Envision the James

The James River runs 340 miles through the heart of Virginia, where its waters and shores were witness to the beginning of American history. In the next 100 years, the James River will experience many changes that will affect collective quality of life.



The Envision the James was the first of our Envision programs.  We began with a map of the James River, created in partnership with National Geographic Maps, highlighting many of the special places within the river corridor. Our goal was to create more public access, encourage more local community involvement, and bring history alive along the James.  Together with the local communities, and in collaboration and partnership with the James River Association, we were able to bring a carefully considered local vision and new ways to connect and explore the James River.

360 Degree Virtual Tour

Fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the historic James River courtesy of the James River Association. These Google Street View style tours give you a 360 degree view from the perspective of a kayaker on the river.


In partnership with many organizations, we work to sustain and enhance the natural and cultural heritage, local economies, wildlife abundance and outdoor recreation access. University students and local groups actively restored over two miles of riverfront habitat by removing invasive species and planting more than 1,000 native trees, contributing to the conservation of the river while reducing pollution run-off. Envision the James‘ partners released a report, Envision the James: A Vision for the James River Watershed.


The James River is included in a new high resolution data set of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that was recently released.  As our partners and the local communities continue to value the future and the past of this special river, we are confident that this precision conservation innovation will positively impact the legacy of the James River.

Click on the maps below to see a sample of the James River watershed’s abundant historical, recreational, and natural resources: