Who would replace him? Who could?
After a national search, city leaders chose the very man White had groomed for the job.
“There’s really no place outside of Juneau, Alaska, that you can get what you have right here,” says Nathan Burrell, the new park manager who has done virtually every job in the park since he arrived as a Virginia Commonwealth University intern 10 years ago.
Class five rapids, world class mountain bike trails (the construction of which Burrell led), nesting bald eagles, seven miles of wild river wilderness used by roughly a million people every year, from walkers, runners, bikers, paddlers, swimmers, snorkelers and fisherfolk of every variety.
What sets Richmond apart, Burrell said, is access. And the volunteers who have made the park so accessible.
Watch our video report and meet Nathan Burrell, a native of Essex County, married, father of two and a devoted lover of the James River.
He says no one can fill Ralph White’s footsteps. He plans to grow his own.