Bellemeade Green Street Project

The James River Association in partnership with the City of Richmond, Groundwork RVA, Timmons Group, 3north, and Harbor Dredge & Dock is breaking ground on a green street project on a 0.4-mile segment of Minefee Street, located between Hillside Court and Bellemeade Park, in the Bellemeade community of southside Richmond, Virginia. This green street is a core concept from the Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Plan that builds on over nine years of work! The project is intended to create a safer walking and biking route for residents, and improve local water quality in Albro Creek that runs through Bellemeade Park and behind Oak Grove Elementary School. The Green Street will remove impervious surfaces such as asphalt and concrete, increase tree canopy, and filter stormwater runoff through the installation of a bioretention filter, planter beds, and fliterras along Minefee Street. Infrastructural and environmental improvements will work together to promote a more resilient and connected neighborhood.

Questions about this project should be directed to Justin Doyle, the James River Association’s Community Conservation Manager, via email at

Community Conservation

About the Community

Home to approximately 5,000 residents, Bellemeade is a community located in the Goode Creek watershed. At the heart of this community lies the Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School, Bellemeade Community Center, Bellemeade Park, and Albro Creek, a tributary of Goode Creek, which flows to the James River. The project team has sought input along the way from the Bellemeade Civic Association, Oak Grove Civic Association, students at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School, and Hillside Court Tenants Association.

A Walkable Watershed

A “Walkable Watershed” integrates the flow of people and stormwater. The Walkable Watershed Plan for Bellemeade, created in 2012 by Skeo Solutions and the Green Infrastructure Center, focuses on five (5) primary goals: connecting the neighborhood to the creek and the James River; improving walking routes to the community center and school; slowing flow, increasing infiltration and cleaning stormwater; developing a sense of community around the creek and school; and creating outdoor education opportunities. A key component of the Walkable Watershed Plan were several green streets, including one along Minefee Street.

The Green Street

When rain and snow fall on surfaces like roads or sidewalks, they can pick up pollutants like dirt, nutrients, bacteria, or chemicals, which then flow into our waterways. This is stormwater pollution. A Green Street uses vegetative elements such as street trees, planting islands, and other features that help capture stormwater, reduce the urban heat island effect, provide habitat for wildlife like birds and pollinators, and mitigate some localized flooding that may occur after rain events.

The Bellemeade Green Street Project includes the installation of a bioretention filter, eight planter beds, and two Filterra boxes that will capture a total of 5,234 cubic feet of stormwater runoff. Impervious surface will be removed and replaced by the bioretention filter and planter peds. At the end of the project, 21 native trees and 417 native shrubs will be installed along Minefee Street (see plant list below). 11.11 pounds of Nitrogen and 1.81 pounds of Phosphorous nutrient pollution will be removed through the implementation of the green street annually. 

  • 4 Serviceberry
  • 13 Eastern Redbud
  • 4 Hawthorn
  • 40 Virginia Sweetspire
  • 118 Red-Osier Dogwood
  • 259 Sumac

Design Elements: (Full Design Plan)

Phase 1: Green Infrastructure (Spring 2021)

  • New street trees to shade the existing sidewalk and proposed bike lane.
  • Replace asphalt with 1 bioretention planter and 8 additional planters that will be planted with native trees, shrubs, and perennials. These planters not only provide water quality benefits, but also calm traffic.
  • Installing 2 Filterras to catch and treat stormwater.
  • Harbor Dredge & Dock has been selected as the contractor. GroundworkRVA’s Green Workforce, who are stationed in the community at the Bellemeade Enterprise Center, will install the plants and maintain the green street after installation.

Phase 2: Bike Lane (Future Years)

  • A protected bicycle/pedestrian pathway for students to safely travel from Hillside Court to Bellemeade Park where they can cross an existing bridge over Albro Creek, to get to the Bellemeade Community Center and Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School.

Boretention Filter Planter Bed

Filterra Cutaway

Project Timeline

  • 2011-2012: The Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Plan was developed by Skeo Solutions and Green Infrastructure Center.
  • 2016-2017: Concept plan for the Green Street was developed by 3North. A new bridge was installed at Bellemeade Park in 2016.
  • 2017-2018: Preliminary Design plans were developed by 3North and Timmons Group.
  • 2019-2020: Final Engineered Design plans were developed by Timmons Group and 31 street trees were installed in Fall 2019 by JRA, GroundworkRVA, and volunteers.
  • 2020-2021: The project team made final adjustments to the plans, secured City department approvals, and selected a contractor for installation.
    What happens next? The project team is securing permits associated with infrastructure improvements planned along Minefee Street. Construction activities are scheduled to commence in spring 2021. A postcard and fliers to update residents on the construction schedule will be sent out prior to construction. After infrastructure improvements are complete, JRA and GroundworkRVA will oversee the installation of plants and trees.

Keep an eye out for progress and volunteer opportunities to be a part of this greening effort in the Bellemeade Community!

    Many Thanks to our Funders

The Bellemeade Green Street Project is made possible by generous support from Altria, Chesapeake Bay Trust, RVAH2O, and Virginia Department of Forestry.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreements CB96336601 and CB96358501 to Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.