Greening Richmond Public Libraries
Stormwater runoff adversely impacts the health of the James River and is a growing source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In an effort to increase public awareness of stormwater runoff and reduce it, the James River Association is working alongside Richmond Public Library, Richmond Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O, and Four Winds Design to plan, design, and install green infrastructure that manages stormwater at library branches across the City of Richmond. Since 2019, projects have been implemented at Broad Rock Branch, East End Branch, North Avenue Branch, West End Branch, and Westover Hills Branch.
What is green infrastructure?
Green infrastructure encompasses stormwater management practices including rain gardens, conservation landscaping, and street trees that enhance our built environment and the ecosystem of which we are a part. Green infrastructure contributes to healthier communities by intercepting and filtering stormwater, improving air quality, and reducing the urban heat island effect. It also provides habitat for wildlife living among us.
Ginter Park Branch Library is Going Green!
The Greening Richmond Public Libraries team is actively conducting community and stakeholder engagement activities at Ginter Park Branch Library, located at 1200 Westbrook Avenue, Richmond, Virginia. In an effort to reduce stormwater runoff leaving library grounds, the team is seeking input on green infrastructure that could be added to library grounds. Input received during meetings and through the questionnaire will inform the plan being created by Four Winds Design for library grounds.
The Greening Richmond Public Library team depends on volunteers to install and maintain rain gardens, conservation landscaping, and street trees. Contact Justin Doyle, the James River Association’s Director of Community Conservation, at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
Richmond Public Library Branches Go Green
Broad Rock Branch Library – 4820 Old Warwick Road
Three bioretention basins that capture stormwater from the library’s roof and parking area were installed, a total of 64 native trees and shrubs were planted by volunteers on library grounds, and a pollinator area that features native perennials also planted by volunteers was established in 2022.
East End Branch – 1200 N. 25th Street
The green infrastructure project implemented at the library in 2023 is the team’s most ambitious to date. Seven bioretention basins installed around the library work together to manage stormwater and reduce the speed of vehicular traffic. The bioretention basins intercept stormwater runoff from N. 25th Street, R Street, and the library’s parking area. 14 trees, 69 shrubs, and 235 herbaceous plants were planted around the library. Street trees were planted along R Street and N. 24th Street to expand tree canopy in the neighborhood around the library in 2023.
North Avenue Branch Library – 2901 North Avenue
A bioretention basin that captures stormwater from the library’s roof was installed, a total of 44 trees and shrubs were planted by volunteers, and a pollinator area that features native perennials also planted by volunteers was established in 2022. Street trees were planted in the neighborhood around the library to expand tree canopy in 2022 and 2023.
West End Branch Library – 5420 Patterson Avenue
Three bioretention basins that capture stormwater from the library’s roof and parking area were installed and a total of 69 native trees and shrubs were planted by volunteers on library grounds in 2022. Street trees were planted along Patterson Avenue in 2022.
Westover Hills Branch Library – 1408 Westover Hills Blvd
The Westover Hills Library Advisory Group began the Rain Garden project in 2015 and has completed three phases of the project to date. Additional green infrastructure including rain gardens and conservation landscaping was added to library grounds in 2019.
Go Green At Home!
Sign up for rain barrel workshop notifications
The James River Association offers rain barrel workshops at Richmond Public Library branches throughout the year. Sign up to receive a notification when registration opens.
Every time it rains, pollutants including sediment, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and bacteria from pet waste flow from our yards into local waterways via stormwater runoff. Stormwater pollution adversely impacts the health of the James and threatens the health of people and wildlife. River Hero Homes is a community of stewards that realize the first step to a healthier James River starts at home. Implementing river-friendly conservation practices at homes is as easy as properly disposing of pet waste, using native plants, reducing the use of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides, and conserving water.
Many Thanks to our Partners
The Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative is supported by Altria, Arbor Day Foundation, Richmond Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O, Richmond Public Library Foundation, Virginia Department of Forestry, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency through a grant from the VA Department of Environmental Quality. Project partners include Richmond Public Library, Richmond Department of Public Utilities, James River Association, and Four Winds Design.
Please direct questions about the Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative to Justin Doyle, the James River Association’s Director of Community Conservation, at email@example.com.