The Nature Center at Bryan Park–Archives

 

Soon to be Eagle Scout Ciaran Lowell built this bulletin board at the Environmental Education Center

Soon to be Eagle Scout Ciaran Lowell built this bulletin board at the Environmental Education Center

 

 

What is an Environmental Education Center without a really great bulletin board?  We have Ciaran to thank for this new addition to the Environmental Educational Center campus.

Soon to be Eagle Scout Ciaran Lowell built this bulletin board at the Environmental Education Center

Soon to be Eagle Scout Ciaran Lowell built this bulletin board at the Environmental Education Center

He planned and built the board for his Eagle Scout project, donating all materials and labor.   It is a wonderful addition to this special part of Bryan Park. Thanks go to Ciaran from FoBP, Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and the many present and future users of Bryan Park!

 

The Department of Parks and Recreation has installed a  water fountain at the future EEC.

The Department of Parks and Recreation has installed a water fountain at the future EEC.

Now you can quench your thirst at the future EEC.  Richmond Parks has recently installed a water fountain between the two campus buildings. It is a tremendous asset for this part of the park, especially on hot, humid summer days.  It’s also a great place to fill up your water bottle!

Meanwhile, updating the bathrooms at the campus is a complicated business because building codes and requirements have changed a lot since the long disused building was erected.  FoBP has been reassured that the City is actively working on a solution with the full intent of opening the bathrooms at a future date. Stayed tuned…

What’s this about an Environmental Education Center?

For the past many years. FoBP has been advocating the creation of an Environmental Education Center out of Shelter 2, which is located in the northwestern portion of the park. Thanks to the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities and many, many volunteers the conversion is well underway!  No one is sure when the Center will open, due to continuing hurdles, but a walk to the site will reassure you that a lot is happening.

 

Gardens that support our pollinators have been installed, along with newer gardens that introduce us to the fine scents, nuts, berries and interesting textures of (mostly) native plants. Invasive vines (ivy, honeysuckle, DSCN3476.JPGPorcelain Berry to name a few) have been and are being  removed from the surrounding woods.  A few wildflowers and native grasses have been introduced behind the newest gardens in a large meadow-like area.  Vines, which covered the grasses and other plants there, are almost totally removed.  Take a walk along the new gravel trail.  It is not finished but it is worth a visit.  In time it will be studded with small information centers which will contain insight into the local habitat.   Along the trail one will see the old rock walls, once bordering Bryan Park’s lower pond edges.  In time, many of these may be moved to provide sitting areas.  Worm composting is on-going.  Other compost bins have been built.  There are picnic tables in place which make this a perfect place for an afternoon picnic.

Except for City workers and the occasional volunteer, all others must take the short walk to get to the center. How to get there?  Park at Shelter 1.  With the Shelter on your immediate right, walk down the hill. You will come to the bridge that goes over Jordan’s Branch.  Cross the bridge and walk up the hill.  Enjoy!

Who besides FoBP and the Department of Parks and Recreation is responsible for the evolution of this future Center?  Please thank volunteers from Altria, Backyard Farmers, Capital One, Genworth, the James River Association, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Ciaran Lowell,  the Riverine Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists and more.  We are grateful to all of you!

 

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