required. Participants should bring their own bicycles and register at Shelter #2 by noon Sunday. The park’s bicycle patrol officer Stacy Rogers will donate as many as 200 bike helmets, provide bicycle inspections and safety checks, and will use several bike courses to teach riding and safety skills.

Tours of the historic Stone House and the newly-restored lake are scheduled, and a golf cart shuttle will make the lake accessible to everyone. Visitors will also be able to view displays about the park’s history, the environment, conservation, and the lake renovation project. The Richmond Police Department, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, and the Sheriff’s Departments will all be on hand.

Sponsors for the festival include the city of Richmond, Dominion Virginia Power, Mead Westvaco, Forest Hill and Westover Hills neighborhood associations, WalMart, Sheriff C. T. Woody, Good Shepherd Elementary School, Westover Hills Library Assistance Group, Riverside Outfitters-True Timber, Central Virginia Waste Management Authority, Clown Alley #3, and the South of the James Market.

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Theme Park Tickets Available at Reduced Prices

July 16, 2010 The department is selling discounted tickets to Kings Dominion, Water Country USA and Busch Gardens. Prices range from $28 to $54, depending on the park, the date attending and the age of the user.

Tickets can be purchased Monday through Friday through September 3, from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 308 of the Landmark Theater at 6 N. Laurel St. Ticket purchasers should enter through the glass door in the alley between the Landmark and Grace and Holy Trinity Church next door.

Kings Dominion tickets for visitors age 3 to 61 and valid through August 6 are $31. Thereafter, Kings Dominion tickets for visitors age 3 to 61 are $42.

Water Country tickets are $28 for visitors age 3 to 9 and $35 for visitors age 10 and older and are valid through Sept. 6.

Busch Gardens tickets are $38 for visitors age 3 to 9 and $48 for visitors age 10 and older and are valid through Sept. 6. Thereafter, they are $44 for visitors age 3 to 9 and $54 for visitors age 10 and older.

Tickets must be purchased with a cashier’s check or money order.

For purchases of 25 or more tickets, one day’s notice is required. Payment in full is due when the tickets are picked up. Tickets can be mailed in a self-addressed stamped envelope if requested one week prior to the date they are needed.

For more information, call 646-6934 or 646-6067 or e-mail

The tickets are made available to local park and recreation departments by the Virginia Recreation and Park Society. The city of Richmond does not profit from ticket sales. All sales are final.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

‘Star Trek’ to Show Friday in Abner Clay Park

July 7, 2010
The department will show the 2009 movie, “Star Trek,” Friday, July 9, at 8:30 p.m. in Abner Clay Park as part of its summer Friday Pictures in the Park series.
The movies is free to attend, and popcorn, cotton candy and drinks will be given away for as long as they last. Bring a blanket or chair if you plan to attend.

In addition, come early dressed as a character from Star Trek to participate in a costume contest. There will be one contest for youth age 17 and younger at 7:30 p.m. and another contest for adults 18 and older at 8 p.m. Prizes for first, second, and third place will be awarded in each competition.

Abner Clay Park is located downtown between the 200 block of West Leigh and West Clay streets on Brook Road.

Upcoming movies in the series include “Planet 51” July 16 at Mary Mumford Playground, “The Blind Side” July 23 at Blackwell Community Center, “Monsters vs. Aliens” July 30 at Jefferson Hill Park, “This is It” Aug. 6 at Broad Rock Sports Complex, “Fame” Aug. 13 at Chimborazo Park, “G-Force” Aug. 20 at Hotchkiss Community Center, and “The Princess and the Frog” Aug. 27 at Forest Hill Park. Costume contests will also be held in conjunction with “This is It” and “The Princess and the Frog.”

For more information, call (804) 646-5733.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mayor Announces Public Boating on Several City Lakes

July 1, 2010 - Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today an enhancement to several city parks by allowing non-powered watercraft on three city park lakes. Beginning today, visitors will be allowed to boat on Shields Lake and Swan Lake in William Byrd Park and on Forest Hill Lake in Forest Hill Park.

“I believe residents will enjoy boating on these city lakes as it highlights the aesthetic beauty of our city parks as well as aids in promoting fitness in our city,” said Mayor Jones. “A city’s greatness cannot be measured without including its parks and green spaces, and this added activity highlights the numerous amenities of the already great park system we have here in the city of Richmond. I would like to thank the city’s department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities for implementing this initiative which allows residents and visitors to our city, enhanced access to the city’s parks and lakes.”

The use of non-powered watercraft provides park boaters the opportunity to view the beauty of city’s parks from a different perspective. Paddling and rowing are activities that require the engagement of multiple muscle groups and which helps tone muscles and reduce body weight.

