On a cold, rainy Richmond day in February, dozens of Alliance volunteers rallied together for a planting day! Volunteers planted over 50 native trees in a riparian area along Reedy Creek in Richmond, VA.

Partners involved in making the event a success were Reedy Creek Coalition, Richmond VA Parks and Rec, and Richmond Tree Stewards. All the materials for the planting were funded by Altria.

Reedy Creek is a 3.68 mile tributary of the James River located in the City of Richmond. The watershed is about 2,700 acres – covering most of the Midlothian Turnpike commercial corridor and residential areas.

Reedy Creek is encased in a deep and wide concrete channel approximately one mile long from just below Erich Road all the way to 46th Street, two blocks downstream from Westover Hills Boulevard.

Concrete channels have many disadvantages, including:

  • Polluted runoff becomes trapped
  • No way for water to seep into the ground
  • No floodplain
  • Little to no vegetation
  • Straight chute that doesn’t slow down the water
  • Warmer water which harms aquatic life

The tree planting area is adjacent to a section of the concrete channel. While the trees will not be connected to the floodplain, due to the function of the concrete channel, the trees will provide other ecosystem benefits to the area like carbon sequestration, wildlife habitat, water filtration, reduction of urban heat island effect, and more.