The City of RIchmond has finally named a replacement for the James River Park System.
Nathan Burrell will pick up where Ralph White left off after 32 years of service. When White started, the James River Park System was a little more than 200 acres.
It’s three times that now, and is one of the finest wilderness park systems in our area.
Ralph White, whose position Burrell is filling, said he was ecstatic at the choice.
White told CBS 6 that Burrell started volunteering at the park as a VCU student, worked there as an intern and subsequently was hired to do a number of different things.
“He’s worked every job in the park, “White said.
White said that the trail system– recognized across the nation–was a main focus for Burrell.
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The City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities has named Nathan J. Burrell as manager of its James River Park. Burrell follows in the footsteps of the well-known Ralph White, who worked for the park for more than 30 years until his retirement in December 2012. His appointment comes after a nationwide search and review by a citizen advisory committee.
“I am confident in Mr. Burrell’s ability to manage and maintain the James River Park, which is one of the city’s greatest assets and widely appreciated by so many Richmond-area residents as well as outdoor enthusiast from across the country,” said Dr. Norman C. Merrifield, director of the city’s parks and recreation department.
Burrell has worked for the department in the James River Park as trails manager since 2003. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in parks and recreation management and a minor in environmental studies.
“I’m excited about this opportunity to help in making Richmond one of the most livable cities in the U.S. with my focus on the management and development of one of our greatest resources, the James River Park,” said Burrell. “In addition, I am especially committed to maintaining a balanced approach between adventure recreation and environmental stewardship, which is critical to the future of the park.”
Burrell, who is an instructor in training for the League of American Bicyclists, is also a state certified erosion and sediment control agent. He is a member of the Mayor’s Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Trails Planning Commission and the James River Branch Rail-Trail Advisory Committee; a board member of the Ground Works RVA Steering Committee; a technical advisor to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for their “Trail Tool Box;”and sits on the Richmond Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan Advisory Committee.
In addition, Burrell has presented at six national and state Trail and Greenway Conferences and won several awards, including being named as one of Richmond’s “Top 40 Under 40” by Style Weekly in 2011 and named Richmond’s #1 Object of Affection by Richmond Magazine in 2007.
He has also received two recognitions by Richmond City Council, one for the development of the trails in Larus Park and the other for the development of the 14th Street White Water Take Out on the James River.