Connect with us
[adrotate banner="51"]

Hills & Heights

Chesapeake Bay Foundation receives grant to remove pavement, add 300 trees across Richmond

Building on seven years of efforts in Central Virginia to plant trees at churches and community spaces, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and partners will remove pavement, install conservation practices, and plant hundreds of trees in Richmond and Petersburg under a new grant.

Published

on

x

Building on seven years of efforts in Central Virginia to plant trees at churches and community spaces, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) and partners will remove pavement, install conservation practices, and plant hundreds of trees in Richmond and Petersburg under a new grant.

By removing heat-absorbing pavement and replacing it with shade trees, the effort will cool neighborhoods where research shows extreme heat threatens the health of residents. The conservation practices will allow trees to absorb moisture and rain to soak in where it lands, reducing polluted runoff and flooding.

“Working hand-in-hand with churches, schools, and parks, together we can improve the health and wellbeing of residents while also creating cleaner air and water,” said CBF Virginia Director of Outreach and Advocacy Ann Jurczyk.

The grant awarded this month by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation supports the planting of 300 trees on Richmond city property and work with up to seven churches to remove pavement, install stormwater practices, and plant trees and native plants. Major partners include Interfaith Power & Light, the City of Richmond, Groundwork RVA, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Southside ReLeaf, and the Richmond ToolBank.

This expands on the Greening Southside Richmond Project, which since 2020 has planted 650 new trees in Richmond neighborhoods suffering from extreme heat linked to racially-motivated housing discrimination in the past. Today, some of these neighborhoods can be up to 16 degrees hotter than tree-covered parts of the same city.

The link between extreme heat and redlining is documented in a recent study by the Science Museum of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Portland State University.

Working with faith communities has been central to these planting efforts. Starting in 2015, CBF worked with Second Baptist Church of South Richmond to remove part of their parking lot and plant a rain garden that reduces runoff to James River. The project also supported the creation of an urban farm and community garden that is irrigated with rainfall collected from the church roof. The effort has supplied fresh produce to the community and sparked a farmer’s market.

At Branch’s Baptist Church in Richmond’s Southside, in 2018 CBF worked with the church to plant 100 trees on their property. That project led to a larger effort completed this year at Branch’s Baptist that removed 20,000 square feet of pavement and reforested the area with trees.

Under the new project, CBF will partner with Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (VAIPL) to work with five to seven churches to assess, develop, and install green practices on these churches’ properties. The groups will also host a series of educational webinars to help faith communities in their environmental stewardship efforts. The webinars will support clergy in fostering the connection between congregants and the environment and discuss ideas for greening their churches.

“We are excited and ready to work with several faith communities in the Richmond and Petersburg area and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to improve water and air quality,” said Faith Harris, executive director of VAIPL. “Helping faith communities learn how to actively participate in lowering temperatures, improving water quality, and reducing their energy use is important for addressing the impacts of the climate crisis. These faith communities and their members have the potential to support meaningful community involvement in protecting the watershed, and the benefits will reverberate for years to come.”

Southside ReLeaf, which strives to foster a healthy, equitable, and sustainable environment for all residents in South Richmond, is an important partner in the effort.

“We are excited to continue our work with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to greenline communities impacted by the legacy of redlining and urban renewal,” said Sheri Shannon, co-founder of Southside ReLeaf. “In the last two years, planting and caring for trees has generated a lot of enthusiasm and interest from our neighbors in South Richmond. We look forward to educating, engaging, and empowering more residents to create healthy communities.”

The City of Richmond has worked closely with the groups to plant and maintain trees on city property.

“Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is grateful for the dedication and partnerships of nonprofit agencies looking to fill the gaps within the urban canopy. The work that has been completed to date will provide lasting benefits for all that utilize the green space in Richmond,” said Tamara Jenkins, spokesperson for Richmond’s Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities Department

Recent high school graduates will take part in hands-on training for green jobs while planting trees, maintaining them, and landscaping as part of Groundwork RVA’s Green Workforce Program. These youth will gain marketable job skills by learning techniques for landscaping, tree planting, and maintenance.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

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.

Community

Part of Bliley to be Closed for Stormwater Repair

Bliley Road bordering Westlake Hills and Cedarhurst neighborhoods in the 4th District will be closed between Forest Hill Avenue and Blakemore Road for stormwater repair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Published

on

x

WHAT:  Street Closure

WHEN:  Now through Wednesday, February 15

WHERE: Bliley Road bordering Westlake Hills and Cedarhurst neighborhoods in the 4th District will be closed between Forest Hill Avenue and Blakemore Road for stormwater repair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday; Whitlone Road will also be closed between Bliley and Debora Street at those times. There will be no vehicular access during those times on Bliley from Netherwood to Cedarhurst and from Bliley to Debora. The rest of the area will have resident access only.

PROJECT SCOPE:  Emergency stormwater repair project

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

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.

Continue Reading

Community

Climb a Tree in Fonticello Park this Saturday

The Friends of Fonticello Park have teamed up with Riverside Outfitters to get folk up close and personal with the trees in the park.

Published

on

x

From Friends of Fonticello Park

Come climb with us at @riversideoutfittersrva ! Tree climbing is an exciting and special way to get to know your favorite park trees from a new perspective!
Details:
🌳Participants must be at least 6 years old and have their waiver signed by a parent/guardian. Minors must be accompanied by an adult throughout the event. Adults can climb, too!
🌳 Climbers will take turns climbing one at a time and are always belayed by an instructor. Helmets and harnesses must be worn and are provided.
🌳 When not climbing, feel free to enjoy some fun tree-related arts and activities.
🌳 Dress comfortably and for the weather. Wear closed-toed shoes and bring a water bottle and any snacks and medications you may need. We will have a full water cooler for refills.
Fill out the required waiver online here to reserve your spot:

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

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.

Continue Reading

Community

Arrest Made in Fatal Crash on Semmes Avenue

The Richmond Police Department Crash Team has made an arrest in the traffic fatality that occurred on November 26, 2022, in the 2200 block of Semmes Avenue.

Published

on

x

From RPD:

The Richmond Police Department Crash Team has made an arrest in the traffic fatality that occurred on November 26, 2022, in the 2200 block of Semmes Avenue.

At approximately 2:58 p.m., November 26, RPD officers responded to the 2200 block of Semmes Avenue for the report of a single vehicle crash that resulted in a fatality. Investigators have determined speed to be a contributing factor.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call RPD Crash Team Investigator J. DeBoard at (804) 646-1709 or call Crime Stoppers at (804) 646-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones also may be used. All Crime Stoppers reporting methods are anonymous.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

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.

Continue Reading