Green Infrastructure Improvements at Blackwell Park

Healthy Parks, Healthy Streams, Healthy People

Studies show that access to healthy outdoor recreational spaces has dramatic impacts on the quality of life and overall health of communities. Green spaces also improve water quality, create wildlife habitat, and reduce heat and greenhouse gas emissions. Charlie Sydnor/Blackwell Playground (Blackwell Park) on Richmond’s Southside is a local park often used as a gathering space by the community and is long overdue for improvements.

RVA H2O logo

In partnership with Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Facilities (PRCF), Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU), Southside ReLeaf, and Timmons Group, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay is working towards “re-greening” Blackwell Park to provide recreation amenities the community deserves. The partners plan to create enhanced green space with safe parking, more fitness spaces, new walking trails, better sports fields and courts, and more, all while keeping water quality, climate resiliency, and pollinators in mind.


Our goal is to convert Blackwell Park into a thoughtfully planned, beautiful community asset that improves water quality and bring quality of life benefits to the neighborhood.

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Amenities planned:


Native tree plantings


Pollinator gardens


Permeable walking trails


Improved sports fields


Permeable parking lot

Once construction is complete, these green infrastructure practices will reduce pollution and improve water quality in the nearby James River by capturing and filtering stormwater runoff. They also will provide other benefits to the Blackwell community, such as improved air quality, reduced heat, neighborhood beautification, and enhanced recreational facilities.

This project will integrate green infrastructure with these improved recreational facilities. Upgrades will help improve Blackwell’s climate resiliency by reducing heat and flooding while increasing wildlife habitat and beautifying the community.

This will be the first project of its kind in the Richmond area and serve as a showcase for how green infrastructure can improve athletic amenities like ball fields, sports courts, and trails.


Thank you to our sponsors


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