Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Storm Drain Art

Visitors to the Richmond Folk Festival walked by the Storm Drain art project. (photo by Mary-Stuart Torbeck)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Richmond Joins Better Communities Alliance

Announced by the White House during Smart Cities Week, the U.S. Department of Energy is launching the Better Communities Alliance (BCA), a groundbreaking collaborative effort among local governments, philanthropies, nonprofit organizations, and leading private companies to accelerate local clean energy progress and leadership across the country. Richmond is one of 60 partners and affiliates joining and announcing their commitments.

With 87 percent of total U.S. energy to be consumed in cities by 2030, America’s local governments are stepping up to the challenge. Through the BCA, city and county leaders are making commitments to reduce the wasted energy in homes and buildings, expand renewable energy and sustainable transportation options for their residents and businesses, harness new energy-saving technologies, and invest in resilient power systems and community infrastructure.

 As part of the Better Buildings Initiative, the BCA will support Richmond in achieving their clean energy goals and making their communities cleaner, healthier, smarter, and more economically competitive. In addition, the BCA will deliver new clean energy resources and technical assistance to local governments, and improve community access to DOE’s existing clean energy expertise and resources. It will also create actionable dialogues and peer exchange between public and private partners to identify opportunities for collaboration and progress.

There are 34 local governments serving 40 million Americans that are committed to the BCA and working to accelerate local clean energy progress and bolster leadership. Local government partners will receive streamlined access to Department of Energy clean energy resources, opportunities to apply for resources, access to forums for peer networking and expert dialogue, and federal recognition of clean energy achievements. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

James River Regional Cleanup is Sept. 10

The river needs you!

Register for the annual James River Regional Cleanup scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Join hundreds of other volunteers at cleanup sites from Appomattox to Newport News. Lunch is provided for those registered in advance.

Sites with the highest volunteer needs:

  • Manchester
  • Bellemeade
  • Patton Park in Petersburg
  • Ragged Island, Isle of Wight
  • Falling Creek Reservoir

Register here: https://jrac-va.org/signatureevents/james-river-cleanup/

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Riverfront Plan, Downriver Portion Plan Would Like Comments by Aug. 31

Following the public input meeting on March 3, Hargreaves Associates, the riverfront planning consultant, developed options that would respond to the public's perspective. On Aug. 3, Kirt Rieder of Hargreaves presented three potential paths forward, structured to provide contrast among the three options to generate though responses to the proposed options.

Look at the approaches and provide input on those elements that make the most sense to you, especially given all of the significant investments that have occurred, or will be occurring in the area, including Stone Brewing, BRT, Intermediate Terminal Dock improvements, demolition and clearance of the former Lehigh Cement plant, completion of the Virginia Capital Trail, the Low Line, Kickstand, and others. Very few of these were on the rader in 2012, so it is a good time to revisit the Riverfront Plan for this area and provide for a Plan Amendment based on all of these changes and the potential they represent for a more cohesive, unified vision of the Downriver area.

The Hargreaves presentation, a very large file that may take several minutes to open, is here.

Forward comments to Kathleen Onufer, copied to Mark Olinger by Aug. 31.

Virginia Trees for Clean Water Request for Proposals Due Sept. 12

Through funds from the United States Forestry Service, Chesapeake Watershed Forestry Program and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Water Quality Improvement Funds, the Virginia Department of Forestry has developed the Virginia Trees for Clean Water program, which is designed to improve water quality across the Commonwealth through on-the-ground efforts to plant trees where they are needed most.

Projects include tree planting activities of all types, such as riparian buffer tree planting, or community and neighborhood tree plantings. Winning proposals will demonstrate the merit of the project and how the trees will be maintained in perpetuity.  The objective is to use on-the-ground accomplishments to obtain clean water across Virginia.  Grant funds will be reimbursed at the conclusion of the project and funding is available on a 50/50 match basis.  In-kind match including volunteer time is permissible. 

Grants are awarded through this program to encourage local government and citizen involvement in creating and supporting long-term and sustained canopy cover.  This cycle of grant funds will be used for planting projects occurring in the fall of 2016 or spring of 2017. Please submit your applications by 5 p.m., Monday, September 12, 2016.

OBJECTIVES of Virginia Trees for Clean Water

The specific objectives of the program are to:
·       To plant trees that restore and improve Virginia’s waters for the benefit of current and future citizens of the Commonwealth
·        Achieve long-term improvements in water quality through long-lived tree cover and increased public involvement
·       To raise public awareness about the benefits of planting trees for the health of our streams and rivers

For more information, contact Barbara White, Acting Urban Forestry Coordinator.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Apply for a Tree by Sept. 20

Community Roots – Let’s Plant Some Trees!

Does your yard have an empty space begging for a tree?  
Does you local park need some shade?
Richmond Tree Stewards can help you fill that space.  
Our Community Roots event will offer trees free to home owners and to community organizations (friends of parks groups, schools, etc) in the City of Richmond.  This year, a small variety of native tree species will be offered; some large, some small, some with flowers, some with gorgeous fall colors, but all providing food and habitat to native Virginia wildlife.  

Get our tips for Selecting Trees for Urban Landscapes

Attend our workshop   The Right Tree for Your Place

Home Owners: 

  • We have 100 trees for properties in the City of Richmond.
  • Applications will be available on August 19.
  • Consider attending our The Right Tree for Your Place workshop on August 18.
  • Trees will be delivered to Byrd Park on the morning of Saturday, October 22, and will need to be picked up by the homeowner on that date. We anticipate that most trees will be in 7 gallon pots; some in 3 gallon pots.
  • We will provide you with planting and tree care information, but you are responsible for planting your trees.

Community group applicants:  Click here for details and the application.

All recipients are expected to water the tree for the first 2 growing seasons.  Water is the single most critical factor for the success of newly planted trees in urban areas.
Contact us at communityrootsrva@gmail.com with questions.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Landscaping Assistance

Do you live in the Yellow Breeches or James River watershed? Are you thinking about adding some new landscaping to your yard this fall? If so, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is offering assistance as part of its Reduce Your Stormwater program to help homeowners install conservation landscapes and rain gardens to reduce stormwater runoff and protect local water quality.

For more information and to apply, visit www.stormwater.allianceforthebay.org/yard-design