FORB Programs and Activities
While FORB’s membership is generally fewer than 200 people, we have been a very active organization, providing more than an incredible $250,000 in support for Riverbend Park since our founding in 1999. Some primary efforts and donations are noted below.
Native Plant Sale
Every Spring, FORB hosts a native plant sale. Because native plants are adapted to local environmental conditions, they generally require less maintenance, less water and they provide vital habitats for wildlife. We carry a variety of perennials, ferns, grasses, shrubs and trees. In 2019, the event will be held on Saturday, May 4 from 8-11 am at the new Riverbend Park Education Pavilion. We also offered pre-orders to allow you to purchase larger quantities of native plants since we often sell out. Click here to see more details.
Sponsoring Summer Interns
In 2018, Riverbend Park ran a total of 35 different camps including Insect Safari, Geology Rocks, Fishing Adventures, Paddle Away, Potomac Adventures and River Naturalist to name but a few. Each camp requires one park staff member and one summer intern sponsored by the Friends of Riverbend Park. FORB's support of these summer interns has enabled Riverbend to minimize costs to the public and offer a wider variety of camps. Historically, a number of interns have also come back to work at the park full time post college - an important factor in sustaining the workforce at the park.
Riverbend Park Barbeque Benefit
In 2018, FORB hosted the Riverbend Park Barbeque Benefit on Saturday, September 22nd from 6 - 9 PM at the Visitor Center. The Barbeque Benefit allows friends, family, and FORB members to meet and relax by the river, enjoy a glass of wine or a bottle of beer on the deck, and celebrate and raise funds for our wonderful Park. The barbeque was hosted by Mookie's of Great Falls. Altogether a lovely evening with moonlight, music, and friends.
Funding Field Trips
FORB’s support for field trip scholarships has expanded greatly in recent years, and over the last five years it has provided scholarships totaling almost $5,000. These scholarships enable Title I schools and students to have outdoor natural education and enjoyment experiences they would not otherwise have, and also provide incremental revenue to Riverbend Park, since, without these scholarships, field trips by some Title I schools would not be taken to Riverbend.
Donation of New Bass Boat
In 2015, FORB donated a new 16' outboard jet drive fishing boat. In addition to generating a significant Return on Investment in 2016 and 2017, the fishing boat has been used to expand Riverbend’s educational offerings with respect to river and stream health, water quality, bird watching, fishing and fishing sustainability, and the environment. The boat is also used as a back-up for river rescues. Click here to read about a local photographer's boating excursion at the park.
Over the years, FORB has funded maintenance equipment including a snow plow, wood splitter, utility trailer, leaf blower, chainsaw tools and a tool box. More exciting purchases include ten canoes and paddles from L.L. Bean in 2011 to start the boat rental program at the park and a high-powered telescope for an astronomy program. In 2018, FORB contributed funds to help replace the canoes which was needed after many years of heavy use. Riverbend Park staff estimated that each canoe was rented 400-500 times and, in total, generated $56,000 in revenue for the Park.
Friends of Riverbend Park is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 1481 Great Falls, VA 22066-8481