Thursday, July 28, 2011

James River Park Programs Scheduled

The department has scheduled three programs to be held in its James River Park System.       
     On Friday, July 29, children and their families are invited to come to the park’s headquarters at Reedy Creek, 4001 Riverside Drive, for a program called “Insects at Night.” This program offers a hands-on investigation of insects caught in light traps and is co-sponsored by the James River Park System and VCU. No fee or advance registration is required for the program, which will take place from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
     On Saturday, July 30, back by popular demand, the department will offer a guided Torch-Lit Walk on the Slave Trail. The walk, which will cost $5 per person, will start at 8:30 p.m. from Ancarrow’s Landing, located at 1308 Bander St. No advance registration is required, and return transportation to the parking lot following the walk will be provided.
     On Friday, Aug. 12, the department will offer a “Moonlight Paddle and Picnic for Wounded Warriors.” This free program is co-sponsored by the James River Park System, the James River Outdoor Coalition and McGuire Veterans Hospital, and all veterans, “wounded warriors,” handicapped individuals, and the general public are invited to participate. The event will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Huguenot Flatwater, located at 8200 Riverside Drive. Advance registration by Wednesday, Aug. 10, is required by calling (804) 646-8911. There is no fee to participate.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Grant Helps City Provide Free Summer Meals for Children

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities will be able to expand and enhance its free summer meals program for children and its child and adult care food programs with a funding boost from Walmart and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The department was among 30 agencies chosen nationwide to benefit from a $2.1 million grant from the Walmart Foundation and will receive $40,000.         The funding is part of Walmart’s Summer Giving Campaign, a broad $25 million initiative aimed at filling the gaps in food service created when schools close for summer. The initiative is expected to impact more than 110,000 U.S. middle and high school students throughout the summer months.
        “Kids should have every opportunity to grow into successful adults and we’re doing our part to make sure that’s the case this summer,” said Walmart Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs Leslie Dach. “From helping thousands of kids stay active and learn, to supporting summer job programs and providing nutritious meals, we’re committed to making a difference.”
        “Helping children and families in Richmond is a key objective of our department,” said department director, Dr. Norman C. Merrifield. “We are thrilled to be a part of NRPA’s national effort to combat hunger, particularly in these difficult economic times. With this generous support from the Walmart Foundation, we hope to provide an additional 50,000 healthy meals and snacks through our food service programs for free.”
        The department has provided food services since 1983 and will use its share of the funding to hire additional staff to help serve food, to buy additional tables and chairs to enhance service, and to market its food programs. The meals and snacks used by the department are provided through U.S. Department of Agriculture feeding programs and served for free at department community centers and other sites throughout Richmond and the surrounding area. No advance registration is required to walk in and receive a free meal or snack, and any agency or organization that provides programs for youth ages one up to 18 can participate as a food service site in the department’s programs.
        “Park and recreation agencies are on the frontline in the fight to build and maintain healthy communities,” said Barbara Tulipane, CEO of NRPA. “This generous gift from the Walmart Foundation will help our local champions provide nutritious meals for millions of children and support the development of a healthy, connected and active generation of Americans.”
Kids Eat Free meal locations:

About Philanthropy at Walmart

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support initiatives that are helping people live better around the globe. In May 2010, Walmart and its Foundation made a historic pledge of $2 billion through 2015 to fight hunger in the U.S. The Walmart Foundation also supports education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on how Walmart is bringing its commitment to hunger relief to life this summer, visit

About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities for the City of Richmond strives to provide exceptional recreation programs and park facilities to enhance the quality of life for its citizens and visitors to the city and to preserve and protect the city’s natural areas of unique or exceptional scenic, cultural, archaeological or historic significance for future generations to enjoy and embrace.
For more information on NRPA’s food service programs, contact Jimmy O’Connor, senior manager of corporate grants, at For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

About the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Department Kicks Off Free Outdoor Movie Series

The department will kick off its third year of free movies in the park on Friday, July 15, at 8 p.m. with the showing of "Megamind” in Byrd Park beside Fountain Lake. The animated film features Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Tina Fey in a sci-fi comedy that finally gives the underdog a chance to save the world.
“Megamind” will be followed by six more free family movie nights in Richmond’s parks. The schedule is as follows:

· Friday, July 22
“Despicable Me”
Battery Park
2803 Dupont Circle

· Friday, July 29
“Alpha and Omega”
Hotchkiss Community Center
701 E. Brookland Park Blvd.

· Friday, August 5
“Shrek Forever After”
Mary Munford Playground
211 Westmoreland St.

· Thursday, August 11
“Justin Bieber: Never Say Never”
Bryan Park
4308 Hermitage Road

· Friday, August 12
“Sister Act II”
Byrd Park’s Dogwood Dell
1100 Blanton Ave.

· Friday, August 19
Forest Hill Park
4021 Forest Hill Ave.

All movies will begin at 8 p.m. and are rated PG. The department's movie night series is co-sponsored by 106.5 the Beat.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks Rescheduled for Tonight!

The City of Richmond has rescheduled its Festival of the Arts’ Fourth of July program at Dogwood Dell for 7 p.m. tonight, July 5. The program, originally scheduled for last night, was postponed due to inclement weather.
The program this evening will begin with a performance of patriotic music by the Richmond Concert Band, and will be followed by fireworks starting at approximately 8:30 p.m. The fireworks display is contingent on the weather and approval by the fire marshal. A rain delay until 10 p.m. is allowable, however if the fireworks cannot be started by 10 p.m. they will be cancelled for the year.
Parking will be available at City Stadium with shuttle service to and from the Dell starting at 5:30 p.m. Parking at the stadium is strongly advised as parking will not be allowed on grassy areas, medians, bridges or on many of the neighborhood streets and parking regulations will be strictly enforced. Violators will be ticketed and towed at their own expense.
The following traffic pattern changes and detours also will be in effect:

*The Boulevard will be closed to southbound traffic at Cary Street beginning at 7 p.m.
*Westover Hills Boulevard will be closed at Forest Hill Avenue to northbound traffic beginning at 7 p.m. The detour is west on Forest Hill Avenue to the Powhite Parkway or east on Forest Hill Avenue to the Lee Bridge.
*Douglasdale Road between McCloy Street and Blanton Avenue will be closed to traffic from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. as the roadway will be used for shuttle buses only.
*After the fireworks, all northbound traffic on the Boulevard will be detoured eastbound onto Interstate 195. If you are traveling east on Interstate 195 there is a .70-cent toll. The Boulevard northbound will reopen 30 minutes after the fireworks have ended.