Every time it rains, fertilizers, herbicides, bacteria from pet waste, and chemicals flow from our properties into local waterways. This pollution can make it unsafe for people and wildlife. The James River Association created the River Hero Home program to celebrate individuals who take steps to improve their home, pledge to take action for the James and become a hero for our community and our river. Becoming a River Hero Home is a simple way to help protect the James River to ensure its health and enjoyment for future generations.

This October, we’ll be highlighting our River Hero Homeowners all month long so that you can #MeetOurHeroes and hear firsthand how they’re making a BIG difference for our river!

JRA’s Community Conservation Manager, Justin Doyle, was inspired to become a hero in his Church Hill neighborhood for Shockoe Creek, a tributary to the James.

As fall weather takes hold and leaves begin to fall from trees in your yard, skip bagging them and use them as mulch. When leaves decompose they naturally fertilize soil and provide nutrients for trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. I rake leaves that fall from the river birch and flowering dogwood in my yard into conservation landscape beds around my yard. Doing so is easier than bagging them and leaves me with free mulch.

- Justin Doyle

Community Conservation Manager