Envision the James is a collaborative initiative that invites communities and individuals to create a common vision for the James River to benefit present and future generations.
The James River has become one of the nation's most treasured and historic landscapes, serving as the heart and lifeblood of our Commonwealth. In the next 100 years, the James River will experience many changes that will affect our collective quality of life.
Envision the James is an on-going conservation initiative that works with communities and partners in the James River watershed to plan and implement projects that sustain and enhance the region’s natural and cultural heritage, local economies, wildlife abundance, and outdoor recreation assets for present and future generations.
In 2011, the James River Association, Chesapeake Conservancy and National Geographic Maps launched Envision the James to inspire new and enrich existing community conservation efforts on the James River through education, exploration and community engagement.
A grass roots visioning process based on broad partner participation was completed in June 2013 that respects the river as a community asset by identifying and promoting enhancement opportunities around four themes:
- Heritage and river-based tourism
- Recreational trails and river access
- Wildlife habitat throughout the watershed
- Land conservation and restoration efforts
Vision Activities Underway
Using information gathered during the visioning process, two “core initiatives” were developed and are now underway. The initiatives consolidated many of the ideas and activities that received strong public and community support. They are:
- The James River Heritage and Recreation Corridor Initiative—led by James River Association
- The James River Wildlife and Landscape Conservation Initiative—led by Chesapeake Conservancy
The Envision the James Conservation Council, comprised of over 30 government, business and community leaders from around the watershed, helps guide the overall effort and the two core initiative Workgroups.
In addition to the core initiatives, National Geographic Maps maintains our web portal-- EnvisionTheJames.org, which uses interactive mapping and multimedia tools to provide information about the watershed's special places, features, and people.
Your participation will shape the Envision the James initiative over time. NG Maps publishes a newsletter that reaches anyone who wants to “join the community” to track the progress of the core initiatives and share ideas or actions taken by themselves and other partners to benefit the James River watershed.