Kathleen after a cleanup at Jordan Point.

Meet RiverRat Kathleen Richine, resident of Henrico County, part-time teacher with Henrico County Public Schools and mother of three teenagers. Growing up near Lake Ontario, Kathleen has always loved lakes, rivers, trees, and the outdoors. She has been a Virginia resident for 16 years, and while missing her home, the James River has always been a major part of her free time here. When her children were younger, she and her husband often took them canoeing, swimming, camping, rock hopping, biking, and walking alongside the river. Exploring the James is always exciting!

In the fall of 2014, Kathleen’s oldest son started rowing with River City Crew at Robious Landing. The river became a daily experience for her family which prompted her to purchase a kayak. For Kathleen, being out on the water in the late afternoon, under the watchful gaze of a blue heron, or a turtle sunbathing on a log before it plops into the water, is one of the most peaceful and relaxing things to do.

Kathleen became involved with the James River Association two years ago, volunteering to plant trees and help in the office. This past September she joined the RiverRats to help improve and monitor water quality. Kathleen’s most memorable volunteer experience is planting trees at Van Clief Nature Area in Scottsville, VA. This was a big project with many volunteers and lots of trees. It was hard but rewarding work. Kathleen recalls that everyone who was there wanted to be there to make a difference and that it was great to be part of something like that!

Kathleen believes that volunteering with the James River Association makes you more aware of what is available where you live and helps you discover your city and surrounding area. It also helps you become a part of the community and strengthens your resolve to make a difference as you become more aware of environmental issues and challenges. She would encourage everyone to join because the more people get involved, the more we can accomplish to make the James River better.

Kathleen is active on the river outside of the James River Association as well. In September she started her own project to photograph every single bridge that crosses the James River! She has discovered that some are easier to get to than others and some are definitely more impressive than others. Out of the 57 or so bridges, she has photographed 24 thus far and plans to get back to it when the weather warms up. Below is a slide show with a sneak peek of her work.

Many thanks to Kathleen for being such an active advocate for the James River!