National Geographic have launched a website that has every US Geological Survey (USGS) topographical map from across the United States. Not only can you check it out online but they’ve set it up so that you can print it out. Now you can plan that adventure that you had been putting off or you can be like me and just spend minutes on end checking out the highs and lows of our area. As you zoom in red squares will pop-up click on them and the pdf will open up.
Crazy idea #245, you could print out a map of Richmond (see above, yours won’t be blurry we’ve got a bug with our featured image) and use it has wrapping paper for a totally RVA type DIY madness.
National Geographic has built an easy to use web interface that allows anyone to quickly find any quad in the country for downloading and printing. Each quad has been pre-processed to print on a standard home, letter size printer. These are the same quads that were printed by USGS for decades on giant bus-sized pressed but are now available in multi-page PDFs that can be printed just about anywhere. They are pre-packaged using the standard 7.5 minute, 1:24,000 base but with some twists:
- Page 1 is an overview map showing the Quad in context
- Pages 2 through 5 are the standard USGS Quads cut in quarters to fit on standard printers
- Hillshading has been added to each page of the PDF to help visualize the topography
*Please note: 0.5% of the quads have not been processed yet. These quads will appear as originally published by USGS.
Hill Standard’s Website is Live
More details on the latest development on Forest Hill Avenue.
Nearly weekly on local social media the question comes up, What are they building next to the school (4910-20 Forest Hill Avenue)? You will no longer have to explain that it’s a mixed-use pair of buildings that will include apartments, a brewery, coffee shop, and an ice cream shop. Now you can simply give them this link (https://www.hillstandardrva.com/hill-standard-richmond-va/) and send them on their merry way.
If you’re thinking of moving in, one-bedroom apartments start at $1,225 while a two-bedroom will start at $1,943.
If you’re thinking of getting a beer, the Veil satellite brewery is planning on being open in September.
Request an Open Street
As cities across the world have struggled with Covid-19 there have been a couple of interesting side effects. There have been fewer cars on the road and people have been spending more time outside. Open/slow streets are streets that either limit or are completely closed to car traffic to allow for easier walking, skating, and bike riding. It obviously won’t work everywhere but if you’ve got a spot in mind let the city know. A couple of spots that absolutely won’t work but are interesting to contemplate/dream are Nickel Bridge and Riverside Drive.
Another use for open/slow streets would be to allow local restaurants to create patios in parking lots, or parking spots so that they can take a step back into profitability.
Here is the official pitch:
Bike Walk RVA is partnering with the City of Richmond to survey where we need Open Streets for walking and biking safely during the pandemic as phases of reopening are drawing closer.
Cities across the US and the world are reopening space to people on foot and bike to allow them more space to spread out safely during the pandemic, including essential workers, those needing to get fresh air and exercise, and, more recently, diners of restaurants with outside seating.
Mayor Stoney has heard the call for open streets in Richmond and is setting up two processes, one for restaurants to expand onto the sidewalk (where walkways may need to be moved into a temporary expanded sidewalk in a parking lane or travel lane) and one for pedestrian space with a focus on health and equity.
Since the beginning of the stay-at-home orders, Bike Walk RVA has worked with nonprofit, government, and advocacy partners to build out a concept for Open Streets in Richmond, including a draft citywide list of possible locations based on things like the Bike Master Plan, Richmond 300 master plan, traffic volumes, health and equity indexes, and the GRTC network as a launching off point. That full list is the basis of the following survey and can be found here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jugBR3fU5IXPUkmCMdC6pb_Pmp2bRbvrifNCzB4O79w/edit?usp=sharing and mapped here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1L81sla0jqQs1vB7EmYys2pT5x1UuKdAr
Results from this survey will be shared with the mayor’s administration and city council. We respect your information and will not share elsewhere. Please share this survey with any city resident and civic group, especially those whose voices may not already be a part of this conversation.
Critters of the Week
A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.
Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Eastern Towhee
Scientific Name: Pipilo erythrophthalmus
Length: 6.8-8.2 in (17.3-20.8 cm)
Weight: 1.1-1.8 oz (32-52 g)
Wingspan: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)
Quick Facts (Courtesy Cornell Lab)
- Eastern Towhees are birds of the undergrowth, where their rummaging makes far more noise than you would expect for their size.
- The Eastern Towhee and the very similar Spotted Towhee of western North America used to be considered the same species, the Rufous-sided Towhee. The two forms still occur together in the Great Plains, where they sometimes interbreed.
- Eastern Towhees are common victims of the parasitic Brown-headed Cowbird. Female cowbirds lay eggs in towhee nests, then leave the birds to raise their cowbird young. In some areas cowbirds lay eggs in more than half of all towhee nests. Towhees, unlike some other birds, show no ability to recognize or remove the imposter’s eggs.
- Eastern Towhees tend to be pretty solitary, and they use a number of threat displays to tell other towhees they’re not welcome. You may see contentious males lift, spread, or droop one or both wings, fan their tails, or flick their tails to show off the white spots at the corners. Studies have shown that male towhees tend to defend territories many times larger than needed simply to provide food.
- The oldest known Eastern Towhee was a male in South Carolina, and at least 12 years, 3 months old.
Blueberry at Richmond SPCA
Have you been on the search for a cat that has many layers of personality? Has a swagger in his step? Is handsome, affectionate and always seeks the spotlight? Yep, this is me benevolent Blueberry! Almost anything I do is with exuberance. Why, I may just inspire you to be an artist; I can drape myself on the sofa and you can begin to paint your masterpiece – me! And lastly, I have one tiny favor that I need to ask is that you please do not get me confused with a chicken, because I love to chirp! Now that you have read about me all you need to do is rush here to the Richmond SPCA!
Age: 4 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.