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PHOTOS: Green infrastructure projects completed at three Richmond Public Library branches

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Richmond Public Library, City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O, Four Winds Design, and the James River Association is celebrating the completion of green infrastructure projects that manage stormwater at three Richmond Public Library branches.

Implementation of green infrastructure plans for Broad Rock Branch, North Avenue Branch, and West End Branch, all approved by the City of Richmond’s Urban Design Committee and Planning Commission, occurred this spring. Each of the three projects features bioretention basins that capture and absorb stormwater runoff from library buildings and grounds, thereby reducing the amount of stormwater pollution entering the James River and its tributaries.

“After spending a few years securing funding for the Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative and developing green infrastructure plans with community input for Broad Rock Branch, North Avenue Branch, and West End Branch, Richmond Public Library is thrilled to celebrate the completion of these projects,” said Scott Firestine, Director of Richmond Public Library. “These projects are the result of collaboration with committed partners like the James River Association and Four Winds Design and interdepartmental cooperation within City Hall. We’ve reimagined how library campuses can serve the city, from adding Bike Share stations and outdoor reading benches to new methods of landscape maintenance.”

Harbor Dredge & Dock was selected as the contractor to implement the three projects and volunteer assistance was used to install trees, shrubs, perennials, and grasses. A total of 173 trees and shrubs were planted alongside hundreds of perennials and grasses at the three library branches to help manage stormwater and green library grounds. The landscapes were designed to be habitats for pollinators and are complete with interpretive signs for visitors and expanded water-wise irrigation systems. As the trees and shrubs grow, they will help reduce the amount of stormwater runoff leaving library grounds and expand Richmond’s tree canopy. The Richmond Public Library Foundation funded new outdoor seating areas featuring pervious pavers that reduce stormwater runoff near the main entrance at Broad Rock Branch.

“It really is remarkable what public-private collaboration can achieve,” said Justin Doyle, Director of Community Conservation with the James River Association. “My James River Association colleagues and I are grateful for Richmond Public Library’s commitment to the Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative and their willingness to install green infrastructure on library grounds to reduce stormwater runoff. We are excited to conduct community engagement activities at East End Branch this month and work toward developing a community-supported green infrastructure plan for the library.”

Community engagement activities including a public meeting and rain barrel workshop are scheduled for East End Branch Library this month. A questionnaire available at the library and online is also being used to gather input from library users and residents of Richmond’s East End. A public meeting will be held at the library on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at 5:00 pm. Attendees will be asked to share thoughts on outdoor spaces at the library and input on where green infrastructure should be installed around the library. On Tuesday, June 21, 2022, the James River Association is partnering with Richmond Public Library and the Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O to hold a rain barrel workshop at the library. During this workshop, participants will learn how to assemble, install, and use rain barrels to harvest rainwater at home. Participants will also learn about the benefits of native plants and receive a native perennial to plant at home.

Stormwater pollution poses one of the biggest threats to the health of the James River by carrying pollution to its tributaries and green infrastructure helps reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative, a collaboration between Richmond Public Library, City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O, JRA, and Four Winds Design, launched in 2019 with the implementation of a green infrastructure plan at Westover Hills Branch Library. Since then, the partners have worked together to engage library users and stakeholders in planning and design processes that resulted in the implementation of green infrastructure plans at Broad Rock Branch Library, North Avenue Branch Library, and West End Branch Library.

The primary goal of these plans is to manage stormwater on library grounds through the installation of green infrastructure. The initiative is funded in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) under a 319 grant to the James River Association. Additional support is provided by Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Altria, City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O, James River Association, Richmond Public Library, Richmond Public Library Foundation, and Virginia Department of Forestry.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

Government

Henrico to offer $10 rabies vaccinations for pets at August 20th clinic

Each vaccine costs $10 and must be paid in cash. A rabies tag and a certificate of inoculation are included. Pets from all localities are welcome. Cats must be in carriers.

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The Henrico County Police Division will provide rabies vaccines for dogs and cats from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 20 at the Henrico County Government Center, located at 4301 E. Parham Road.

Pet owners must register and pay at the cashier’s office in the Administration Building before seeing a veterinarian on the first level of the adjacent parking deck.

Each vaccine costs $10 and must be paid in cash. A rabies tag and a certificate of inoculation are included. Pets from all localities are welcome. Cats must be in carriers.

Under Virginia law, dogs and cats four months of age and older must be vaccinated for rabies.

Henrico dog licenses will be available for $10. Licenses are valid for the life of the animal while the owner lives in Henrico, and its rabies vaccinations are kept current. Officers will be available to discuss license and vaccination requirements.

For information, call the Animal Protection Unit at (804) 727-8801.

