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.

“We are one with our natural world around us. Our environment in which we live in is the only one we’ve got. It can’t be replaced.”

Meet Dick Wills, semi-retired investment banker and newly trained RiverRat and volunteer for the James River Association. Over the past few months, Dick has patrolled the James and its tributaries, removed invasive species at volunteer work days, and planted native trees with us. We are so thankful for the positive energy, jokes, and hard work that Dick brings to each volunteer event!

While fly fishing about 10 years ago, Dick began to notice new and different flowers, which led him to join the Virginia Native Plant Society. His interest in local flora led him to become a Virginia Master Naturalist and volunteer RiverRat. Dick has lived near the James in Richmond for the past 30 years, enjoying regular hikes at Pony Pasture. He has also spend time on Piney River in the Blue Ridge and now fishes mostly on the Maury and Jackson Rivers. When not out on the river, Dick enjoys hiking, gardening, cooking, history, and art.

Dick would encourage others to attend James River Association volunteer days because many hands make light work, and there is so much work to do to restore and clean up our waterways! Thank you to Dick and all of our volunteers that lend a hand with us.

Interested in volunteering? Check out our events calendar for upcoming opportunities or e-mail volunteer@jrava.org.