Boaters should use caution as they enter their boats into the water and adhere to the following rules when boating in city lakes:

- Non-powered watercraft only (examples include canoes, row boats, sailfish boats, dinghies and kayaks).
- Inflated tubes are not allowed.
- Powered watercraft (jet skis, wave runners, electric motors, outboards, etc) are not allowed.
- No boats over 13 feet in length.
- No glass containers allowed.
- Lakes close at sunset and open at sunrise daily from April 1 to Nov.30. Lakes are closed at all other times.
- Persons under age 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.
- Watercraft must be carried to the shore or may be launched from designated areas. No vehicle trailers allowed.
- No diving or swimming is allowed.
- Boaters and passengers assume all risk.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Edgar Allan Poe Haunted Homecoming Tour

June 28, 2010 - The department's Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum and Haunts of Richmond Ghost Tours will present the Edgar Allan Poe Haunted Homecoming Tour at Shockoe Hill Cemetery July 15, Jully 16 and July 17 at 8:00 p.m.
This is a dramatic nighttime tour of Shockoe Hill Cemetery based on the many loved ones of Edgar Allan Poe who are buried there. The tour is led by Poe himself, as he guides visitors through his old haunting grounds and interacts with the spirits of those he knew while living in Richmond.
Each tour is limited to 25 people, so register early. Tickets are $18 for adults and $15 for children age 14 and younger and can be purchased online at The proceeds will benefit the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery.
For more information call 804-648-5523.

Friday, June 18, 2010

City Opens The Landing at Byrd Park

June 18, 2010 - Mayor Dwight C. Jones officially opened The Landing with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, June 18. The Landing is the new concession building constructed by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities at Fountain Lake in Byrd Park. The new facility includes restrooms and free WiFi, as well as outdoor tables with umbrellas.

“This is a wonderful new addition to Byrd Park that will enhance the amenities of the park,” said Mayor Jones. “Now residents and visitors can come and enjoy Byrd Park, use the free WiFi, and have refreshments from Sally Bell’s.”

“This makes it a perfect place for office workers to sit outside to enjoy lunch or for families to bring the kids for lunch after a pedal boat ride,” said the city’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities J. R. Pope.

“You can also order in advance and stop by to pick up something if you’re attending one of the city’s Festival of the Arts performances at Dogwood Dell,” he noted.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities incorporated several green components into the construction of the building in keeping with Mayor Jones’ green city initiative. These include the installation of waterless urinals, low-velocity flush toilets, and solar tubes in the roof to bring in more sunlight. The department is also making all of its new signage with recycled materials, and big belly trash cans in the park require emptying less often and save on gas.

The Landing will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, and Sally Bell’s, which has operated in Richmond for 85 years, will be offering their box lunches, as well as items from the grill, sides and desserts. You can find their complete menu online at, and orders can be placed in advance by calling (804) 204-1501.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

City to Kick Off Free Outdoor Movie Series June 18

June 10, 2010 - The department kicks off its second year of “Friday Pictures in the Park” on June 18 at 8:30 p.m. in Byrd Park with the showing of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs." “Friday Pictures in the Park” is the showing of free movies in city parks and community centers with free popcorn and cotton candy.

New to this year’s series are theme nights, when audiences are encouraged to dress like the movie's characters for the showing of "Star Trek," "This Is It" and "The Princess and the Frog.” In addition, a dance competition will be held in conjunction with the showing of "This Is It.”

Theme night movies will begin at 7:30 p.m., while the remainder of the movies will begin at 8:30 p.m. All movies are free.

The department's movie nights are co-sponsored by Pepsi and 106.5 the Beat, and the additional opening night sponsor is Stratford Hills Chick-fil-A.

Billed as the most delicious movie since macaroni met cheese, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” is a Sony animated movie that tells the story of Flint Lockwood, whose invention, the Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, causes new foods to rain down on the town of Swallow Falls every day.

The complete schedule is as follows:
(* indicates a theme night)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Friday, June 18, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Byrd Park, 600 South Boulevard

Imagine That
June 25, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Battery Park, 2803 Dupont Circle

*Star Trek
Friday, July 9, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Abner Clay Park, Brook Road and West Clay Streets
Costume contest

Planet 51
Friday, July 16, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Mary Munford Playground, 211 Westmoreland Avenue

The Blind Side
Friday, July 23, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Blackwell Community Center, 300 East 15th Street

Monsters vs. Aliens
Friday, July 30, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Jefferson Hill Park, 21st and East Marshall Streets

*This is It
Friday, August 6, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Broad Rock Sports Complex, 4801 Old Warwick Road
Dance Contest

Friday, August 13, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Chimborazo Park, 2900 East Grace Street

Friday, August 20, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Hotchkiss Community Center, 701 East Brookland Park Boulevard

*The Princess and the Frog
Friday, August 27, 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Forest Hill Park, 4100 Forest Hill Avenue
Costume contest

For more information, call 646-5733.

