Created by sound artist Vaughn Whitney Garland, RightHereOnce is a series and archive-- made accessible through GPS mobile mapping technology-- that investigates urban spaces and community identity.  Through online resources, this digital inquiry into public spaces, history, and shared knowledge is accessible to listeners who are navigating urban sidewalks, historic paths, and nature trails. 

The goal of RightHereOnce is to collect, connect, and present archives, historical documents, images, websites, and articles, as well as audio files developed from close examinations of spaces, community experience and research. The RightHereOnce walks and archives are a public resource,  always available for free through web-based mobile technology.  Using RightHereOnce requires only a web browser with internet connection; it does not require a download.

Funded by Science In The Park and developed by Vaughn Garland Brandon Simmons for RightHereOnce.

If interested in learning how to participate in or start a series, please contact RightHereOnce.

New Walks


Indians To Industry: A Sound History For Belle Isle

From a Powhatan Indian fishing village to a 20th-Century steel plant, this 65-acre island in the heart of Richmond shows the social and economic history of the city in microcosm. Massive cliffs, crashing rapids and stone ruins beckon you to explore three hundred years of history. Welcome to Belle Isle--one part of the city's James River Park System.

Written and narrated by Ralph White, produced and developed by Vaughn Whitney Garland for Right Here Once. Generous support for this project provided by the Friends of the James River Park.

Begin your tour in downtown Richmond from the parking area on Tredegar Street, west of 5th Street.

Difficulty: easy (Handicap Accessible.)  Length: 1 hour



Geology of the Fall Zone: North Geo Tour

Geology of the Fall Zone, North and South of Belle Isle
Visiting the James River Park in Richmond is an educational geologic experience in itself. Real examples of the processes that have shaped and continue to change our physical landscape are underfoot and all around you. We hope that you will use these resources to discover the fascinating history of the tectonic and human activity in our own back yard

The two James River Park Geology Tours -- north and south -- are easy walking examinations of the geology of the James River in Richmond with a sprinkling of local history and fun facts.

These audio tours belong to a series of upcoming online sound walks about nature and history along the James River in Richmond. They were produced by Anne Wright for the Science In The Park website, developed by Vaughn Whitney Garland, and narrated by Ralph White, former park manager.

North Tour- (The North Tour begins near the Tredegar St. parking lot at the top of the ramp to the Hanging Bridge (under the Lee Bridge/ Belvidere St.) and continues along the northern bank of Belle Isle.)

Difficulty: easy (Handicap Accessible.) • Length: 3.2 km (2 miles and 45 minutes)




Geology of the Fall Zone: South Geo Tour

Geology of the Fall Zone, South Tour 

(The South Tour begins near the 22nd St. parking lot and continues along the southern bank of the James River adjacent to Belle Isle.)

Difficulty: easy (Not Handicap Accessible.)• Length: 2.2 km (1.5 miles and 45 minutes)




The Ecology of the River and Shoreline: A Sound History for the Trails of The Pony Pasture

Travel through time and examine how the Pony Pasture area of the James River Park System as well as the river’s current route have been shaped by both floods and human impact. When people drained swamps to plant crops, animal and plant life changed over time in reaction to this activity. Tour the Pony Pasture to have a look at how life has evolved along the banks of the James.

Written and narrated by Ralph White, produced and developed by Vaughn Whitney Garland for Right Here Once. Generous support for this project provided by the Friends of the James River Park.

Begin your tour in the parking lot of the Pony Pasture, 7310 Riverside Dr.

WARNING!!  (Please keep track of your cellphone’ battery life; this tour may use a good amount of battery power.)

Difficulty: easy to moderate.  (Class 3 Handicap Accessible.) Length: 1.5 to 2 hours.

A Sound History For The Manchester Flood Wall

While marveling at the skyline, enjoy this tour of the City of Richmond Floodwall. The Floodwall, a joint project of the City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, protects the City from the swelling of the James River. The Floodwall tour provides an overview of the history of the floodwall and surrounding developments.

Written and narrated by Ralph White, produced and developed by Vaughn Whitney Garland for Right Here Once. Generous support for this project provided by the Friends of the James River Park.

Begin your tour at the Manchester Bridge parking lot located at Semmes Avenue and 7th Street.

Warning!!!! This tour may not be currently available due to construction along the Manchester bridge.

Walking Time- 45 minutes to an hour. 

Difficulty: easy   (Not Handicap Accessible..) Length: 1 hour

A Sound History For The Trail of Enslaved People

A Sound History For the Trail of Enslaved People is an audio archive that presents stories and information about the slave trail, as well as the history of enslaved people in Richmond, to visitors and residents who choose to retrace those steps.

The three-mile walking trail memorializes the brutal route taken by enslaved Africans to Virginia, and away from Richmond's slave makerts to places throughout the nation.

Now Recording and Interviewing for this Collection

For further information please contact Right Here Once

Difficulty: easy to moderate.  (Class 3 handicap accessible.) Length: 3 hours +.



The Soundways of Route 5

The Soundways of Route 5 is a collection of sounds one might hear as they drive down Virginia’s historic State Route 5. While this byway traverses farmlands and small communities, it is also a site of dark histories and secrets that extend as far back as southern plantation life and the founding of our nation.  Within view of countless historic markers and roadside turnoffs, a vibrant rural community exists along the road from Richmond to WIlliamsburg. Right Here Once traces the historic past of this roadway and archives life as it exists along the highway's shoulders.

Dificulty: easy (Car and Bike) Project Length: 54 miles  (2014)



Geo Time Trail is a collaboration by Richmond Community Highschool Groundworks RVA Green Team, students from Richmond's Open Highschool, VCU Bilolgy Department and Rice River Center and The James River Park System. This tour is located on the swinging bridge below the Lee Bridge that crosses to Richmond's Belle Isle.

Geo Time Trail was produced by Anne Wright and Groundworks RVA, developed by Vaughn Whitney Garland, and written by students at Community High.

The tour begins at the bottom of the ramp to the Belle Isle hanging bridge, under the Lee Bridge/ Belvidere St



News and Press

Audio soound walks bring history of Belle Isle to Life
Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 10:15 pm
Richmond Times-Dispatch
M.F.A. alumnus ‘paints’ pictures with sound
Posted: Friday, August 15, 2014
VCU Public Affairs Office and VCU News
"Artist captures audio to build community"
Posted: Thursday, August 7, 2014 12:00 am
Richmond Times-Dispatch





About the Artist

Vaughn Whitney Garland is a Richmond based sound artist and independent curator of art. He received a Ph.D. from the interdisciplinary Media, Art, and Text program at Virginia Commonwealth University and a M.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. Amonst membership in several Richmond art galleries and city commissions Garland co-founded Richmond's first outdoor sculpture exhibition in 2005 and a sculpture exhibition for the RVA Street Art Festival in 2013.




The open-source code for RightHereOnce will be available for free, so users can develop their own sound walks. This code was funded by Science In The Park and developed by Brandon Simmons for RightHereOnce.

Please feel free to down the mapping file below and use it to create new mobile audio tours of your community.

Website Address
Description of Project