In the News

The Low Line Green Explained

So you want to know more about the Low Line Green… that’s great! We’re thrilled to share. 

First, a little about us. Capital Trees is a non-profit organization based in Richmond, VA with a focus on making beautiful green space more accessible to folks throughout the City of Richmond. Since 2010, we’ve tackled a variety of projects throughout the City. To create and maintain our work, we cooperate closely with other community partners, individuals, corporations, foundations and nonprofits, as well as the City of Richmond. 

Why the Low Line Green?

We completed the first phase of the Low Line Project in 2016. The Low Line is a linear garden that extends from Great Shiplock Park along the Virginia Capital Trail and beneath the raised railroad trestles. We always intended for the Low Line to serve as a connection to the Canal Walk, and the next phase of our project will help accomplish that. 

The 1-acre space just east of the flood wall has been neglected for years. To date, it has been a derelict grassy area that serves for folks to pass through briefly to get from Point A to Point B. In addition, the downspouts from I-95 and the Downtown Expressway have long diverted runoff and pollutants directly into the Kanawha Canal, polluting our waterways.

We are renovating the area in the coming months to be a welcoming green space for residents and visitors to enjoy. But there’s more to it than that – we are addressing a variety of issues with our work. There is a huge opportunity to make the space not only more aesthetically pleasing, but more environmentally sound.

For Mother Earth

We are diverting stormwater runoff from I-95 through a series of underground conduits to send the water through a rain garden. The system will leverage the latest in bio-remediation and will serve to filter and clean the water before it enters the canal. This will limit the amount of pollutants that make it into the canal, and by extension, the Chesapeake Bay.

For the Movers and Shakers

We are reorienting the plaza so that it’s more easily navigated by bikers and pedestrians using the Virginia Capital Trail. Plus, we are designing it to better serve as a meeting and gathering space. We’ll also be updating and improving the lighting to make The Green as safe as possible.

For All of Us

We’re planting nearly 2,000 new plants, trees, shrubs and grasses for The Low Line Green. The new living additions are 90% native so that they’ll thrive in the space for years to come. Healthy landscaping will reduce surface water runoff and serve as a haven for wildlife and a respite for people.

Next Steps

Our goal with the completion of the The Low Line Project is to help ALL Richmond residents have access to safe, well-maintained, and beautiful green space. We know that being in nature is profoundly beneficial for both mental and physical health, and we hope that our work serves as a refuge for those in Richmond who need it most. 

As with all of our projects, we are committed to maintaining the work we complete. In the coming years we will prune, tidy, and take care of the Low Line Green in addition to the routine maintenance we do at our other projects. If you’d like to get involved, donate, or learn more – we’d love to connect. 

In the meantime, thank you for your patience as we complete our project. We think the final product will be pretty special and worth the wait!