City Kicks Off 54th Annual Festival of the Arts June 11

jUNE 10, 2010 - Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will kick off its 54th annual Festival of the Arts at Dogwood Dell on Friday, June 11, at 8 p.m. with an evening of big band music by the Upper East Side Big Band.

In addition to the lineup of performances on the Dell stage, this year's summer-long festival of free outdoor entertainment for families includes a series of Tuesday Blue Plate Specials at 12:30 p.m. for active adults; a series for young audiences on the Ha’Penny Stage adjacent to the Dell; a Gospel Music Fest on July 11 from 3 to 9 p.m.; a Words & Music Festival on July 18 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.; the Fourth Annual Latin Jazz Festival on August 14 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; a series of Carillon concerts performed by the city’s Carilloneur Larry Robinson; and the popular Fourth of July annual performance series concluding with cannon fire and a fireworks spectacular.

Audiences are encouraged to bring the entire family and arrive early to secure a seat in the outdoor amphitheatre. Picnicking is also encouraged; however, audiences are reminded that no pets, alcohol or glass containers are allowed at the Dell.

The program guide listing this year’s lineup and more information, can be found on the department’s website at under Cultural Arts, or for more information, call the Dell Information Line at (804) 646-DELL or the department’s main office at (804) 646-5733.

Friday, June 4, 2010

MARTIN'S Donates Park Benches to City Parks

June 4, 2010
Richmond, VA – MARTIN’S donated 25 benches to Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities yesterday in a ceremony at Byrd Park. The supermarket chain, which now operates four stores in the city, encourages recycling and works with Trex® of Winchester, Virginia to turn recycled plastic bags into park benches, which it then donates to community organizations.

“We could not be more pleased with this donation,” said Dr. Carolyn Graham, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for human services. “We welcome MARTIN’S to our city as a new corporate partner that cares about our community and is willing to step up to the plate and help us build a better Richmond.”

“These benches will help make our parks and playgrounds more inviting to the public and encourage outdoor activity,” said J.R. Pope, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

MARTIN’S Regional Vice President Jim Scanlon was on hand to donate the benches. “Each year, we donate park benches made from recycled plastic grocery bags to beautify local parks and green space in the neighborhoods where we have stores. We call it ‘Bags to Benches’ and we are delighted that 25 benches will find a new home in Richmond city parks where our customers and associates will be able to enjoy them,” he said. MARTIN’S employs approximately 700 full and part-time associates in its four Richmond stores.

The ceremony took place during the city department’s “Senior Day in the Park,” an annual event that kicks off a summer of programs for Richmond’s senior citizens. Four of the benches are already installed at the Byrd Park Tot Lot located just southwest of the Carillon. The remaining will be installed at parks and playgrounds throughout the city.

The department is responsible for 55 tot lots, 60 playgrounds and more than 57 parks and opens spaces throughout the city, including the James River Park System.

“Getting our city’s residents outdoors and active is one of the department’s most important missions,” said Roz Johnson, deputy director of the department. “It is also significant that MARTIN’S donation is based on recycling, an environmental initiative that is becoming increasingly more important. Recycling not only helps our planet, it helps our department save on park maintenance and transporting waste to the landfill,” she said.

Each bench is made from approximately 5,500 recycled plastic bags, according to MARTIN’S. Since 1997, the company has donated 1,400 park benches to a variety of organizations, including parks, playgrounds, fire departments, churches, libraries and schools.

For more information on MARTIN’S Bags to Benches program visit

For more information on Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities visit

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

City Celebrates Re-Opening of Forest Hill Lake

Celebration to Feature First Annual Regatta on Restored Lake

May 18, 2010
City Celebrates the Re-Opening of Forest Hill Lake

Richmond, VA - The city of Richmond and the Forest Hill Neighborhood Association will hold a ribbon-cutting and a regatta on Saturday, May 22, to celebrate the re-opening of the restored lake in Forest Hill Park. The event will kick off at the lake’s gazebo at 2:30 p.m. with remarks from Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City Council President Kathy Graziano, and J. R. Pope, director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

The lake restoration, which began in May 2009, was completed ahead of schedule and came in under budget at $1.4 million. Once a site that attracted visitors, the lake had become overgrown with vegetation and clogged with silt washed downstream by Reedy Creek. Now dredged and restored to its original beauty, it is once again attracting many to fish, stroll and jog along its shore line.

“I am very proud of the fact that we were able to restore one of Richmond’s forgotten treasures,” said Mayor Jones. “Bringing the lake back to its original beauty gives the city of Richmond a park setting that any tier one city would be proud of.”

“This was a project the department really wanted to undertake,” said Pope, “Great parks make great neighborhoods. They bring people together, they give us a place to exercise, a place to have fun, and a place where we can interact with and enjoy nature.”

