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Williamsburg Rowing Center - FAQ

Why does James City County need a rowing center?

  • Since WBC’s scrappy start with a few experienced adult rowers almost two decades ago, through to today’s Club that boasts one of the strongest Youth Rowing programs in the Region, we have helped change hundreds of lives through the positive physical, psychological, social and sporting impact of rowing. Though WBC has enjoyed great success both on the water and off, a lack of meeting spaces, training facilities and all-season storage has limited our ability to offer comprehensive programs and services to the surrounding communities.


Please click to read more about The Need for the WBC Rowing Center here at


Why is this Rowing Center located in Chickahominy Riverfront Park?

  • The Park and its water access on Gordon Creek is uniquely suited to provide easy access to wind protected waters that also feed in the Chickahominy River, an incredible rowing and regatta venue that is a jewel within the Historic Triangle.  The Club draws members from the surrounding communities from Yorktown to New Kent.  Visitors to our area can add to their historic experience by rowing or kayaking in the historic water Captain John Smith explored in 1607 when he was captured by the Powhatans.

  • Riverfront Park is also a very popular public camping facility, with boating a major attraction.  The location of the non-motorized boat facility provides a safer access for these boaters away from the traffic of motor boat launching.  This location also provides more direct access for exploring wildlife areas perfect for small boats.

  • Other proposed improvements in the Park further enhance the site for rowing and small boats. In addition to the parking and traffic flow safety enhancements around the Rowing Center, the Park’s plan is to improve access with a direct road from the Park entrance and improved bathroom/shower facilities.  The addition of docking on the Chickahominy River the waterfront land grading approved to reduce erosion will create a regatta venue unmatched in our Region


For more details on the location of the WBC Rowing Center, see The Plan


Who will use the rowing center?

  • WBC’s mission is to offer rowing opportunities to every member of the general public and to include all who wish to participate. We offer rowing programs year-round for middle school and high school students as well as adults, and currently have members ranging in age from 11 to 80+.

  • Approximately 150 Youth and Masters rowers from the surrounding counties currently participate in WBC programs. Another 20-25 children and adults stop by to learn about rowing during the National Learn to Row Day we offer for free in the Park.  We run active outreach programs to schools and home schoolers, and we are a place where the community comes together as one rather than separate teams.

  • WBC has always discreetly subsidized costs of our Youth Programs when needed to extend accessibility and enable young athletes to participate in rowing, regardless of cost. 

  • Our Learn to Row programs and camps allow athletes of all ages, skill, and fitness levels to be introduced to the basics of rowing along with the positive physical, psychological and social benefits of the sport.

  • In any given year, 30-40% of our members are part of military families, and an adaptive rowing program is a high priority of the Club.  The Rowing Center and enhanced water access will allow us to create this program, starting with a pilot this year to make sure we get the details right.

  • Rowing also helps participants enjoy the beauty of our surrounding waters and promotes a healthy respect for the environment through direct personal interaction with it.


Learn more about The Community served by the WBC Rowing Center here at


Will non-rowers have access to the rowing center?

  • Absolutely! The overall development project will enhance access and enjoyment of the water for everyone.  In addition, the Rowing Center will offer Learn to Row and indoor rowing fitness classes to the public.  And, we are expert at creating boating enthusiasts and navigators.  The Center enables our outstanding coaching resource to extend their experience by offering kayaking, canoeing, and paddle board classes and camps. 

  • Williamsburg is also a destination for corporate or organizational meetings.  WBC has already staged several successful team building events.  The improved facilities will make these programs more popular and an attractive event for organizations to choose Williamsburg as a meeting location.

  • Stay tuned for details of team building event options as we move into good rowing in April, 2020.


Who will pay for the rowing center?

  • General Park enhancements such as docking, improved road access and bathroom/shower facilities are part of the JCC Park Master Plan and either already funded or part of additional funding expected to be approved in the Spring of 2020.  WBC has already started to raise funding for initial Rowing Center work, and we are currently continuing those efforts and also seeking additional major donations from individuals, foundations and corporations interested in supporting rowing, clean, recreational use of our beautiful waters,  and the benefits the facilities will bring to our community.

  • Our fundraising team is grateful for contributions of all kinds, whether a modest gift, a corporate sponsorship, a public or private grant, or a large charitable donation.

Find out more at the Donations page here at


What is the anticipated cost of building the Rowing Center?

  • $25,000 for pre-construction costs (architectural fees, feasibility testing, and permits)

  • $50,000 for the rowing shell and equipment pavilion

  • $200,000 for the indoor rowing fitness center, workshop, and meeting room

  • $25,000 for five years of on-going facility operating costs and maintenance

For more details on the projected cost of the Rowing Center, see The Plan on


Are my donations tax-deductible?

  • Yes, they are. The Williamsburg Boat Club is a registered community nonprofit organization and has successfully achieved 501(c)(3) status. All annual donations of $50 or more will receive a written acknowledgement from WBC at the end of each calendar year, a document that may be used as a receipt for U.S. tax purposes.

  • Find WBC’s Tax ID number, full donor acknowledgement details and filed public reports from our last three years of operations at the 501(c)(3) page here at 

Tax info
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