Bellemeade Green Street Project
In partnership with the City of Richmond, Groundwork RVA, Timmons Group, and 3North, the James River Association planned and implemented a green street along Minefee Street, between Bellemeade Park and Hillside Court in Richmond’s Southside. The green street was designed to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety along Minefee Street as well as improve local water quality in Albro Creek, a tributary of Goode’s Creek that flows through Bellemeade Park. Through the installation of planter beds, manufactured treatment devices called Filterras, a bioretention filter, and street trees, the implementation of the green street removed impervious surfaces, expanded tree canopy, and is actively filtering stormwater runoff. Infrastructural and environmental improvements are working together to promote a more resilient and connected neighborhood.
Questions about the Bellemeade Green Street project should be directed to Justin Doyle, the James River Association’s Director of Community Conservation, via email at email@example.com.
About the Community
Home to approximately 5,000 residents, Bellemeade is a community located in the Goode’s Creek watershed. At the heart of the community lies the Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School, Bellemeade Community Center, and Bellemeade Park. Albro Creek flows through Bellemeade Park as it makes its way to Goode’s Creek, a tributary of the James River. During the development of plans for the green street, the project team solicited input from the Bellemeade Civic Association, Oak Grove Civic Association, students at Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School, Hillside Court Tenants Association, and residents.
A Walkable Watershed
A “Walkable Watershed” integrates the flow of people and stormwater. The Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Plan, created in 2012 by Skeo Solutions and the Green Infrastructure Center for the community, 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. The Walkable Watershed Plan for Bellemeade features several green streets, including the one installed along Minefee Street in 2021.
The Green Street
When rain falls on impervious surfaces like roads and sidewalks, it can pick up pollutants including dirt, nutrients, bacteria, and chemicals. These pollutants can make their way into our waterways via stormwater runoff and become stormwater pollution. A green street is a stormwater management approach that incorporates vegetation soil, and engineered systems to slow, filter, and cleanse stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces. In addition to managing stormwater, green streets can help reduce the urban heat island effect, improve local air quality, and provide habitat for native wildlife.
The Bellemeade Green Street features a bioretention filter, two Filterras, eight planter beds, and 60+ street trees that work together to reduce and filter stormwater runoff. Annual pollution reductions achieved by the green street are as follows:
- Nitrogen: 11.11 pounds
- Phosphorous: 1.73 pounds
- Total Suspended Solids: 452.79 pounds
The first phase of the green street was implemented in 2021. The second phase of the project features a bicycle lane that would allow residents to safely travel from Hillside Court to Bellemeade Park, Bellemeade Community Center, and Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary School.
Wet Weather Conditions
Capturing Stormwater Runoff
- 2011 – 2012: The Bellemeade Walkable Watershed Plan was developed by Skeo Solutions and Green Infrastructure Center in 2012.
- 2016 – 2017: A concept plan for a green street along Minefee Street was developed by 3North. A pedestrian bridge was installed in 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. Street trees were installed in Fall 2019 by the James River Association, Groundwork RVA, and volunteers.
- 2020 – 2021: The project team made final adjustments to the plans, secured City department approvals, selected a contractor, and installed the green street.
- 2021 to present: The James River Association and Groundwork RVA are working together to maintain the green street to ensure it functions as intended. Additional street trees were planted along Minefee Street by volunteers in the fall of 2021. Funding from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Wetlands Watch through the Coastal Resilience & Trees Fund allowed the James River Association and Groundwork RVA to replace dead plants with new ones in 2023.
Many Thanks to our Funders
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.