Feeds:
Posts
Comments

At its November 14, 2016 meeting, Richmond City Council voted 8-1 to reject grant money from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to help pay for the proposed Reedy Creek relocation project.  In addition, City Council voted 9-0 in favor of a resolution introduced by 5th District Councilman Parker Agelasto to delay the project while alternatives can be considered.

While the City Council votes are extremely positive developments, the proposed project is still not completely stopped.  On several public occasions, City staff have stated that they would proceed with the project even without the DEQ grant funds.  And the Reedy Creek Coalition recently learned that the city is still pursuing an Army Corps of Engineers permit for the proposed project.  The permit would be good for several years which means Crooked Branch Ravine Park would remain under threat in the future.  As a result, there is still work to be done.  The Reedy Creek Coalition will be working with the new City Council and Mayor-elect Stoney to get the permit application withdrawn.  Only then will our neighborhood treasure be secure.

by-the-creek

 

What’s Next?

After a year-long struggle to prevent a bad project, the Reedy Creek Coalition will now turn its attention back to its core mission: to restore the Reedy Creek watershed through education, monitoring, and implementation of projects that address stormwater issues at the source.  We are working with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Fall of the James Chapter of the Sierra Club to help private property owners reduce their watershed footprint by installing rain gardens, Bayscapes, rain barrels, trees, and other practices that reduce polluted runoff.

The City of Richmond faces a tough challenge over the next 12 years to meet the requirements of the Chesapeake Bay restoration.  Only by working together as a community will we be able to achieve the required reductions in nutrients and sediment.  However, by focusing efforts on reducing polluted runoff at the source we will also improve our local streams so that it will be safe once again for children to play in their neighborhood creek.  Please join us in the effort to restore the Reedy Creek watershed.

All of our properties contribute to stormwater run-off.

 Find out how to reduce your contribution.

 https://www.allianceforthebay.org/take-action/do-it-yourself/  

 

 

 

Final Council Vote on Nov. 14

City Council is poised to vote on Ordinance# 2016-217 at its regular meeting on Monday, November 14.  Passage of this ordinance by a lame-duck Council would allow the city to accept grant money from DEQ and doom Crooked Branch Ravine Park, one of the most valuable green spaces in the city.  The proposed project involves digging completely new channels for Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch, a tributary located in the middle of Crooked Branch Ravine Park.  The plan calls for the complete deforestation of 7.4 acres of some of the best stream-side habitat in Richmond and would literally tear the heart out of a neighborhood treasure.  424 large trees would be destroyed as well as thousands of smaller trees and shrubs that have grown up naturally over the last several decades.  This is a highly diverse forest that supports an array of wildlife and provides a remarkable, peaceful greenspace.

In addition to deforestation of public lands:

  • The proposed relocation will NOT treat the causes of the eroding banks and poor water quality. Polluted runoff from upstream is the culprit.
  • The proposed relocation is NOT part of any comprehensive plan to restore Reedy Creek. The proposed project is a prime example of poor planning, lack of public participation, and lack of transparency.
  • The sites for relocation were selected for convenience because the city owns the property and does not have to get easements. The city’s own study (performed after the site was selected and the grant application submitted) shows that over 80% of the current banks have either low or very low erosion potential.
  • The proposed project is high-risk because it is located immediately below a long concrete channel that carries massive volumes of polluted runoff. The city has touted a stream restoration on Snakeden Creek in Fairfax County as an example of a comparable and successful project.  Members of the Reedy Creek Coalition visited the site and there is no concrete channel.  In addition, there are many other factors (long-term planning, extensive data collection, citizen participation, working systematically from upstream to downstream) that make the Snakeden Creek project dramatically different from the proposed Reedy Creek project.
  • At a taxpayer cost of $1.3 million (50% Richmond/50% state), the proposed project will have little benefit for the James River or Chesapeake Bay. It is not a cost-effective project if the goal is to improve water quality.
  • The proposed project will actually degrade water quality in Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch for years. The loss of tree canopy will lower dissolved oxygen levels and encourage growth of nuisance algae.
  • The city has a poor record of maintenance on related projects (dead trees and damaged banks along Albro Creek, no routine removal of polluted sediment from Forest Hill Lake as promised by City staff 7 years ago). Poor maintenance on a high risk project is courting disaster.
  • Two new archeological sites were discovered recently in the proposed project area. Historical and cultural resources would be permanently destroyed and/or damaged.  The historical review for the proposed project is still not complete because the Virginia Department of Historical Resources found the most recent report inadequate.

