James Riverfest aims to educate on environmental awareness

tjefferson@vagazette.com

Tuan Vu wanted to do something with his 2-year-old son, Hickson, on Saturday that would be fun and educational.

The James Riverfest provided the perfect opportunity.

The James Riverfest is a family, environmental festival that promotes adventure and education. Activities included hands-on educational booths, a scavenger hunt, craft vendors and interpretive paddles.

The event has been held annually since 2012 and was co-sponsored by the James City County Parks and Recreation Department and the James River Association.

“We felt like this was a good opportunity for Hickson to learn about the environment and some of the resources available,” Vu said. “Overall, this is great. It’s a pleasurable day.”

One of the booths was from the Clean County Commission.

“It’s an opportunity for us to be in the community,” said Peg Boarman, chairwoman of the commission. “We have the kids making bird feeders, we are trying to teach them to be environmentally friendly by reusing things and feeding the birds.”

Boarman said she was also recruiting members for three branches of the commission: Community Beautification, Recycling and Zero Tolerance for litter.

About 600 people attended the event.

Christopher McKnight, event organizer and James City County’s park coordinator, was happy with the turnout and response.

“Everyone I talked to said they had a good time. We were putting this on for the community,” McKnight said. “We want to see this happen again.”

McKnight said he hopes people left the festival with a greater appreciation for the James River.

“The river is full of diverse ecology, natural history and a place where they can recreate safely,” McKnight said. “The aim of the event was to provide awareness for, education about and advocacy for the James River. I believe we were able to hit on that in a variety of different ways.”

Want to help out the James City County Clean County Commission?

For more information, visit jamescitycountyva.gov/870/Clean-County-Commission or call 757-259-5375.

Want to attend the next meeting?

Where: Freedom Park, 5537 Centerville Road

When: Noon Thursday

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
61°