Volunteers play a huge role in helping the James River Association achieve its mission. Much of our work would not be possible without the knowledge and dedication of our volunteers. Whether it is a trash cleanup, water quality testing, invasive species management, restoration plantings or help with office tasks, volunteers give us a direct connection to the diverse communities we work with throughout the watershed.

Meet Jim McCord, a retired financial advisor currently living in North Chesterfield. Jim completed our volunteer RiverRat Training in 2013 and regularly patrols at Dutch Gap on the James River. He has also helped head up a benthic macroinvertebrate monitoring program in partnership with the Izaak Walton League of America.

Jim originally heard about the RiverRat program through his involvement with the Virginia Master Naturalist. Looking for a way to get further involved with macroinvertebrate monitoring, John worked with James River Association staff to help kick start his project. In 2017, Jim and a fantastic group of volunteers completed monitoring of 6 rocky bottom sites and 13 muddy bottom sites. When asked what his favorite macroinvertebrate is, Jim replied “the one we fight over to identify.”

Jim volunteers with the James River Association because of his concern over environmental degradation. He feels that our organization has a focused agenda and attains measurable results. When he isn’t monitoring streams as a RiverRat, Jim monitors vernal pools at Dutch Gap, Cogbill Park, and two nature preserves for The Nature Conservancy. Thanks for all you do, Jim!

Interested in volunteering with Jim and other like-minded folks? Check out our events calendar for upcoming opportunities, or email our Volunteer Coordinator Sophie Stern at sstern@jrava.org.