James River Week
September 11th – 18th, 2021
James River Week is a week long celebration of Virginia’s most incredible natural asset!
This week is the culmination of many like-minded groups coming together to offer recreational, environmental, and educational activities in, on and around the James River. James River Week not only encourages participants to enjoy the James’ many benefits, but also brings awareness to the critical issues it faces. Whether volunteering, experiencing your first batteau trip, participating in a paddle adventure, or devouring delicious oysters, we encourage you to spend some time this week connecting with the James and your fellow river-lovers.
2021 James River Week Schedule At-A-Glance
All Week Long — Oysters for the James — Alewife, The Boathouse (all four locations), Craft 31, The Lilly Pad, Shagbark, Southbound, and The Water Dog. See details below.
All Week Long — James River Renderings — Art Works, Inc
Sat. Sept. 11 — James River Regional Cleanup — James River Advisory Council, Watershed-wide
Sat. Sept. 11 — Kanawha Canal Tour — Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation
Sat. Sept. 11 — Seldom Seen Island Paddle — Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation
Sat. Sept. 11 — Float or Won’t — Henrico County Public Library
Sat. Sept. 11 — Kayak River Trip — Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation
Sat. Sept. 11 — Sun. Sept. 12 — Up the Creek with a Paddle Kayaking Event —Visit Surry County, VA
Mon. Sept. 13 — Toddler Time at Maymont — Maymont
Mon. Sept. 13 — Invasive Species Removal — JRA, Chapel Island
Mon. Sept. 13 — Water Trees on Chapel Island —JRA, Chapel Island
Mon. Sept. 13 — Rain Barrel Workshop — JRA, Science Museum of Virginia, RVAH20
Tues. Sept. 14 — Virtual Story Time — Chesterfield County Public Library
Wed. Sept. 15 — The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon Pontoon Boat Trips — JRA, Rocketts Landing
Wed. Sept. 15 — Historic Batteau Trip — James River Adventures, Lynchburg
Thurs. Sept. 16 — The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon Pontoon Boat Trips & Canoe Paddles — JRA, Ancarrow’s Landing, Rocketts Landing
Thurs. Sept. 16 — Historic Batteau Trip — James River Adventures, Lynchburg
Thurs. Sept. 16 — Volunteer Project — JROC
Thurs. Sept. 16 — Bald Eagle Tour — Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation
Thurs. Sept. 16 — Better Together Webinar: Don’t Trash Central Virginia — PlanRVA
Fri. Sept. 17 — The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon Pontoon Boat Trips and Canoe Paddles — JRA, Rocketts Landing, Osborne Park and Landing
Fri. Sept. 17 — Historic Batteau Trip — James River Adventures, Lynchburg
Fri. Sept. 17 — Craft Studio: River Rocks — Henrico County Public Library
Sat. Sept. 18 — Volunteer Project — JROC
Sat. Sept. 18 — Cypress Swamp and Oxbow Paddle — Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation
Oysters for the James
Alewife (Richmond): Raw oyster dish, as well as fried or roasted oyster dish
The Boathouse (Sunday Park, Rocketts Landing, Short Pump, City Point locations): The Boathouse Oysters w/ Crab Imperial: Locally-sourced oysters topped with crab, imperial sauce, and toasted breadcrumbs baked until golden brown
Craft 31 (Williamsburg): Raw oysters on the half shell
The Lilly Pad (Richmond): Oyster roast (9/18+9/19), Oyster shooter and Fried Oysters all week
Shagbark (Richmond): Roasted ‘Haven Gold’ Oysters: Edwards Virginia bacon, lemon, Hanover tomato, garlic spinach buttered cornbread, Tabasco sabayon
Southbound (Richmond): Fried oysters w/ old bay aioli
The Water Dog (Lynchburg): Any oyster dish!
James River Renderings 2021
The James River is Richmond’s defining natural resource. All during the year the James River Advisory Council (JRAC) works to conserve, preserve, and promote the river with clean-ups, holiday boating parades and stewardship awareness. Art Works is only two blocks from the James. We have asked artists to capture images of the river in and around Richmond for the annual James River Week celebrations. James River Renderings 2021 is an annual exhibit featuring the river that runs through our city. Artists from Matt Lively’s weekly painting sessions have been exploring the James and capturing this body of water on canvas. This show opens in the Centre Gallery.
Up the Creek with a Paddle Kayaking Event
Experience the unique history and natural beauty of Gray’s Creek in Surry, Virginia. Guided tours begin next to the Surry Seafood Company where there is event parking and a bathhouse available. Gray’s Creek is sheltered from strong coastal winds and currents which allows guests access to marshes that support various species of wildlife and waterfowl. Your guide will share how this tranquil waterway is steeped in history and will lead guests in a brief 9-11 remembrance ceremony on Saturday during the hour-long trip. This is a FREE ticketed event!
James River Regional Cleanup
Saturday, September 11, 2021: 9am
Join the James River Advisory Council in its 22nd year of cleaning up the James River and its shorelines! The cleanup is a cooperative, regional event spanning more than 75 miles of the James River at 13 sites. Walkers, powerboats, paddle craft, and hikers will participate in a limited capacity.
