James River Water Levels

Westham Gauge
Gauge Height: 4.73'
Flow: 4020 cfps

Trail Conditions: Richmond


Todays Tides: Richmond Locks

High Tide: 10:48pm
Low Tide: 5:36pm

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Posted In: Mountain Biking

Belle Isle burnished by 200+ volunteers

April 28, 2012 1:31pm

Credit: Phil Riggan

Over at Richmond.com, Phil Riggan has a report on the giant number of Altria volunteers (over 200) that descended on Belle Isle and other riverfront locales Wednesday: As part of the Great American Cleanup, Altria committed more than $26,000 in man hours for a variety of volunteer tasks. That figure does not include the cost of the equipment and materials, according to Ken Garcia of Altria. Here’s what they accomplished:

  • 750 feet of split rail fencing for the new Belle Isle Bike Skills course
  • 30 duck houses, 50 sprout kits, 30 birdhouses, 50 bat boxes, 6,200 seedlings
  • 4 recycle bins, 6 picnic tables
  • 12 benches, 12 stools for James River Association ecology school at Presquile Island
  • Matt Lively mural for Richmond Folk Festival & Ann Walsh mural for ecology school
  • Fence painting along 5 city blocks (double coat)
  • Cleaned and painted metal shed on Belle Isle (future part of bike skills course)
  • 4 bags of trash
  • Thousands of cigarette butts, including 1,931 on Dead Rock on Belle Isle

Considering the week before the James River Association had a bunch of volunteers picking up litter on Belle Isle, I’d say the island is about as clean as it’s going to get. And if you haven’t been over there recently, it’s worth a trip to see the progress on the bike skills park. I wish I had some pictures from when I biked over there yesterday, but I completely forgot my camera and phone. City trails manager Nathan Burrell told me that Ben Blitch, who builds trails and facilities like the one on Belle Isle for a living, will be coming into town tomorrow for 12 straight days of skills park building. The place is already coming together. I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like in a couple of weeks.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?