Following the ceremony, the newly-formed Forest Hill Yacht Club, the only neighborhood yacht club in the city, will hold its first annual regatta. The event will include a solo kayak/canoe race, a dual kayak/canoe race and a youth boat race.

Also included in the day’s fun will be a dog swim, a best decorated boat contest, a remote-control model boat competition, and a no paddles neighborhood vs. neighborhood six-person canoe race.

For more information or to register in advance for one of the races, visit or call (804) 233-3748.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Help Send A Richmond Child to Summer Camp

May 13, 2010

Help Send a Richmond Child to Summer Camp

You can give a city of Richmond child the opportunity to enjoy summer camp by contributing to the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities’ Send-a-Kid-to-Camp Campaign.

The department, in partnership with Radio One, Miss Community Clovia, and the Enrichmond Foundation, will hold a radiothon May 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. inviting citizens to help make a difference in a child’s life this summer by donating to the Send-a-Kid-to-Camp campaign.

“These funds help us reach kids in the city that often have few options and need someone in their lives to steer them in the right direction. On the whole, by donating, you are joining our effort to make the city a better place to live for all of us,” said J.R. Pope, director of the department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

“We are encouraging everyone to give what they can. By working together, we truly can make a difference,” said Roslyn Johnson, deputy director of the department.

The department offers a nine-week summer camp for children ages 6 - 12 called “Imagine the Possibilities.” The day camp runs from June 21 – Aug. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. It is offered at 16 locations throughout the city and costs $225 per child for city residents.

The camps provide structured recreational and learning activities that include games, playground activities, physical fitness, athletics, swimming, golf, tennis, field trips, cultural arts, entertainment, and environmental, health and nutrition programs, as well as citizenship, leadership and life skills training. A free breakfast and lunch is provided by the USDA Summer Meals for Kids Program each day of the camp.
Tune in to the Radiothon on 105.7 FM, 99.3 FM, 104.7 FM or 92.1 FM May 20 to make a call-in donation. Citizens can contribute any amount they want, and all donations are tax deductible.

Contributions can also be made on the foundation’s website at or mail checks made payable to the Enrichmond Foundation/Send-A-Kid-to-Camp to 6 North Laurel Street, Room 304, Richmond, Virginia 23220.

For more information, call 804-646-5733.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Please Follow City's River Regulations

May 10, 2010 Reminder: Please follow River Regulations
The city of Richmond reminds visitors to the James River Park to obey Richmond’s river regulations.
“The regulations were put in place by the city of Richmond to increase public safety at the river. We want the public to enjoy the park, but we want them to be safe and to obey the regulations. They could save your life,” said J.R. Pope, director of the department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.
The regulations require that anyone in the water must be wearing a life jacket when the water level reaches five feet at Richmond’s Westham Gauge. When the river level reaches nine feet, the river is closed and it is illegal for anyone who does not have a whitewater permit to be in the water.
“Now that the weather is warm, more people are coming out to enjoy the park and the river, and we want the public to know these river regulations,” Pope said. “If you plan on getting in the water – even if it’s just to wade along the shore or to go sit on a rock – it’s important for your own safety that you follow the regulations.”
Park staff posts signs throughout the James River Park, at river access points, when the water level reaches five feet that state you must wear a life jacket, and when it reaches nine feet the signs indicate that only people with a permit are allowed in the water.
Citizens can also check James River water levels before they leave home by calling Richmond’s weather and river level hotline at (804) 646-8228 and then selecting option 4, or by visiting the National Weather Service’s website at and typing “James River Westham” in the search box.
Pope says that many people don’t understand or underestimate the power of the river and that looks can be deceiving. While the water may look calm on the surface, it can be moving with such force below the surface that it makes it impossible to keep your footing even in a few feet of water. Also, conditions can change very quickly.
In addition to obeying the water level regulations, here are some other measures the department recommends people take to be safe at the river:
· If you can’t swim - just don’t go in.
· Never go in the water when you are alone.
· When visiting the river, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
· Pay attention to your surroundings. Water levels and conditions can change VERY quickly.
· Always wear shoes in the river.
· Be aware that the river bottom is uneven and may drop off suddenly and that the rocks can be slippery.
· Always have young children wear life jackets.
· Don’t overestimate your skills. Even the strongest swimmers and most experienced boaters can and have experienced difficulty.
Regulations also forbid bringing glass containers into the park, so remember to use plastic or paper items instead.
Finally, please do not litter. “Litter makes our parks unsightly and unsanitary,” said Pope. “You can help make Richmond a great place to be this summer by helping to keep our parks clean so everyone can enjoy them. We keep plenty of trash cans and recycling boxes around throughout of the park, so please use them.”

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

City Children Donate Funds for Solar Cookers

April 28, 2010 Children enrolled in the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities After School Program raised $2,004.27 that they donated at City Hall April 28 for the purchase of solar cookers for women in South Africa.

