Reedy Creek Coalition will be participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a project of Cornell Lab or Ornithology and the National Audubon Society.  This project began in 1998 and was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time.

  • We will begin the count on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the end of Northrop Street where the path leads into Crooked Branch Ravine Park.
  • You are welcome to join us.  Binoculars are needed, but expertise is not!  We welcome anyone with an interest in the outdoors.
  • Dress for walking in the woods.  We will probably venture off the path.
  • It is difficult to predict how long we will count, but you may leave at anytime.  No need to stay until we are done.


Improving water quality and habitat in our local streams and beyond is actually quite simple: reduce the amount of water that leaves your property when it rains. This addresses the problem at the source rather than creating a problem and then trying to fix it.

The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Reedy Creek Coalition are here to provide assistance to  property owners in our watershed. We will help you evaluate your property  for its’ impact to the watershed and offer tips on reducing storm water.  Those who participate may qualify for a cost share program through the Alliance, helping cover the cost of installing rain barrels, conservation landscaping, etc.  Our assessment also evaluates your property for “wildlife friendliness” and to what extent your landscape practices help restore natural ecosystems.

If you are interested in an assessment please complete this pre-assessment questionnaire.

You will be contacted by a Reedy Creek Coalition member or staff of the Alliance to schedule you assessment.

Reedy Creek after a summer storm.

Reedy Creek after a summer storm.  This water came from upstream streets, parking lots, driveways, rooftops, and yards.  Take steps to reduce your contribution.


Reedy Creek and a small tributary, Crooked Branch, flow through Crooked Branch Ravine Park.  This small, passive park is home to many native trees, shrubs, and perennials that could be lost to advancing invasive plant species, particularly English ivy and privet.  Reedy Creek Coalition members are planning to have a workday once each month to remove invasive species.  Our efforts will focus on 1) removing ivy from trees and other plants that are significant sources of seed and 2) monitoring and removing small patches of non-native plants and seedlings from an area that is not yet severely impacted.

  • Please consider joining us on Sunday, February 5 from 1-3 p.m.
  • We will meet at the end of Northrop Street where there is a path into the park.
  • Bring gloves, pruners, and, if you have one, a small saw for cutting large ivy vines.

This lovely little evergreen is easily found in the park, but will not survive as English ivy spreads.  The plant blooms in late spring.  Please help save the native plants of Crooked Branch Ravine.


Wintergreen, Chimaphila species



These strange ice formations were found along the banks of Reedy Creek after the single digit weather.  An explanation that fits the situation was found at www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/7-strange-ice-formations….

 When the temperature of the soil is above freezing, and the temperature of the air is below freezing, water flowing below the soil’s surface is drawn up through capillary action, and it freezes on contact with the air. More water is drawn up and freezes, and ice is formed in a needle-like column. While the process is simple enough, the resulting delicate “hair” growing up from the ground is something rather amazing to look at.

Take your time, be observant,  and you can always find something interested at Reedy Creek and Crooked Branch Ravine Park.

Photo credit: Joe Rupp

Photo credit: Joe Rupp













Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Reedy Creek Coalition are preparing for the RiverWise assessment program for homeowners in our neighborhood.  We need others to join us in the effort and hope that you may be interested in attending a training session on Saturday, January 21.  We already have some answers to questions you may have….

Why do an assessment?

The purpose is to evaluate individual properties for impact on the watershed and to offer tips on reducing stormwater and pollution runoff.  We also evaluate your property for how “wildlife friendly” it is and to what extent your landscape practices can help restore natural ecosystems that contribute to a healthy watershed.

Who is the training session for?

Training is for those who want to learn how to do assessments for others in the neighborhood.  Each assessment requires visiting homeowners who have applied for the assessment and usually takes 1 hour or a little more to complete.  This can be done as your time allows.

Are there any special requirements?

The only requirement is the desire to improve our watershed! The training will cover what you need to know.  Also, you don’t have to do this alone; you can start by going with someone who is experienced.

How do I sign up?

Here is the link to register: https://form.jotform.com/63614285622153

The training session is Saturday, January 21 from 9 am – 3 pm at Westover Baptist Church.  Details will be provided to those who register.

We will gladly answer other questions you may have and hope that you will join us!

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.



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.





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



Secretary of Natural Resources


Director,  Department of Environmental Quality


U.S. Army Corps or Engineers 


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