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Capital Trees is thrilled to announce the receipt of the Golden Hammer Award for Placemaking for the Low Line Green Project

Photo Credit: Magali Photos

Historic Richmond + Storefront for Community Design hosted the 5th Annual Golden Hammer Awards on October 28th at Hardywood. Capital Trees is thrilled to announce the receipt of the Golden Hammer Award for Placemaking for the Low Line Green Project (https://historicrichmond.com/2021-golden-hammer-awards/).

The Low Line Green (LLG) represents the culmination of a multi-phase project to restore neglected green space along the James River and Kanawha Canal. The completed green revitalized 2.5 acres in Richmond’s urban core including active and passive stormwater management, an outdoor classroom, irrigation for new plantings, improved lighting for safety, and an extensive park using native plantings and pollinators. The plaza on the LLG was also reoriented to improve navigation for pedestrians and bikers through the flood wall doors.

The LLG is located in a historically significant area in Richmond. In 1737, the land along the Shockoe Creek waterfront was designated as the Richmond Commons, the first public open space in Richmond providing an informal promenade along the sycamore-lined banks of the river channel. With the green’s completion, once again folks promenade onto the commons pushing strollers, walking dogs, rollerblading and skating, biking, walking, and commuting to work. The LLG welcomes bikers on the Virginia Capital Trail into Richmond with a place to sit, rest, and enjoy the sights and sounds of wildlife. We are thrilled to have restored this area when people desperately needed a place to gather and experience renewal during the pandemic.  The LLG is also located where Abraham Lincoln entered the city of Richmond on April 4, 1865.

Not only does the LLG restore a sense of place to a once neglected area, it is improving the environment by:

  • Removing 4.2 lbs of Nitrogen and .5 lbs of Phosphorous from canal waters annually by diverting overhead runoff from I95 downspouts through conduits and into a rain garden using the latest bioremediation process
  • Restoring 32,700 sf of green space once covered by grass, 13,500 sf of invasive species, and hard packed dirt with 11,000 sf of native grasses, 6,163 native plants including pollinator friendly plants
  • Stabilizing 20 linear feet of the canal bank

The LLG is the ideal intersection of history, environment, community-gathering, education, and recreation. This melding of historic and contemporary culture, industrial and natural forces shaped and continues to shape the distinctive sense of place that is Richmond.  Public landscapes create community in ways nothing else can.  Existing as beautiful, safe, welcoming places, they offer equitable and accessible gathering opportunities for all people. They foster connection:  people to people and people to nature. We are proud to have created a space for such connections.