Mayor Levar Stoney made a commitment to improve park and green space access in 2018 and assembled a team to tackle the issue earlier this year. Richmond’s Green Team was convened for the first time in January to identify and prioritize city-owned parcels of land that are candidates to become parks and green spaces in areas of the city in which access is poor. The Green Team found that access tends to be poorest in communities of color south of the James River. Following the recommendations of the Green Team, Mayor Stoney and two council members introduced an ordinance to designate five city-owned parcels as public parks at the City Council meeting held on September 28. The ordinance was considered by City Council’s Land Use, Housing and Transportation Standing Committee in October and recommended for approval.
During its meeting on Monday, November 9, 2020, City Council adopted the ordinance that creates five new parks in Southside neighborhoods. The new parks will be located on a total of 36 acres of city-owned land and created with community input. The creation of these parks will improve access to green spaces for local residents. The new parks are listed below.
- Broad Rock Creek Park
- Ernest Road Park
- Hioaks Park
- Reedy Creek Wetland Park
- Rosemont Road Park
The James River Association contributed to the identification of these prospective parks as a member of the Green Team and is a champion of expanding public access to the James River and its tributaries through the creation of riverside parks. Parks and green spaces promote community resiliency by reducing the urban heat island effect, sequestering carbon emissions, improving local air quality, and absorbing stormwater that contributes to localized flooding and river pollution. You can help us advocate for an accessible James River enjoyed by resilient communities by joining our Action Network.