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Events

Toy and supply drive to benefit UMFS and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU on deck ahead of NASCAR race

Driver meet and greets, ticket donations, and prize raffles are among the activities leading into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

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As part of the events leading into the upcoming Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation race on August 13 at Richmond Raceway, Worldwide Express (“WWEX”) has partnered with local carrier Estes to organize a series of activities benefiting local charities, including UMFS and Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Worldwide Express will hold a toy and supply drive at Richmond Raceway, host driver meet and greets and donate race tickets to CHoR and UMFS families.

Estes will also hold a toy drive at its Richmond headquarters from August 8-19, where employees are encouraged to donate toys and supplies in need at CHoR and UMFS. Another local carrier, UPS, will receive tickets to the Worldwide Express 250 for Carrier Appreciation race for teams and families at its local UPS Customer Center to attend.

“We are pleased to honor our carriers by making an impact on two organizations that are supported by Estes, one of our largest and longest-standing carrier partners. Over the years, Richmond-based Estes has made significant contributions of time and resources to Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and UMFS, and we would like to further their efforts by encouraging donations from teams, fans, and the public at large surrounding the race,” said Worldwide Express President Rob Rose.

“As a family-owned company for over 90 years, our team loves supporting nonprofits and causes that go above and beyond to help children and families thrive, like UMFS and CHoR,” said Rob Estes, president and CEO at Estes. “We want to thank our friends at Worldwide Express for choosing Estes as its partner to help bring toys, supplies, donations, fun and hope to these deserving organizations.”

Toy and Supply Drive: August 13 and 14 at Richmond Raceway

Worldwide Express will be accepting in-person toy and supply donations at the Worldwide Express Fan Zone at the Richmond Raceway Midway on Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14. Each person who donates will be entered in a raffle to win driver-signed memorabilia and prizes, including a Richmond Raceway flag signed by current NASCAR Cup Series drivers, Niece Motorsports memorabilia, and Trackhouse Racing items.

Wish list items for the two organizations include coloring books, books, fidget toys, LEGO toys, school-age wipeable toys, preschool toys, dinosaur figurines, PAW Patrol toys, slime kits, putty, therapeutic dough, kinetic sand, UNO card games, family card games, family board games, battery-powered room string lights, balls (sensory balls, playground balls, bouncy balls), remote control cars/vehicles, Matchbox cars, art supplies, and school headphones.

“We’re so grateful to be a part of this exciting opportunity through Worldwide Express. We want to help children feel comfortable and at home when they’re in the hospital, and having access to toys and supplies helps us do just that,” said Stephanie Allan, vice president for community development at Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Every dollar collected and toy donated makes a difference in a child’s life at CHoR.”

Fans can also make online monetary donations that will be used to purchase toys and supplies through the Worldwide Express website at wwex.com/toydrive. Online donations will be accepted beginning Monday, August 8, and will conclude at 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, August 19. All monetary donations will be used to purchase items directly from the CHoR and UMFS wish lists and will be donated to the organizations. Worldwide Express will match all donations up to a total of $25,000.

Driver Meet and Greet: August 11 at UMFS

On Thursday, August 11, Niece Motorsports drivers Dean Thompson and Carson Hocevar will make an appearance at UMFS alongside the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 winning No. 41 Worldwide Express Chevrolet. The drivers will participate in a Q&A session, sign autographs, and offer photo opportunities for UMFS students, staff, and families, as well as teams from the Estes corporate headquarters. UMFS is located at 3900 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23230.

“UMFS is grateful to have the unwavering support from Worldwide Express and our neighbors at Estes,” said Nancy Toscano, president and CEO at UMFS. “Both Estes and UMFS have been rooted in the Richmond community for decades, and because of strong community partners like Estes, we are able to better serve children, teens, and families across Virginia.”

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Community

Arrest Made in Forest Hill Avenue Shooting

Still no details on motive.

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From RPD:

Richmond Police detectives have identified the victim in Thursday’s homicide on Forest Hill Avenue as Candace Gomness, 23, of Chesterfield.

At approximately 3:13 p.m., officers were called to the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue for the report of random gunfire. Officers arrived and located a vehicle on West 44th Street which had collided with a curb and stopped near the intersection with Forest Hill Avenue.

An adult male and an adult female, Gomness, two occupants of the vehicle, were both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. They were transported to a local hospital where Gomness succumbed to her injury. The male’s injury is not considered life threatening.

Miguel Rampersad, 20, of Richmond has been charged with Attempted Murder and Use of Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Additional charges are pending.

The Medical Examiner will determine the cause and manner of death.

Major Crimes detectives believe the shooting may have occurred in the 4000 block of Forest Hill Avenue, near the intersection of Roanoke Street.

Anyone with information about this homicide is asked to contact Major Crimes Detective B. Neifeld at (804) 646-3246 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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