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.


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.




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.

Common Name: Eastern Beebalm, Wild Bergamot, Horsemint

Photographer: Cressler, Alan

Photographer: Cressler, Alan

Scientific Name: Monarda fistulosa

General Description: Clump-forming perennial that reaches 2-3 feet in height.  Distinctive pink – purple flowers form at the top of square stems.  Green leaves often tinged with dark red or gray hues.

Habitat: Eastern beebalm grows best in full sun and well-drained, moist soils.  It is found naturally in meadows and thickets.

Additional information: Eastern beebalm is a member of the mint family and can spread quite aggressively by rhizomes. The beebalm in the picture were derived from just two plants that have been in the ground for 3 years.  For best results in Richmond with minimal maintenance, amend clay soils with organic matter for better drainage; add mulch to conserve water; and plant in an area with partial shade and room to grow.  Then sit back and enjoy the comings and goings of hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.  This species of beebalm has a very wide geographic range that includes most of North America.  When purchasing seeds or plants, try to find a source that can confirm they were obtained from this vicinity so they will be adapted to the weather conditions of the Richmond area.

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.

Photographer: Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Photographer: Wasowski, Sally and Andy


1.  Learn why we oppose the stream restoration for Reedy Creek…
2.  Pick up a sign for your yard at 4020 Dunston Ave.  67686c3c-6bff-458b-b63c-594db3704a6f
  • Sunday, June 26 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Monday, June 27 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, June 28 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm

A donation small will help us cover cost.