Each year, children in the program raise money in a variety of ways to help other children and families who are not as fortunate as they are. This year they held penny drives; sold cookies, ice cream, popcorn, funnel cakes, and day planners; collected coins in coin jars; asked for donations that equal their height; and did a variety of other things to raise money.

The department offers the After School Program at 21 elementary school sites throughout the city, and approximately 500 children are enrolled. The children in the After School Program at Clark Springs Elementary School raised the most money this year and came to City Hall to make the donation.

A child in the program presented a large pink piggy bank, one of five stuffed with fake money to represent their donation, to Dr. Carolyn Graham, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer for human services, on the steps of City Hall.

“We think it’s important to recognize these children for their efforts. This program teaches them the importance of helping others, and we hope it instills in them a sense of community spirit and volunteerism,” said Dr. Graham.

Dr. Graham in turn presented the piggy bank to Rabbi Ben Romer of Richmond’s Congregation Or Ami. He was there representing the Solar Cooker Project, which the children chose as the recipient of the efforts.

The Solar Cooker Project helps women in refugee camps care for their families, which usually include not only their own children but several orphans as well. The solar cookers also provide the women with a means of producing an income, and, of course, they benefit the environment as well. Just two solar cookers lower the need for firewood and reduce greenhouse gasses by more than 3,814 pounds a year.

You can learn more about the Solar Cooker Project online at

This is the third year that children enrolled in the department’s After School Program have raised funds to help less fortunate children and families. Previously, their efforts have funded honey bees and hives to help provide an income for needy families through Heifer International and provided a water pump for the village of Ha Pokane, South Africa, through PlayPumps International.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day Richmond April 25

April 14, 2010
This year’s Earth Day Celebration in Richmond promises to be bigger and better than ever.

“With new sponsors and the booming development taking place in Manchester, the planning committee is full of new and exciting plans for this year’s event,” said Noel McKenzie, director of the Enrichmond Foundation and co-chair of the planning committee along with Foundation board member Sandra Booth and Tonie Stevens of Style Weekly.

The event will take place on Sunday, April 25, from noon to 5 p.m. along Hull Street south of the Mayo Bridge, which crosses the river at 14th Street.

“This area of Manchester is really blossoming, and the public will have the opportunity to tour some of the new apartments and properties being developed,” said Heather Russell of Fountainhead Properties, one of the major sponsors for the event this year.

The celebration will include a host of environmentally conscious vendors and exhibitors, as well as programs for children, workshops, local bands, artwork, entertainment and food.

The lineup of local bands on the Main Stage, which will be located in the parking lot at 2nd and Hull streets, includes David Schultz and the Skyline at 12:45 p.m., the Photosynthesizers at 2 p.m., Hot Lava at 3:10 p.m., and Gills & Wings at 4 p.m. You can sample their music and learn much more about Richmond’s Earth Day Celebration online at

Alicia R. Zatcoff, the city of Richmond’s new sustainability manager, will kick off the festival from the Main Stage at noon with opening remarks and an update on the city’s sustainability efforts.

An acoustic stage in the Kid’s Activity area, which will be in the fountain courtyard at Plant Zero, will feature music by Rockitz, kicking off with Pam McCarthy at noon and followed by Ricky Allen, Heather Griffith, Chris Branch, People's Choice, Tabb Justis, the Floating Folk Band, Jessica Salamonsky, Kirsten Hazler, and Doug Fisher.

A number of sustainable workshops organized by the Backyard Farmer and Save the Trash will be offered on 3rd Street to help participants create a sustainable lifestyle, and art exhibits will be on display inside Art Works and Plant Zero.

Art Works will feature a unique exhibit of art made from recycled or found materials, and “Sky was yellow, Sun was blue” will be on in Plant Zero’s Russell Projects contemporary gallery. Artists will provide live demonstrations, and the public can make their own recycled art or join in the Earth Salutations led by Karen Hansen and Ellie Burke in the Yoga and Wellness Lounge.

The James River Outdoor Coalition will hold its annual Outdoor Gear Swap, so come prepared to recycle your gear or pick up some gently used items, and Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will hold it’s annual Fish Festival, featuring the “Dance of the Migrating Shad” and an entire slate of fish-related activities next to the Mayo Bridge.

Style Weekly, a key sponsor of this year’s Earth Day Celebration, will reveal the recipients of its annual Green Hero Awards in a program starting at 4 p.m. at Plant Zero. The award goes to ordinary businesses and people who have made an extraordinary commitment to preserve and improve our planet Earth and our community.

The Earth Day celebration is free to attend thanks to the support of the event’s sponsors: Fountainhead Properties, Style Weekly, Dominion Resources, Altria, Urban Grid Solar, Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, Brown Distributing, Bud Light, Widmer Brothers, Bon Secours Richmond Health System, Virginia House Development Authority, Walter Parks Architect and Green Duck.

