When most Virginia citizens think of Richmond, they associate the capital city with the bright lights of downtown, amazing restaurants, vibrant arts, rich history, and an abundance of energy fueled by a diverse culture. Richmond’s parks, community gardens, and shared outdoor public spaces can connect that valuable energy by celebrating Virginia’s natural beauty.
For more than twenty-five years, the mission of the Enrichmond Foundation has been to support Richmond. The Enrichmond Foundation acts as a fiscal agent working with partner groups to assist with accounting, project management, grant funding, crowdfunding, and volunteer recruitment. It also facilitates open communication with Friends of Richmond Parks and the Enrichmond Trailblazer Awards. Currently, Enrichmond provides fiscal management services for 120-plus non-profit partner groups, ranging from environmental partners like Richmond Tree Stewards and Adopt-A-Tree, to youth recreational activities like First Tee and Carmax Summer Basketball, to community gardens and public space beautification, to Send-A-Kid-To-Camp for children and families.
“The growth of Enrichmond has been tremendously exciting. It has been extraordinary to see our partners flourish from small groups that participate in one or two events annually to our larger partner groups that are hosting events weekly,” said John Sydnor, executive director
For Richmonders who may not be familiar with the foundation’s partner groups, the festivals and events that spring from their relationship with Enrichmond throughout the year might ring a distinctive bell. “Our office is located in the heart of Shockoe Bottom at the 17th Street Farmers’ Market, so we have a great feel for the energy and excitement the people bring into the city,” said Sydnor, noting that Enrichmond is responsible for the Richmond Bacon Festival, RVA BrewBQ, Shockoe on the Half-Shell, and the Kickin’ Chicken WingFest.
Sydnor, who says the foundation recently celebrated its anniversary, looks to the future to embrace new and exciting ideas on the horizon for Enrichmond. “When we started the foundation back in 1990, it was with a small goal of helping to preserve Belle Isle and maintain the integrity of keeping the area open and free for public use. We are still continuing our preservation and conservation efforts in the city of Richmond, and we are looking forward to broadening those efforts in the coming years.”
To celebrate Mama Earth, The Enrichmond Foundation hosts the 23rd Earth Day Richmond on Saturday, April 23, from 11 am to 5:00 pm at Great Shiplock Park, one of RVA’s most scenic locations along Shockoe’s riverfront.
This year’s festival will feature many new and enhanced interactive activities for the whole family. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy kayak rides along the James, guided mountain bike rides on the Virginia Capital Trail, performances from Jesse the Juggler, a bouldering wall, participate in a hip hop dance class, run the Earth Day 5K Race Without a Trace and much more.
The event will also feature eco-friendly activities including a craft market, exhibits from local non-profit groups, and family-friendly. Baby goats from Bright Hope Farm and Apiary will also be joining us for this year’s festivities.
Free shuttle service will be available from the 17th Street Farmers Market to Great Shiplock Park. The bus stop will be located in the middle of the 17th Street Farmers’ Market right across the street from Lulu’s. Paid parking lots are available at 17th & Grace and across from Main Street Station. Free street parking is available throughout the area on Main, Franklin and Cary Streets. Park in Shockoe Bottom and then catch a ride at the 17th Street Farmers Market.
Admission to the Earth Day Richmond festival is free. Food, beverages and other merchandise from vendors are available at an additional cost.
For additional information on Earth Day Richmond, visit – www.earthdayrichmond.org.
Want to volunteer at the Earth Day Richmond event?
Visit HandsOnRVA to sign up.