What effect did Newton Ancarrow have?

Published on July 1st, 2019 by Judy Thomas

A blog series by Plants of the James River Project

Blog 5: What effect did Newton Ancarrow have?
I ended blog 4 asking the very question in this title. Unfortunately, Newton Ancarrow’s boat-building business was condemned after it was flooded during a hurricane. But, he successfully spread the message to preserve the James River across the state and beyond. He presented a slide show, “Flower Show No. 2” to many civic organizations and also spoke about the pollution in the James to others, including the media outlets of the day. He raised public awareness about river pollution. He was an important environmental activist and advocate, and it is believed he spurred the cleanup of the James. The James River went from a befouled body of water in the 70’s to the much cleaner river it is today, attracting over a million visitors to the James River Park System each year. The James River is truly a jewel in the crown.

More information on Newton Ancarrow can be found at VCU Library: 
And at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s website, which has a link to Flower Show No. 2:

Next time: How the Plants of the James River Project is honoring the legacy of Newton Ancarrow.

Read more in this series:
Blog 1: What in the World is the PJRP?
Blog 2: Who is Newton Ancarrow?
Blog 3: Newton and the Wildflowers
Blog 4: Were these just pretty pictures?