What is green infrastructure and why is it important?
Polluted stormwater runoff is a significant contributor of sediment and nutrient pollution to the James River. This problem often arises in urban and suburban areas when impervious surfaces, such as streets, roofs and parking lots, do not allow stormwater to absorb into the ground. The stormwater instead runs off into our waterways, picking up pollutants in the process. In order to solve this issue we need to slow stormwater down and give the water a place to go – this is where green infrastructure comes in.
What are we doing?
- JRA works with localities throughout the watershed to reduce pollution at its source by planting trees, installing rain gardens and habitat gardens, and creating walkable watersheds. These projects manage stormwater, conserve and restore ecosystems, and improve the quality of life for residents. To date, we’ve worked with 4 communities across the watershed. Check out the Walkable Watershed Plans for each:
- In Richmond, we work with RVAH2O on a variety of projects that incorporate green infrastructure in our River City. Current projects include a partnership with Richmond Public Libraries to incorporate bioretention and native plants and select branch locations.
What you can do?
- Interested in learning more about you can help solve a stormwater problem in your yard or neighborhood? Check out these River Friendly Practices and Become a River Hero Home!
- Start a Walkable Watershed in your community. Our Walkable Watershed: A Guide to Community-based Watershed Planning will guide you through the process.
- Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District about getting cost assistance through their Virginia Conservation Assistance Program.