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.

 Purchase a Rain Barrel!

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.
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Mini-guide to Types of Riparian Buffers

by Deya Ramsden, VDOF What comes to mind when you picture a riparian buffer? Maybe you picture hardwood seedlings in tree shelters. Or perhaps you picture the finished product of a lush green tree canopy over a stream (that’s what we strive for!) The following...

Nature Journaling

What I love most about nature journaling is it gets me outside, focuses my mind, lets me learn something new, and lets me create with my hands! My latest project was a tree series where my assignment was to walk along a creek or the James River, find a tree that...

Take a minute to appreciate the trees

Traditionally most of us see Memorial Day as the unofficial beginning of summer. If you are one of the millions of Americans who chose to get out and hit the water during your holiday weekend, we hope you took a minute to appreciate the trees. Riparian buffers play a...

From the Marsh: Spring Bloom

Welcome to the marsh in springtime! After a period of dormancy during the cold winter months, most of the marsh plants are returning and growing with vigor. Plants such as blue flag iris, arrow arum, and marsh sunflower are all putting out gorgeous blooms to be used...

First Day of Spring – Be A River Hero Home

Today, March 19th, starts the first day of spring in 2020, and the earliest vernal equinox in 124 years! Springtime brings longer days, warmer nights, and with the changing temperatures a ‘wetter’ season. This is a great time of year to give your yard a revival and...