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Natural Awakenings Richmond

Richmond Gets New Riverfront Education Center and Future Parkland

Sep 01, 2021 07:00AM ● By Jessica Coffey

In August, The Conservation Fund purchased a 5.2-acre Dock Street property on the James River from the Capital Region Land Conservancy, which entered into a contract for the historic property last year. The James River Association plans to purchase approximately one acre of the land from The Conservation Fund to establish a new river center for environmental education. The James River Center will focus on connecting Richmond youth with river-based, hands-on learning experiences while inspiring confidence, ecological understanding, nature appreciation and conservation action. The rest of the 5.2 acres will be transferred to the city of Richmond to become part of the James River Park System.

Benefits to the Richmond community include adding new public access to the riverfront, enhancing the Virginia Capital Trail and youth education programs and safeguarding the historic “View That Named Richmond”. Conservation easements will be placed on the land to prevent future commercial development of the site and ensure public ownership of the riverfront from Rocketts Landing to Browns Island and the Belle Isle pedestrian bridge. They will also support water quality for more than 2.6 million people that live in the 10,000-square-mile James River watershed, as well as wildlife like the Atlantic sturgeon.

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