We are so thankful for our volunteers. People just like you give their precious time to help us create a cleaner, healthier watershed.

Meet Jose Espinoza a 24 year old IT professional originally from Stafford, VA. His love for the James led him to clean up trash in the Richmond region, as well as translating river information to Spanish to bring awareness to the Latino population.  Here’s what Jose had to say about his experience volunteering

I moved to Richmond about 6 years ago to attend Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated in 2013. Like many VCU students, I had my first encounter with the James River by hanging out at Belle Isle. Every time I went to the river, it gifted me and my friends with new experiences and great quality time. Belle Isle brings so many people together but people also take it for granted.

Volunteering for the James Jose Espinoza 1After seeing so many people at Belle Isle throw trash on the ground and sometimes in the river, I decided to do something about it. I initially reached out to James River Association to volunteer in their self-directed trash cleanup program and have picked up trash along the Pipeline Trail. The James River Association also tapped into my cultural background to help them bring river awareness to the growing Latino population in the Richmond area. I helped them in translating pamphlets and newsletter that will educate Spanish speakers about the conservation of natural resources, good habits for the river and even volunteering opportunities. I really enjoyed this aspect of my volunteering experience because it helped the organization reach a different audience they wouldn’t have reached without my help.

I would highly encourage Richmond residents to volunteer with the James River Association because it feels good to give back to the river that has given so much to you in one way or another.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Ben Hawkins, Volunteer Coordinator, at bhawkins@jrava.org.