 

Here’s what you can do:

  1. City Council
  • Write an email or letter to the City Councilor from your District stating your opposition to the project and why.  Specifically ask your City Councilor to vote “NO” on Ordinance 2016-217.  It would also be useful to “cc” your District Liaison, other City Council members, and newly elected City Councilors. (These and other email addresses are provided below.)
  • Councilman Parker Agelasto who represents the 5th District where Crooked Branch Ravine Park is located has introduced a Resolution (Res 2016 – R077) requesting that the proposed Reedy Creek project be delayed until alternatives are investigated.  In your emails, please request that your City Councilor vote “YES” on Res 2016-R077.
  • Attend the City Council meeting on November 14 and speak against the project.
  1. Neighbors and Friends
  • Inform your neighbors and friends and encourage them to take action to help stop this poorly selected project. Use social media to engage those that care about water quality and our dwindling natural resources.
  1. Sign the Petition against the proposed stream restoration project if you have not done so yet. Join approximately 1,000 people who have already expressed their opposition.

City Council, liasons, and newly elected members

Eli.Wong@Richmondgov.com
charles.samuels@richmondgov.com
craig.bieber@richmondgov.com
Chris.Hilbert@Richmondgov.com
Lisa.Townes@Richmondgov.com
Kathy.Graziano@RichmondGov.com
timothy.grimes@richmondgov.com
parker.agelasto@richmondgov.com
amy.robins@Richmondgov.com
ellen.robertson@richmondgov.com
kiya.stokes@richmondgov.com
Cynthia.Newbille@Richmondgov.com
Sam.Patterson@Richmondgov.com
Reva.Trammell@Richmondgov.com
richard.bishop@richmondgov.com
michelle.mosby@richmondgov.com
uzziah.harris@richmondgov.com

andreas@addisonforcouncil.com
KimGray4RVA@gmail.com
Knyelarson@gmail.com

Secretary of Natural Resources

MOLLY.WARD@GOVERNOR.VIRGINIA.GOV

Director,  Department of Environmental Quality

DAVID.PAYLOR@DEQ.VIRGINIA.GOV

U.S. Army Corps or Engineers 

Silvia.B.Gazzera@usace.army.mil
Lynette.R.Rhodes@usace.army.mil
William.T.Walker@usace.army.mil
jason.e.kelly@usace.army.mil

Local news

news@timesdispatch.com
vkenney@foxrichmond.com
news@wric.com
newstips@wtvr.com
newsroom@nbc12.com
rdepompa@nbc12.com
ssquire@nbc12.com
dwalker@nbc12.com
amonfort@nbc12.com
sbloom@nbc12.com
cautry@nbc12.com
editor@rvahub.com.
jramsey@timesdispatch.com
crarrick@wtvr.com

IMPORTANT

PROPOSED REEDY CREEK RELOCATION & DEFORESTATION UPDATE

An ordinance was introduced at the September 12 City Council meeting seeking approval for the proposed Reedy Creek relocation project.  The proposal involves digging completely new channels for Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch, a tributary located in the middle of Crooked Branch Ravine Park.  The plan calls for the complete deforestation of 7.4 acres of some of the best stream-side habitat in Richmond which would literally tear the heart out of a neighborhood treasure.  424 large trees would be destroyed as well as thousands of smaller trees and shrubs that have grown up naturally over the last several decades.  This is a highly diverse forest that supports an array of wildlife and provides a remarkable, peaceful greenspace.