Kanawha Canal Tour
Join us paddling on the Historic Kanawha Canal in Richmond. Use sit-on-top kayaks for this exploratory journey on the first commercial canal system in the country which has been vacated for decades. We provide a brief overview of the history of the canals and the area, followed by basic paddling tips and safety considerations before enjoying the easy mosey-by-kayak up the still waters of the canal. This trip is appropriate for those both with or without prior paddling experience. Renting provides all needed equipment. Minimum age is 11. Youth ages 11-13 must be accompanied by an actively participating adult. Max participant weight of 235 lbs. due to kayak limitations. $35 ($40 w/rental)
Kayak River Trip
This is a shorter version of our instructional trips on the easier whitewater stretch of the James River, from Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek. This trip is best suited for those who have been down the river before that want to practice their skills, but not exclusive to that. We will help novice paddlers safely navigate their way downstream and discover the fun of river paddling. If you’ve already been fine tuning your skills, the staff will help you “step up your game” towards an intermediate level. Both sit-on-top and traditional Whitewater kayaks are available (traditional whitewater kayaks require previous experience). Minimum age is 11. Youth ages 11-13 must be accompanied by an actively participating adult. Max participant weight of 235 lbs. due to kayak limitation. $45 ($50 w/rental).
Seldom Seen Island Paddle (at Dutch Gap)
This is a shorter version of our instructional trips on the easier whitewater stretch of the James River, from Pony Pasture to Reedy Creek. This trip is best suited for those who have been down the river before that want to practice their skills, but not exclusive to that. We will help novice paddlers safely navigate their way downstream and discover the fun of river paddling. If you’ve already been fine tuning your skills, the staff will help you “step up your game” towards an intermediate level. Both sit-on-top and traditional Whitewater kayaks are available (traditional whitewater kayaks require previous experience). Minimum age is 11. Youth ages 11-13 must be accompanied by an actively participating adult. Max participant weight of 235 lbs. due to kayak limitations. James River Park System, Pony Pasture. $45 ($50 w/rental)
Float or Won't
Location: Gayton Branch Library, Meeting Room; For ages 5-10. Find out which items will sink and which will float. Build your own boat and see how buoyant and unsinkable you can make it. Registration is required.
Toddler Time at Maymont
Join us for James River stories, crafts and exploration. Ages 18 months to 4years old.
Invasive Species Removal, Chapel Island
Join the James River Park System Task Force in our ongoing habitat restoration project at Chapel Island. On September 13, we’ll be focused on removing invasive plant species. Regsiter to save your spot.
Water Trees on Chapel Island
The James River Association has been working to restore this park of the James River Park System and it shows! We need volunteers to help JRA staff with maintenance on 40+ trees recently planted on Chapel Island. If it rains 1″+ the week of the volunteer day, we will not need to water, but staff will reach prior to each date with details. Supplies will be provided, but please wear sturdy footwear and bring work gloves.
Rain Barrel Workshop
The James River Association is partnering with the Science Museum of Virginia and RVAH2O to offer rain barrels for purchase! Rain barrels are made out of heavy-duty plastic 55-gallon drums and can be connected to downspouts to harvest rainwater. Harvested rainwater can be used to irrigate gardens and landscaping. Each rain barrel is $35 and comes with an assembly kit. Rain barrels must be pre-purchased through the James River Association and picked up at the Science Museum of Virginia on Monday, September 13, between the hours of 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Virtual Story Time
Join us for a virtual story time!
Historic Batteau Trip
The James River Batteau was originally designed by Anthony and Benjamin Rucker in 1775 as a cargo boat to transport goods throughout the Commonwealth via the James River and its tributaries. It is a wide, flat bottomed boat, pointed at both ends making it the perfect vessel to carry passengers and freight while navigating the shallow and rock laden waters of the Upper James River.
Come join us at James River adventures to experience a ride on a period correct replica of a James River Batteau. These large 40+ feet long vessels were once used to move people and freight up and down the James River before the canals and railroads came through and made them obsolete .
The Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon Trips
Celebrate James River Week and the Great Return of the Atlantic Sturgeon with the James River Association! Join staff members on a guided canoe program or an outing on the Spirit of the James, the James River Association’s pontoon boat. Participants will learn about the natural resources of the James River and the endangered Atlantic sturgeon, which make an annual migration up the James River in late summer where they often can be seen breaching out of the water!
JROC will be at the Northbank (Texas Beach) parking lot for phase II. The previous month project installed garden timbers for plant beds. This project will put the plants in the ground and get the area ready for Fall.
Bald Eagle Tour
Join Capt. Mike Ostrander with “Discover the James – Bald Eagle Tours” on his 24-foot pontoon boat for this unique and spectacular experience on our local James River. This two-hour tour focuses on the eight territories of resident bald eagles in the six-mile stretch of the James River known as Jefferson’s Reach. Learn about, and see for yourself, the conservation success story of bald eagles on the James River. In 1975, there were none and now they are plentiful enough to get up-close and personal. Minimum age is 15. Limited space, max of 4; register early. Private charters are also available. Deep Bottom Boat Landing, 9525 Deep Bottom Road, $90
Better Together Webinar: Don't Trash Central Virginia
PlanRVA invites you to join for their Better Together webinar focused on the Don’t Trash Central Virginia Campaign. The Don’t Trash Campaign unites localities in Central Virginia in a fight against litter. The goals of the campaign are to increase awareness of litter and its negative impacts in the community, build knowledge about litter prevention strategies, and encourage action through participation in public clean-up opportunities.
Craft Studio: River Rocks
Location: Varina Area Library, Meeting room; Wrap, knot, paint, and draw. Get creative as we explore and apply these art and craft techniques to river rocks in honor of James River Week 2021. All materials and instruction will be provided. Registration is required.
Join JROC at the Wetlands! We will be fixing the bird blind and cleaning up the area.
Cypress Swamp and Oxbow Paddle (Dutch Gap)
Paddle into the Cypress Swamp, through open marsh and return along the oxbow. Observe the eagle and osprey nests and discover the wonders of the wetlands. Paddling time is approximately three hours. Minimum age is 10. An adult must accompany children ages 10-14. Henricus Visitor Center, 251 Henricus Park Road. $19