Monday, April 29, 2013

James River Park Manager Named

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities has named Nathan J. Burrell as manager of its James River Park. Burrell follows in the footsteps of the well-known Ralph White, who worked for the park for more than 30 years until his retirement in December 2012. His appointment comes after a nationwide search and review by a citizen advisory committee.
      “I am confident in Mr. Burrell’s ability to manage and maintain the James River Park, which is one of the city’s greatest assets and widely appreciated by so many Richmond-area residents as well as outdoor enthusiast from across the country,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the city’s parks and recreation department.
      Burrell has worked for the department in the James River Park as trails manager since 2003. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in parks and recreation management and a minor in environmental studies.
      “I’m excited about this opportunity to help in making Richmond one of the most livable cities in the U.S. with my focus on the management and development of one of our greatest resources, the James River Park,” said Burrell. “In addition, I am especially committed to maintaining a balanced approach between adventure recreation and environmental stewardship, which is critical to the future of the park.”
      Burrell, who is an instructor in training for the League of American Bicyclists, is also a state certified erosion and sediment control agent. He is a member of the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Trails Planning Commission and the James River Branch Rail-Trail Advisory Committee; a board member of the Ground Works RVA Steering Committee; a technical advisor to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for their “Trail Tool Box;”and sits on the Richmond Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan Advisory Committee.
      In addition, Burrell has presented at six national and state Trail and Greenway Conferences and won several awards, including being named as one of Richmond’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Style Weekly in 2011 and named Richmond’s #1 Object of Affection by Richmond Magazine in 2007. He has also received two recognitions by Richmond City Council, one for the development of the trails in Larus Park and the other for the development of the 14th Street White Water Take Out on the James River.  


Department to Host Community Yard Sale

The department will host a community yard sale on Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its Blackwell Community Center, located at 300 East 15th Street.  The public is invited to participate both as a vendor and as a shopper.
      If you want to get rid of all the items you no longer use that are cluttering up your life, for just $5 you can reserve your space and rent a table or bring your own. Call 646-8630 or 646-8927 to make your reservations today. Set up will begin at 7:30 a.m. on May 4.
      If you’re a shopper, whether you are looking for that “Road Show” item or you’re only looking for some children’s clothes, you just might find it here.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Celebrate 2013 Earth Day at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market

The Richmond Earth Day Festival kicks-off on Saturday, April 20, from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market in the city’s historic Shockoe Bottom. Admission to the festival is free.
      The Richmond Earth Day Festival will entertain and educate attendees about local resources that make the world a better place, as well as featuring great live music and local food, beer and wine vendors. As one of the oldest Farmers’ Markets in the country, the 17th Street Farmers’ Market is the perfect location for attendees to explore the interactive areas of the festival that will include:

·         Eco-Home presented by Earth Craft Virginia
-         Energy efficient home supplies
-         Contractors/builders
-         Eco-friendly clothes/fabrics
-         Eco-friendly home services
·         Eco-Outdoors
-         Eco-friendly lawn care
-         Eco-friendly outdoor supplies
-         Eco-friendly lumber/play sets
·         Eco-Kids - An array of hands-on activities for kids of all ages provided by Backyard Farmer and Virginia Center for Latin American Art
-         Hands-on gardening activities
-         Games made out of repurposed materials
-         Eco-friendly art projects
·         Eco-On-the-Go
-         Eco-friendly cars
-         Eco-friendly modes of transportation
-         Coordinated group rides to and from the festival, a bike plaza as well as bike experts on-hand from Carytown Bikes, Bysolar, Ride Richmond and RA-MORE
·         Eco-Marketplace
-         Environmentally friendly arts & crafts vendors
-         Local food producers & farms
-         Local wineries
·         Eco-Adventure Interactive
-         Rock climbing
-         Segway rides – presented by River City Segs
-         Sign up for exclusive Virginia Capital Trail walks/Richmond Slave Trail walks
-         Biking adventures
-         Interactive art demonstrations
       Live music will take place throughout the day on two stages, and include performances by Susan Greenbaum, Bio Ritmo, Andy Vaughan and the Driveline and Sons of Zebedee. Festival guests can also enjoy an eco-friendly art court, where local artists will be on-site creating amazing large-scale sculptures with recycled materials. The Mayor’s Youth Academy Future Leaders Council will be on-site selling small recyclable tote bags to raise funds to provide a book scholarship for students attending college in the fall.
       The Richmond Earth Day Festival is produced by the City of Richmond in partnership with Enrichmond, a foundation serving Richmond’s people, parks and public spaces. The event is supported by Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, University of Richmond, Sierra Club, James River Park, Richmond Public Library Foundation, and many more. Event sponsors include Earth Craft Virginia, Brown Distributing, River City Recycling, NBC12, Cox Radio, and Dominion/Honeywell.
      For more information on the Richmond Earth Day Festival visit

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

City, Comcast Partner to Beautify Byrd Park

Hundreds of Volunteers Expected on Comcast Cares Day, Comcast’s Annual Nationwide Day of Service
WHAT:           Local volunteers, including City of Richmond and Comcast employees and their families and friends; the Mayor’s Participation, Action, and Communication Team (MPACT); Friends of Byrd Park, Clean City Commission, and Sierra Club – Fall of James chapter; and students from Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Union University, will beautify Byrd Park during Comcast’s 12th annual Comcast Cares Day. Volunteer activities will include planting and landscaping, cleaning and repairing the Ha’Penny Stage, clearing debris along the historic bridal path, cleaning alleys and sidewalks.

WHO:             City of Richmond and Comcast employees, their families and friends; other members of the local community.

WHEN:          Saturday, April 27 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
WHERE:        Byrd Park (600 S. Boulevard)

About Comcast Cares Day: 
April 27, 2013 will mark the 12th annual Comcast Cares Day, which has grown to be the largest single-day corporate volunteer effort in the country. Over the past 11 Comcast Cares Days, more than 437,000 Comcast employees and their families and friends have contributed more than 2.6 million hours of service at approximately 4,200 project sites across the nation. The Comcast Foundation also has given out more than $12 million in Comcast Cares Day grants over that period. This year, Comcast expects more than 70,000 volunteers to participate in more than 600 projects across the United States and, for the first time, in the United Kingdom. Comcast also anticipates reaching three million hours of service and more than 500,000 volunteers since the first Comcast Cares Day in 2001.

Local residents/groups interested in volunteering on Comcast Cares Day at Byrd Park can visit or email

Comcast has been committed to serving local communities since its founding 50 years ago. For more information on Comcast’s volunteer and community investment initiatives, visit
About Byrd Park:
Byrd Park is a 287-acre park in Richmond and is one of the city’s most popular parks. Spread along both sides of The Boulevard and Blanton Avenue starting at the Columbus Statue you will find Fountain Lake, a self-lighted tennis complex for anytime play, and two softball fields. Sunbathing and pedal boat rides at Fountain Lake are popular in the summer, and a full-service concession building at the lakes offers snacks, lunch, restrooms and free Wi-Fi during the summer season. 
     Further south to the east of Blanton Avenue are Swan Lake, Sheilds Lake, the Round House, which can be used for small meetings, and the Vitacourse, an exercise trail popular year-round. At the southern end of Blanton Avenue are the park's historic World War I Carillon, the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater and Ha'Penny Stage, additional picnic shelters, a children's playground, and the popular Barker Field Dog Park.