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 manage stormwater at library branches across the City of Richmond. Green infrastructure practices include rain gardens and street trees that enhance our built environment for the benefit of humans and the ecosystem of which we are a part. Green infrastructure contributes to healthier communities by capturing and filtering stormwater before it enters our waterways and expanding tree canopy to reduce the urban heat island effect. It also provides habitat for wildlife living among us.

Sign up for workshop notifications

Interested in participating in a rain barrel workshop? We will be offering workshops at Richmond Public Library branches in September, October, and November of 2022. Sign up here to receive a notification when registration opens for each workshop.

 Plans for East End Branch Library

The Greening Richmond Public Libraries team conducted community and stakeholder engagement activities at East End Branch Library in June 2022. In-person and virtual meetings were held and input was solicited using a questionnaire. A total of 62 completed questionnaires were received between June 1 and July 1. Feedback received by the project team was used to inform the plans created by Four Winds Design for East End Branch Library. The City of Richmond’s Urban Design Committee recommended approval of the project on October 6 and the city’s Planning Commission approved the project on October 17. The approved plans feature bioretention areas along N. 25th and R streets that will be planted with native plants and work together to reduce stormwater runoff. Construction activities will begin after all permits are secured and volunteers will be recruited to help plant native plants at the library.

  Get Involved

Join the James River Association for a community tree planting event at select Richmond Public Library branches this November! Volunteers are needed to help plant native trees at Broad Rock Branch, North Avenue Branch, and West End Branch. These community tree planting events are associated with the Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative and made possible by a grant award from the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Virginia Trees for Clean Water program. Click here to learn more and register.

  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 planted by volunteers was established.

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 planted by volunteers was established.

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.

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 to date. Improvements at Westover Hills include rain gardens, conservation landscaping, storm drain art, and an educational sign.

Go Green At Home!

Every time it rains, fertilizers, herbicides, bacteria from pet waste, and chemicals flow from our properties into local waterways. Join other residents of the James River watershed in becoming a River Hero Home to protect the health and beauty of our local streams and rivers. Take the pledge and become a River Hero Home today!

    Many Thanks to our Partners

The Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative is supported by Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Altria, James River Association, RVAH2O, Richmond Public Library, Richmond Public Library Foundation, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Department of Forestry.

Please direct questions about the Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative to Justin Doyle, the James River Association’s Director of Community Conservation, at jdoyle@thejamesriver.org.