Richmond is getting a new James River education center. What you need to know.

Posted at 1:18 PM, May 09, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. — Richmond students will soon have greater access to the James River.

The James River Association (JRA) is moving forward with its new James A. Buzzard River Education Center on Dock Street in Richmond’s East End.

"Breaking ground on what will be a signature building in Richmond’s East End is a very exciting occasion for all members of our community, all Richmonders, and all visitors to our beautiful city, who will benefit from new opportunities to learn about, and enjoy our beloved James River,” Richmond Councilwoman Cynthia Newbille said at a press conference Monday.

The JRA hopes these expanded educational opportunities and experiences will eventually lead to fulfilling its goal of a fully healthy river.

The combination of shallow water, tidal areas, and protected waters creates a unique combination that provides access to a variety of educational and river experiences, according to the JRA.

It took over six years for the JRA to find a site, plan and design the center in Richmond’s historically underserved East End.

“Our goal is to make sure that every child growing up in what Outside magazine named ‘The Best Rivertown Ever’ is introduced to the James River and is able to enjoy a lifetime of the benefits it provides,” said Bill Street, President and CEO of JRA. “We are thrilled to finally have this project becoming a reality.”

Funding for the project came from the $25 million raised by the greater Richmond community under the James Changer Campaign. Though the campaign has finished, funds are still being raised for the center independently, according to the JRA.

The opening of the James A. Buzzard River Education center is planned for summer 2024.

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