For more information on the event or to volunteer, visit

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

City to Kick Off Summer Camp Registration April 14

April 7, 2010
Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will offer summer day camps for area children ages 6 through 12 at the department’s community centers from June 21 through Aug. 20. Called the “Great Summer Escape,” the camps will meet on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and will provide a variety of educational, cultural, artistic, athletic, and fun social activities for children, as well as a nutritional breakfast and lunch.

Registration for city residents will cost $225 per child and will take place starting on April 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at each community center and will continue at the same time on weekdays until the camps are filled. Registration for the camp at Mary Munford Elementary School also will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 14, but it will be held at the Randolph Community Center.

Registration for all non-city residents will cost $245 per child and will start on May 17 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the community centers.

To find a community center near you visit the department's website at or call (804) 646-5733.

The department also offers a variety of “specialty” camps that focus on specific activities such as art or an athletic skill. These camps are held at various times throughout the summer and costs vary as well. Complete information on these camps can be found in the summer program guide published on the department’s website at and available at all department community centers, city libraries and city hall.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Please Don't Feed the Geese

April 1, 2010
Now that spring is here and so many people are out enjoying Richmond's parks, the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is once again asking the public not to feed the geese in Byrd Park.

“While the Canada geese are beautiful and feeding them may be fun, it is not healthy for our parks or for the geese,” said J.R. Pope, director of the department.

Canada geese are migrating birds. Feeding them encourages them to stop migrating and leads to the domestication of these wild animals. The result of this is an overpopulation of geese in the park, which in turn causes environmental damage to the park, creates unsanitary conditions, adds pollutants to the lakes, and can result in diseased flocks that spread diseases to other animals. In addition, human food is not appropriate for the geese and in the long-term can result in deformities.

Geese that do not migrate also rapidly loose their fear of humans and can become very territorial and aggressive.

The department began using border collies to help control the goose population in Byrd Park in 2008 and has brought them back this year. The dogs are trained to target Canada geese and chase them, which encourages their migration without harming them.

“By feeding the geese, the public is undoing everything we are trying to do to keep our parks well-maintained and enjoyable to visit,” said Pope, who recommends that the public enjoy watching the geese or photographing them instead of feeding them. “Nobody wants to come to a park and wade through the goose droppings,” he said.

Canada geese are not to be confused with domestic geese and ducks. They can be identified by their long black necks. A picture of a Canada goose can be found at


· With increased urbanization over the past 25 years, the population of resident geese in the United States has increased dramatically and shows no signs of declining.

· There are an estimated 5 million resident geese in the continental US today.

· Geese typically start breeding at 3 years of age and can continue for up to 17 years. Although, geese breed just once a year, during March and April, a goose lays 2-8 eggs, called a clutch. (For every 100 birds, with half or 50 being female, this can amount to as many as 400 additional geese a year.)

· Resident geese in urban areas typically have few natural predators, such as foxes and coyotes, making it easy for them to multiply.

· The crowding of geese in concentrated areas increases their stress and susceptibility to infections and diseases, like avian cholera or avian botulism, and facilitates the rapid spread of diseases.

· Typically the human food used to feed geese (white bread, etc.) does not provide the nutrition needed for proper growth and development and over the long-term can result in deformities.

· Large concentrations of geese can harm the environment through overgrazing causing erosion and the degradation of the landscape, making it undesirable for other species and unsightly for humans.

· Each goose typically produces 1.5 pounds of droppings a day, which is not conducive to park use and can add excessive nutrients to nearby lakes and ponds resulting in water quality problems such as algae blooms.

· Geese typically adjust rapidly to urban settings and lose their “wildness.” They loose their fear of humans, cars and planes, and can become very territorial and aggressive “nuisance animals.” They can also cause traffic and safety problems.

· Short grass with water nearby is the ideal habitat for geese, which is why so many are found at airports, golf courses, office parks and city parks. With “free food” handed out, this ensures that the birds will stay.

· Geese haven’t simply “forgotten” to migrate. Migration is a learned behavior - not instinct. The birds must learn to migrate from their parents. If the adults do not migrate, each new generation also will not migrate.


