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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Saturday, July 26th 2014 - Day One of the Lower James River Expedition

The Lower James River Expedition Team!
The Lower James River Expedition launched from downtown Richmond on Saturday and what a day!  The day kicked off at Dominion’s Tredegar parking lot where after some welcomes and introductions the team members said goodbye to their families and loved ones.

Tour led by Nathan Burrell from the James River Park System
The Expedition officially started when Nathan Burrell led an interpretive hike with the team sharing the work he does with the James River Park System.  Nathan and the Park System help folks understand and appreciate the rich history, ecology, and recreational opportunities available on and around the James River.  The team learned about the types of visitors the park sees each year (up to 65% of visitors are from out of town!) as well as interesting facts about some of the charismatic fauna, like the Atlantic Sturgeon, the team may be seeing while floating down the tidal James.  Nathan also shared the historic perception of the James River and how at one time Richmonders had turned their back on their river and recognized it as one of the most polluted waterways in the country.  Now, Richmond is recognized by many as one of the best river towns in the nation and a safe fun, place to play, swim, boat, and fish.

Surfing in pipeline rapid - what a rush!
After visiting Brown’s Island, the Pipeline Walk, and Belle Isle the team headed upriver to 42nd street where they met Riverside Outfitters to gear up for their own Richmond river experience; whitewater rafting the James River fall line!  The team was also thrilled to have Cindy Balderson from Dominion join them for their rafting experience.  Everyone had a blast shooting the rapids and then even surfing the big whitewater in Pipeline Rapids.  All together a great day spent with great people.

During our thorns and roses circle many of the team members remarked on how they enjoyed learning from and sharing the river with folks who were passionate about the James.  We can’t wait to continue this journey down the Lower tidal James!

- Written by Jessica with help from the team

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