A few of us here at Capital Trees attended Mayor Levar Stoney’s State of the City Address on January 28, 2020. We’ve been working with the City behind the scenes to help ensure that green space is a priority for the Mayor’s office this year. And we are proud, honored and excited to be a strategic partner in the Mayor’s recently announced “Green Team.”
With other like-minded community organizations and city departments, led by Parks and Recreation, the team will identify up to 10 parcels of city-owned property to remediate and turn into public landscapes. This initiative is part of the Mayor’s determination to improve health and quality of life for neighborhoods and communities throughout the city.
This excerpt from Mayor Stoney’s speech serves as the formal announcement of the Green Team, and we can’t wait to get started:
“Another way we respect our neighborhoods is by improving the quality of life in those communities. Most of you probably do not know this, but 51,000 Richmonders live farther than a 10-minute walk to a park. As a city we only use six percent of our land for parks and recreation, compared to 15 percent nationally. Parks and green space play a central role in the quality of life and livability of cities. They link housing, transit, water systems, education, and both mental and physical health. That is why in this coming year, I am pleased to announce that working with the Parks and Recreation Department and community partners, we will identify up to 10 parcels of unoccupied, city-owned land to close this gap. And in Phase One of this initiative this year, we will prioritize the design of five parcels of new green space for the enjoyment of our residents and all who visit! Using the heat island maps created by Jeremy Hoffman, Chief Scientist at the Virginia Science Museum, and data compiled by Richmond’s Office of Sustainability, we will focus on areas that are shown to be excessively vulnerable to climate change, such as high temperatures or flooding. We will also work closely within those communities to ensure that the green space is designed in a way that best suits the needs of that specific community. This will be a community effort. I am appreciative of the folks who have agreed to support this work and become part of our “Green Team.”
If you weren’t able to watch or stream the address, you can watch it in full here.
Stay tuned for the greening to come in 2020, it’s going to be a good year for Richmonders!