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Posted In: Environment

JRA, City of Richmond to Enhance Byrd Park’s Shields Lake

Andy Thompson

July 29, 2016 10:23pm

The James River Association has partnered with the City of Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation to install a stormwater management and beautification project along the east side of Shields Lake at Byrd Park. This project is made possible through support from Altria Group, Hazen and Sawyer, Luck Companies, and Yardworks.

IMG_4646The project site is a heavily used section of Byrd Park and suffers from erosion. The restoration project is designed to reduce current erosion issues by installing a stone swale to capture stormwater runoff from the parking area and installing a rain garden with native plants to allow stormwater to slow down and infiltrate the soil. The grass area will be improved by aerating and seeding with shade tolerant grass. Large stone steps will also lead visitors from the parking area, down the hill and through the rain garden, which will also help erosion issues by defining a walking path. These improvements will not only beautify the space, but will also provide wildlife habitat and improve water quality.

“The James River Association is proud to partner with the City of Richmond to not only improve water quality, but also help educate residents on the importance of utilizing native plants and rain gardens in the landscape,” said Amber Ellis, Watershed Restoration Manager for the JRA.
“Sustainability in park design and landscaping is a priority for the parks in Richmond as it helps address numerous needs such as stormwater mitigation, erosion, and maintenance issues,” said Marlie Smith, Parks Operation Manager with the City of Richmond Department of Parks and Recreation. “Through our partnership with James River Association we are able to further improve the park infrastructure to enhance these needs while improving aesthetics, accessibility, and environmental performance. We are grateful for the continued partnership with James River Association and look forward to future improvements in parks.”
BWS Landscaping out of Richmond is the contractor, and the project will be completed next week. For more information, contact Amber Ellis at aellis@jrava.org.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?