In addition to deforestation of public lands:

  • The proposed relocation will NOT treat the causes of the eroding banks and poor water quality.  Polluted runoff from upstream is the culprit.
  • The proposed relocation is NOT part of any comprehensive plan to restore Reedy Creek.
  • The site for relocation was selected for convenience because the city owns the property and does not have to get easements.  The site was not selected based on science and best environmental practices.
  • The proposed project is high-risk because it is located immediately below a long concrete channel that carries massive volumes of polluted runoff.
  • At a taxpayer cost of $1.3 million (50% Richmond/50% state), the proposed project will have little benefit for the James River or Chesapeake Bay.
  • The proposed project will actually degrade water quality in Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch for years.  The loss of tree canopy will lower dissolved oxygen levels and encourage growth of nuisance algae.
  • The city has a poor record of maintenance on related projects (dead trees and damaged banks along Albro Creek, no routine removal of polluted sediment from Forest Hill Lake as promised by City staff 7 years ago).
  • Two new archeological sites were discovered recently in the proposed project area.  Historical and cultural resources would be permanently destroyed and/or damaged.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Planning Commission

The Planning Commission has to review and approve the project before it goes to a City Council vote.

  • Attend the Planning Commission meeting on Monday, September 19 (1:30 pm) and sign up to speak against the project.
  1. City Council

Although we hope a vote by City Council will be delayed, they could vote as early as the next meeting on Monday, September 26.

  • Attend the City Council meeting on Sept. 26 and sign up to speak against the project.
  1. Candidates for Mayor and City Council
  • Attend candidate forums, ask questions, know where the candidates stand on the proposed Reedy Creek project.  This project has city-wide interest because it demonstrates a lack of transparency, a lack of citizen input, and a lack of sound, long-term planning.
  1. Neighbors and Friends
  • Inform your neighbors and friends and encourage them to take action to help stop this poorly selected project.  Use social media to engage those that care about our dwindling natural resources.

 

Thank you.

Reedy Creek Coalition has been joined by others in opposing the proposed stream “restoration”.  (Actually, this is a stream relocation since the plan is to dig a new channel and fill in the existing stream bed.)  Read CrankysBlog where he shares what he learned from a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the city.

new-erosion

Storm water from a summer thunderstorm created this new erosion hot spot on Reedy Creek.  Comprehensive watershed planning with the goal of reducing storm water volume is what we need.    

 

Common Name: Great Blue Lobelia

Scientific Name: Lobelia siphilitica

 

General Description: Great blue lobelia is a close relative of cardinal flower and has many similar characteristics.  It is a clump-forming perennial that reaches 2-3 feet in height and has long, terminal flower spikes.  The stunning blue flowers appear in the latter half of summer to provide both color and nectar when many other flowers are spent.

Habitat: Great blue lobelia is commonly found in moist open woods, marshes, and along streams.  It is not fussy about sun; but it requires moist conditions and prefers rich soils.

Additional information: Great blue lobelia attracts a variety of insect pollinators as well as hummingbirds.  As with cardinal flower, it is best to plant great blue lobelia in part to full shade to minimize supplemental watering. This plant will spread slowly from the mother plant and can also provide “volunteer” seedlings; but it is not an aggressively spreading plant.  Great blue lobelia has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes – one of which led to its unsettling species name.

You are welcome to visit the Native Plant of the Week 

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.  

The featured plant is in the front yard and will be marked.

 

RCC FLYER 08 20 INVASIVE REMOVAL

REGISTER AND GET DIRECTIONS HERE

Common Name: Cardinal Flower

Scientific Name: Lobelia cardinalis

 

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 3-5 feet in height.  Stunning red flowers form along a terminal spike that is 8-12 inches long.  Dark green leaves provide the perfect backdrop to show off these beautiful flowers.

Habitat: Cardinal flower is commonly found near streams, ponds, and ditches because it absolutely requires moist to wet soil.  Cardinal flower can tolerate full shade to full sun.

Additional information: Cardinal flower is a magnet for hummingbirds.  The nectar in the long tubular flowers is not accessible to most pollinators; but readily available to hummingbirds which will visit the plants repeatedly every day the flowers are in bloom.  Cardinal flower can form dense colonies over time; but it is not an aggressive spreader.  In Richmond, it is best to plant cardinal flower in part to full shade to minimize supplemental watering. This is an ideal plant for that shady area with poor drainage or along a tree line.

You are welcome to visit the Native Plant of the Week 

at 4020 Dunston Avenue.  

The featured plant will be in the front yard 

and will be marked.