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Little Free Library Pops Up on Riverside Drive

If you’re out of reading material and feel like taking a short walk head over to Riverside Drive.

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The Little Free Library above showed up recently along the 5300 block of Riverside and currently has a nice mix of adult and children’s books. On your next walk swing by and add a few and/or take a few.

A Little Free Library lives up to its name. Created by groups and individuals they’re placed in neighborhoods to provide a way for folks to share reading material. There is an official organization or Little Free Library which allows you to register your library and it will show up on a map. The library above isn’t showing up on the map but a search with a one mile radius from my zip code of 23225 shows a few more. This map is also missing on that is Forest Hill Park near the playground, so don’t expect 100% accuracy on the map.

 

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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12th Annual Forest Hill 5K Hits the Hills on March 22nd

A great event in the neighborhood that sends2th Annual Forest Hill 5K the serious and not so serious runners into the Hills.

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I stole this text from the Forest Hill Neighborhood Newsletter. If you’re offended please feel free to remove the little card that says PRESS that is placed in my hatband.

Don’t miss the this year’s Run for the Hills! 5K.   We will be running, or doing something vaguely similar,  on Sunday, March 22, 2020.

Run, jog, or walk. Come enjoy the park with us.

  • Online registration:  Register by clicking this link Active.com.  Beat the March 15th early registration deadline to guarantee your cool t-shirt.
  • On-site registration (and sign-in):  You may register at the Stone House on Saturday, March 21st from 10 am to noon and on Sunday, March 22th from 8 am to the beginning of the race.  T-shirts are first come first serve.

Our Facebook event has all the race info including this year’s route map, tee, and a link to the registration form.

Join the team.
Can you volunteer your time to assist runners, take photos, or something more? We need help with all aspects of the race.  Would you consider donating noisemakers, sidewalk chalk, or balloons to make our finish line festive?  Email us at foresthillassoc@gmail.com if you are interested.

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Community

Mardi Gras Manchester Style

Laissez les bons temps rouler on February 22nd.

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There is no reason to brave the crowds of NOLA for Mardi Gras when you can just head over to Manchester and celebrate with Dogtown Dance Theatre.

Dogtown Dance Theatre presents the 10th annual Mardi Gras RVA on February 22, 2020. It kicks off with a Mardi Gras-themed parade at 3:30PM, beginning at 15th Street and Bainbridge Street.  Folks are encouraged to not only watch but to join in the fun as performers walk the 10 block route.

After the parade things really start hopping at Dogtown’s Theater from 4 PM to 8:30 PM.   There will be many talented performers to enjoy, like RVA Dance Collective and RVA Dance Junior Ensemble, CLAVES UNIDOS, Dogwood Dance Project, Salsa Connection, Richmond Urban Dance, Pole Pressure, Ajna Tribal, SHiNE Dance, and Salsa Rueda.  These performances will showcase a variety of dances, including modern, African, hip hop, belly dancing, Latin and salsa, and many more. You will never experience a dull moment at this spectacular event!

In between acts Elana Lisa and the Hot Mess will keep folks moving. If attendees need a bite or a beer, both will be available from Sophia’s International Cuisine, and Legend Brewing Company respectively.

Tickets for attendance are $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, and children under the age of 5 may attend for free. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the link below.

More information at Dogtown Dance Theatre.

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CARITAS to Install Largest Solar Power System at any Nonprofit in Virginia

More than 1,000 Heliene brand photovoltaic solar panels will be installed starting in Spring 2020 on the roof of the CARITAS Center. The 427 Kilowatts of Solar Arrays Will Save an Estimated $427,000 in Energy Costs.

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CARITAS has signed an agreement with Secure Futures Solar of Staunton to install and operate the largest solar power system at any facility for a non-profit organization in Virginia. Solar arrays on the new CARITAS Center now under construction will provide a total capacity of 427 kilowatts of clean energy, estimated to cut the organization’s electric utility bills by $427,000 over the next 25 years.

More than 1,000 Heliene brand photovoltaic solar panels will be installed starting in Spring 2020 on the roof of the CARITAS Center currently being renovated in the Southside area of Richmond. The solar energy system is expected to cover a substantial portion of the new facility’s energy use by generating enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 72 average homes and to offset 464 tons of carbon dioxide pollution.

According to data on solar installations registered with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the solar arrays at the CARITAS Center will have the largest capacity of any solar energy system located on a building or elsewhere at the location of a non-profit organization in Virginia. As of 2016, Virginia hosted nearly 38,000 nonprofit organizations delivering vital community services, according to consultancy Independent Sector.

“Innovation is one of our core values at CARITAS,” said President & CEO Karen Stanley. “As we move ahead bringing this bold vision for the CARITAS Center to life, it is important that we integrate new energy solutions into our project. We hope we can lead the way as other nonprofits bring solutions like this to life in their communities.”

Secure Futures will install solar energy equipment at no upfront capital cost to CARITAS and will operate the system under a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement. Over that term, CARITAS will buy all the electricity generated by the solar panels located on site from Secure Futures at a cost lower than typically available. CARITAS will use a $17,000 grant from the RVA Solar Fund, administered by the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

“CARITAS is walking the talk in linking clean energy to community service in Virginia, ” said Anthony Smith, president and CEO of Secure Futures. “Rooftop solar will cut their electric bills, making more resources available for their most vulnerable neighbors break the cycles of homelessness and addiction to reclaim their lives.”

When renovation of the former warehouse facility is completed later in 2020, the CARITAS Center will feature 150,000 square foot of space to house an emergency shelter, a substance-use recovery program for women, 47 apartments for people transitioning out of homlessness, a workforce development center, a furniture bank, and the organization’s administrative offices.

The decision to add solar power at the new facility is consistent with the commitment of CARITAS to effective stewardship of resources that are both financial and ecological. The building will also incorporate about 45 solar tubes, which will filter natural light throughout the Center. Other appliances are ENERGY STAR certified to manage usage and costs. Toilets in the bulding will also feature automatic shut off functions.

CARITAS helps our most vulnerable neighbors break the cycles of homelessness and addiction to reclaim their dignity. For more than 30 years, CARITAS has been providing effective, permanent solutions to individuals and families dealing with the crisis of homelessness and/or substance use disorders in the Metro Richmond area. Its four programs include Emergency Shelter, the Furniture Bank, CARITAS Works, and The Healing Place. Through these four programs, CARITAS provides men and women with the tools to make a successful transition to dignity and self-sufficiency.  You can learn more on the organization’s website at www.caritasva.org.

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