Arbor Day celebration and Napa Skate Park Grand Opening

October 9, 2015 Leave a comment

City of Napa presents Parke Diem: an Arbor Day planting and the grand opening of the new skate park, Saturday, October 10 at Kennedy Park in Napa. This event will feature tree planting from 9-12 followed by the skate park dedication and celebration from 12-3 with music, food & drink, vendors, pro demos and skating. Friends of the Napa River will be there to help plant trees and to provide information about the river. Come join us! View the flier here: Napa Arbor Skate event 2015

California Coastal Cleanup a Day, Saturday, Sep. 19th

September 17, 2015 Leave a comment
California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup Day

Join the annual state-wide efforts to cleanup our waterways this Saturday, Sept. 19th from 9-12. Help pick up litter so it doesn’t end up in our River and from there on into the bay and ocean. Friends of the Napa River will coordinate efforts on the water at the City Dock. Bring your own watercraft and join us. There will be a very limited number of kayaks to borrow courtesy of Napa Valley Paddle. Come sign in, fill out a waiver, and pick up gloves and bags. Bring any trash you find back to the dock, or float along with the outgoing tide to the cleanup location at Kennedy Park, collecting trash along the way. For additional cleanup locations visit and for more information, visit the Calif. Coastal Commission.

After the cleanup, head over to the Napa Valley Yacht Club at 100 Riverside Drive, Napa for the 3rd Annual Napa Valley Paddle Day featuring food, music and water-fun.

Kayak launch dedicated to memory of Napa River advocate Jim Hench

August 24, 2015 Leave a comment
Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, FONR President Bernhard Krevet, Mayor Jill Techel and FONR founding President Moira Johnston Block unveil the plaque commemorating the new Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch. Photos by Lowell Downey.

Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, FONR President Bernhard Krevet, Mayor Jill Techel and FONR founding President Moira Johnston Block unveil the plaque commemorating the new Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch. Photos by Lowell Downey.

The plaque commemorating the Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch: freshly blessed with water from the Napa River.

The plaque commemorating the Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch: freshly blessed with water from the Napa River. Photo by Lowell Downey

From the Napa Valley Register:

Shari Gardner, executive director of Friends of the Napa River, joins more than 20 other people who kayaked or paddleboarded their way upriver to the new Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch, near the First Street bridge in downtown Napa. More than 80 spectators attended a dedication ceremony Sunday morning to honor Hench, the advocate for the Napa River’s beautification and flood protection who died in 2014 at age 85. Speakers including Mayor Jill Techel, Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht, and Hench’s allies Bernhard Krevet and Moira Johnston Block shared their memories of the Friends of the Napa River co-founder, who campaigned for the Napa River flood control project and wider access to water recreation.


Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch Dedication

August 15, 2015 1 comment

Help dedicate Napa’s newest Kayak Launch in memory of our dear friend, Jim Hench, on Sunday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. Walk, bike, or paddle to the south end of the new Oxbow Commons (formerly called the Napa River Dry Bypass.) Friends of the Napa River will paddle to the dedication: bring your own boat and paddle along with us if you like! We will depart from 100 Riverside Drive at 9:30. For more information email  Click to download the Jim Hench Launch Invite.

Photo by Lowell Downey

Jim Hench, a tireless advocate for the Napa River and true “River Rat”, was always ready to take people out on the river. Photo by Lowell Downey

Jim Hench Dedication Map

Oxbow Commons – Flood Bypass: From the Napa Valley Register

August 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Long in coming, downtown flood bypass wins praise

August 04, 2015 4:45 pm  • 

Bring on the big, drought-breaking storms. The Napa downtown flood control bypass is ready for action.

About 200 people came out on a cool, cloudy Tuesday morning for the dedication of the $18.5 million bypass. They gathered under the concrete bridge that carries the Napa Valley Wine Train, some sitting on concrete blocks designed to slow the speed of floodwaters. More…

New bypass will do double-duty as park and flood protection

August 03, 2015 2:00 pm  • 

When officials gather Tuesday morning to dedicate the Oxbow flood bypass, they will be celebrating an oddly shaped strip of land — a quarter-mile long, 300 feet wide and 10 feet deep — that also doubles as a 10-acre city park.

It’s this recreational potential that 10 years ago energized Friends of the Napa River, a local advocacy group, to make sure the Army Corps of Engineers wouldn’t build a huge concrete, trapezoid ditch.

The finished product, funded by the Army Corps to the tune of $18.5 million of federal money, is a hybrid of sorts. More…

New bypass clean up team

Various groups came together on Sunday, Aug. 2, to clean up trash near the Napa River Dry Bypass. Groups represented included the Friends of the Napa River, the city of Napa, Napa County Flood Control District and Napa Valley CanDo. More…

August Events

July 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Please join us for these August events:

Oxbow Dry Bypass Dedication: Join us on Tuesday, August 4th at 11:00 to celebrate the dedication of the Oxbow Bypass. Details here: Dry Bypass Celebration Invitation 2015  In addition to FONR’s Moira Johnston Block and Bernhard Krevet, speakers include Mayor Jill Techel, Flood Control District Chair Brad Wagenknect,  COL Eric McFadden and Tambour Eller – Deputy Commander and DPM for USACE, Anne Riley from RWQCB, State Assembly member Bill Dodd,  State Senator Lois Wolk, and Congressman Mike Thompson. Please RSVP to the Flood Control & Water Conservation District at (707) 259-8600 or email

Oxbow Bypass Clean-up: Sunday, August 2 from 9-11:00am Join Friends of the Napa River to clean-up the Bypass area in preparation for the dedication  starting at McKinstry Street. Contact Shari at or 707-254-8520 if you can join us.

Wild Napa Lecture Series: River Otters  Get to know Napa County’s wild creatures with a new lecture series held the 2nd Wednesday each month at the Napa Bookmine, 964 Pearl Street in Napa. The inaugural lecture about river otters will be held August 12 at 7:00pm and will feature Megan Isadore of The River Otter Ecology Project. View the flier here: Wild Napa August Otters. To learn more, visit the Napa RCD.

Dedication of the “Jim Hench Memorial Kayak Launch” August 23, 10:00am. Join us to dedicate the new kayak launch in the Oxbow Dry Bypass in honor of our dear friend  and Napa River champion Jim Hench. The Launch is located just below 1st Street on China Point. More details to be posted soon. For more information: or 707-254-8520. Preview the Hench Plaque installed by Napa Parks and Rec. Thank you to Lowell Downey for the use of his photographs, Gordon Huether Studio for design and layout, and Moira Johnston Block and Evy Warshawski for the inscription on this memorial.

River School students support Friends of the Napa River

June 3, 2015 Leave a comment

River School students in Louann Talbert’s 7/8 grade Life Science class spent time this spring studying the Napa River and steelhead trout. Their studies culminated in developing their own projects to help protect the Napa River. Students picked up trash, created pamphlets and posters, and made presentations. Links to some of their projects are listed below. Two of the student groups combined forces and held a bake sale, donating the proceeds to Friends of the Napa River.  Thank you students and thank you Louann!

Featured image

Aquatic Ecosystem Prezi (presentation)

Presentation: Salvador cleanup & bake sale

Presentation: Trout release and river clean up

Watershed Cleanup

Protect Napa Waterways Brochure


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