Friday, March 19, 2010

City to Hold 'Eggstravaganzas' for Children

March 19, 2010
Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will hold two free spring “Eggstravaganzas” for area children featuring egg hunts with a total of more than 30,000 candy-filled eggs.
The first will be held Saturday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, located at 4901 Old Brood Rd. The second will be held Saturday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Forest Hill Park, located at 41st Street and Forest Hill Avenue.
Both events will include games, music, food, arts and crafts, face painting, balloon artists, the opportunity to have a caricature portrait drawn and a photo taken with “Mr. Bunny,” as well as an abundance of other activities and prizes. The Richmond Police Department and the Sheriff’s Office will also be on hand to fingerprint children. Every child will leave with something to take home.
Children should bring their own basket and arrive early to register for the egg hunts, which will be separated at each location into three hunts for different age groups. Each location will hold an egg hunt for children ages 4 and younger at noon, an egg hunt for children ages 5 to 7 at 12:30 p.m., and an egg hunt for children ages 8 to 12 at 1 p.m.
Joining the department are Radio One as co-sponsor of the Pine Camp Eggstravaganza and Clear Channel – 106.5 the Beat as co-sponsor the Forest Hill Eggstravaganza.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Department Offers Guided Walks

The department will continue offering its guided walks on the Slave Trail on Saturdays in March and has added a new walk in the James River Park to see the growing nesting colony of Great Blue Herons.
The guided walks along the Slave Trail will be offered every Saturday in March at 2 p.m. These are emotional walks that originate at the docks at Ancarrow’s Landing and cross the river to conclude at the site of Lumpkin’s Jail and the Reconciliation Statue.
Guided walks to see the heron rookery on the James River are a new program being offered in partnership with the Audubon Society. They will be held every Saturday throughout March at 11 a.m.
More than 40 nests of Great Blue Herons have been counted already in the James River Park’s growing rookery. This is a short hike to the viewing site, but you must be able to climb a ladder. Dress appropriately, and if possible bring binoculars or a spotting scope.
All walks are $5 per person and advance registration is required by calling 646-8911.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Will the Paranormal Show Up?

March 2, 2010
If you are interested in the paranormal, you may want to be at the Pump House on Saturday, March 6, between 10:30 a.m. and noon. That's when Robert Bess and his team from the Foundation for Paranormal Research will attempt to capture and contain ghosts and other "foreign entities" at the Pump House. Bess will discuss his theories and explain his equipment.
He has advised the department that this event is not appropriate for children or the faint of heart. It is free and open to the public, and cameras are allowed.
The Pump House is located just north of the Boulevard Bridge.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Teams, individuals wanted for new co-ed football league

Feb. 26, 2010
The department is starting a new co-ed adult sports league and kicking it off with football.
“The department has focused primarily on giving children in the city the opportunity to play sports, but the addition of this new league will give adults the opportunity to get out and have some fun playing sports too,” said department Director J.R. Pope.
Adults age 21 and older and teams of adults are invited to register for co-ed flag and two-hand touch football on March 3 and March 4.
Registration for a team of 15 adults is $600. Additional team members will cost $30 each, and individuals can register to play for $45.
There will be two divisions of play: one for co-ed flag football and one for two-handed co-ed touch football, which will be less competitive and more social. The games, including playoffs, will be played on Saturdays from April 10 through June 5.
Registration will take place between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Blanton House, located at 700 Blanton Ave. near the Byrd Park tennis courts. Go to for registration forms. All checks or money orders should be made payable to Richmond Parks, Recreation & Community Facilities. No charge cards will be accepted.
For more information, call 804-646-1441.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bryan Park Main Entrance To Close Temporarily

Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010

The department is closing the main entrance to Bryan Park off of Hermitage Road tomorrow morning, Feb. 26, at 7 a.m. while it makes repairs to a broken water main. It estimates that the entrance will be closed for five to six hours. During this time the park will remain open, however there will be no vehicular access to the park.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Department to Celebrate Women in the Arts

February 12, 2010
The department will celebrate women in the arts – specifically women in fiber arts - in an exhibit at the Spotlight Gallery that will open with a public reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday March 12.
The exhibit will show through April 16 and is part of a statewide celebration of women in the arts called “MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts,” which includes thousands of special events, performances, literary readings, films and art exhibitions throughout the state that feature the contributions of women to arts and culture.
Works of several local artists will be shown in the Spotlight exhibit, including those of Susan Quel, who teaches at the Pine Camp Arts and Community Center where the Spotlight Gallery is located and who has been featured in fiber art magazines. Rhonda Corley, a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York; Cheri Hankins, who specializes in weaving tallitot; and the Sisters of the Yam African-American Quilters Guild are among the others whose works will be shown.

The Spotlight Gallery is located at the Pine Camp Arts and Community Center, 4901 Old Brook Road. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To learn more about MINDS WIDE OPEN and see photos of performances and exhibitions visit their website at

Friday, February 5, 2010

Closings and Cancellations

Feb. 5, 2010
All department community centers will close at 3 p.m. today, Friday, Feb. 5, 2010, and all day Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, and Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. All programs scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday also have been cancelled.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Community Centers to be Open Tomorrow (Feb. 2, 2010)

Feb. 1, 2010
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities' community centers will be open tomorrow, Feb. 2, 2010, from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Children and adults are encouraged to visit to take part in activities. A list of the centers can be found on the department's web page at

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Explore Your Creativity with an Art Class at Pine Camp

