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. 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.

Become a River Hero Home today! It’s easy, It’s fun and you’ll be helping to protect the health and beauty of local streams and the James River.

Amber Ellis
Watershed Restoration Manager


The James River is Virginia’s largest river, flowing across the entire state. It’s also the largest tributary to the Chesapeake Bay. Each year, millions of family members and friends visit the James to boat, fish, hike and enjoy its beautiful scenery together.


Stormwater runoff continues to be one of the largest threats facing the James 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.


River Hero Homes is a community of stewards that realize the first step to a cleaner James River starts in their own backyard. Take steps to improve your home and become a hero for your community and your river.

Every River Hero Home receives a garden flag, sticker, membership card, a free year Family Membership to the James River Association, and an invitation to exclusive gatherings.

River Hero Home members receive special discounts at participating local garden shops and nurseries.
Learn More >

Introducing the James River Buffer Program

Do you want to grow forests for clean water?! The James River Association (JRA) and the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) are here to help landowners across the Middle James watershed to restore forest buffers along local waterways. A forest buffer is...

From the Marsh: Intro to Saltmarshes

Welcome to the saltmarsh, one of the most dynamic habitats in the James River Watershed! Here, salty water from the Atlantic Ocean meets freshwater from the James River and its tributaries. Plants and animals that call the saltmarsh home have to deal with constantly...

A New Green Street Coming to Southside RVA!

The James River Association in partnership with the City of Richmond and GroundworkRVA, just received a $161,111 Chesapeake Bay Trust G3 grant to implement a green street along a 0.4 mile stretch of Minefee Street in the Bellemeade community of southside...

A New Living Shoreline on the Elizabeth River

Erosion has long been an issue for the James River Watershed, and the Lower James is no exception. Until recently, the only accepted method to combat the loss of sediment was to build hardened structures such as bulkheads or revetments. Often...

June James River Buffer Program Update

This spring, we worked with Conservation Services Inc. and their dedicated tree planting crew to install 1,300 seedlings with tree shelters on a farm in Albemarle County. This 4-acre site was the first riparian buffer project funded through the Virginia...