January 26, 2010
Our arts and crafts classes at Pine Camp allow adults and children plenty of opportunities to explore and develop their creativity. Our big, beautiful studios at Pine Camp provide an atmosphere that is relaxing and will inspire your creativity, while our our top-notch instructors are supportive and win praises from our students.
The wide variety of classes range from fiber arts to jewelry-making, photography, pottery, painting, drawing and many more unique arts and crafts. To see a complete list and schedule of upcoming classes consult our Program Guide at
For more information, call our Art Department at (804) 646-3674.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Guided Walks on Richmond's Slave Trail

January 21, 2010
Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will offer guided walks on Richmond's Slave Trail each Saturday during February in recognition of Black History Month.
These emotional walks, led by James River Park Manager Ralph White, will take you from the stone docks at Ancarrow's Landing through the forest and across the river to the site of the old slave jails.
The walks will be scheduled for 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. based on demand. There is a $5 per person fee.
Please register in advance by calling the James River Park System at 804-646-8911.

City Dance Theatre to Perform

January 21, 2010
The Department's national award-winning City Dance Theatre, composed of young dancers ranging in age from 9 to 17, will perform in the following upcoming programs.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan 24, at 3 p.m. they will perform in “Lights Up!,” a celebration of youth and the arts at Richmond CenterStage in the Carpenter Theatre. The concert will also feature performances by the Richmond Youth Symphony, the Virginia Youth Opera, the Richmond Ballet, SPARC and others.
On Saturday, Jan. 30, the young dancers will perform in the Virginia Dance Festival, which is hosted annually by the Jessica Morgan School of Dance at James River High School. The performances are at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the door.
City Dance Theatre will also be a part of the fifth annual youth Educoncert, Generation Dream 2010, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Educoncert is presented by the Richmond Youth Peace Project, a joint project of the Richmond Peace Education Center and Drums No Guns. Performances are scheduled at the VCU Singleton Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 28, at 7 p.m., and at the Henrico Theater, 305 E. Nine Mile Road in Highland Springs, on Saturday, Jan. 30, at 7 p.m. A $5 per family donation to help defray expenses is requested for Thursday’s performance, and admission is free for Saturday’s show.
For more information on City Dance Theatre, call Annette Holt, manager of the department’s dance program, at 804-646-3673.

Have Fun and Help Save the Planet! - Plant Trees in Bryd Park

January 21, 2010
If you enjoy using the Vita Course in Byrd Park, consider giving back by volunteering to help plant new trees around the course.
Volunteers are wanted to gather at 9 a.m. on Jan. 23 to help plant 20 new trees around this popular exercise course in Byrd Park.
The trees are being provided by the Friends of William Byrd Park, a citizen’s group that helps care for the park. Volunteers will receive instruction on how to plant the trees correctly so that they will grow and thrive. The project is expected to be completed by noon or perhaps earlier.
The tree planting is a joint effort of the Friends of William Byrd Park, the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities, the Richmond Recreation and Parks Foundation, and the Department of Public Works. It is the first of a multi-year project planned by the Friends group to plant trees around the Vita Course to increase the shade canopy.
Anyone interested in giving a few hours of their time is encouraged to meet at the entrance to the course in Byrd Park on Trafford Road at 9 a.m. Bring work gloves, and if you have them, shovels, rakes and wire cutters.
For more information, call (804) 971-3646.
Have fun and help save the planet too!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Warning: Park Lakes Currently Dangerous

January 12, 2010
Richmond's Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is asking the public to stay off its frozen lakes.

The department has lakes at Byrd Park, Bryan Park and Forest Hill Park. “Although they may appear to be frozen, they are not safe,” said Department Director J. R. Pope.
“When the temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing as they have recently in Richmond, it causes a ‘honeycomb’ effect within the ice, which weakens it,” Pope explained. “While they may look inviting, they are dangerous.”
The department has posted “No Skating” signs around all park lakes. This includes the three lakes at Byrd Park, the Azalea Garden Pond and Young’s Pond at Bryan Park, and the lake at Forest Hill Park. The signs use a symbol of a man ice skating with the familiar circle and bar stamped across it.
Contacts: Tesha Davis – (804) 646-3998
Christy Everson – (804) 646-5944

Spotlight Gallery to Feature Local African-American Artists

January 6, 2010
The City of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will present “From Africa and Beyond,” an exhibit representing more than 20 local African-American artists, in its Spotlight Gallery in celebration of African-American History Month. This annual group exhibit will trace the imprint of African Americans from the rich influence of Africa to current trends in contemporary art and feature paintings, drawings, collage, quilts, ceramics and photographs.

The exhibit will open with a reception Friday, Jan. 15, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and continue through Feb. 19.
The Spotlight Gallery is located at the department’s Pine Camp Arts and Community Center at 4901 Old Brook Rd. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 646-3674.