Hopewell Recreation and Parks partnered with Friends of the Lower Appomattox River and Virginia American Water for a significant environmental stewardship project. The department's park operations team planned and facilitated the planting of bald cypress trees along the Appomattox River shoreline near the Hopewell Riverwalk. The new cypress trees will provide much needed stablilzation to the shoreline and will help filter stormwater runoff. The trees will also provide much needed habitat for river wildlife. Bald cypress can live in standing water, making them perfect for the shoreline environment. As the trees age and become mature, they will likely begin to sprout "knees," which are roots that grow vertically out of the water around the base of the tree. The project was made possible by a grant from Virginia American Water that was awarded to FOLAR - Friends of the Lower Appomattox River. The department enjoys a strong partnership with both organizations and has completed a number of joint projects over the years.
Stormwater Trash Net
Hopewell Recreation and Parks was awarded a $5,500 grant from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to install a stormwater trash net at City Park. The net will attach to a stainless steel collar that will be installed on a stormwater outfall pipe at the park. The 36" stormwater pipe drains a large area of Hopewell's downtown. During periods of heavy rain, stormwater carries trash and other debris into storm drains, which ultimately lead directly to the river. The net will capture solid debris before it enters the river, while allowing the stormwater to flow through the net unobstructed. The net will be the first of its kind in the region and the department hopes it will serve as a catalyst for other similar projects throughout the area. The net is slated to be installed in the summer of 2020. The net will be regularly emptied by park operations staff using heavy equipment. Other areas have reported that similar nets have prevented hundreds of tons of litter and debris from entering local waterways. The department looks forward to completing this project and further protecting our rivers.
Riverside Stormwater Greenway
The natural area at Riverside Park has been given new life with the creation of the Riverside Stormwater Greenway. The greenway features walking trails that wind along a stream through approximately 24 acres of natural and newly constructed wetlands, connecting the parks athletic facilities to the Hopewell City Marina. The project was planned and managed by the Hopewell Public Works Stormwater Division, with assistance from Hopewell Recreation and Parks. Five acres of invasive species like English ivy and Chinese privet have been removed, and hundreds of new native trees and shrubs adorn this purposefully crafted green space. Other stormwater control elements include trash vaults to capture debris and a regenerative stormwater conveyance, which creates step-pools that filter water down through a sand and wood chip mixture. The stream also has a new, shallower channel to pass through, with water features like log sills and rock cross vanes. This channel design works to curb erosion and slow the shuttling of pollutants from rain runoff into the major waterways. In all, more than 290 acres of urban development drain into this streambed. As completed, the greenway will remove 453 pounds of phosphorus, 1,616 pounds of nitrogen and 78,843 pounds of sediment from the watershed each year. The project was recognized at the 2019 Virginia Recreation and Park Society Conference and named the Best New Environmental Sustainability Project of 2018.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Hopewell Restoration Project
Hopewell Recreation and Parks has partnered with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to help implement the Hopewell Restoration Project. The project is aimed at improving water quality through a variety of strategies. Specifically, the partners have come together to increase tree canopy in specific areas throughout the City. The project has already added trees at the Hopewell Community Center, Arlington Park, Woodlawn Park, and Dupont Elementary School. The department has also assisted with invasive species removals of English ivy and privet, in addition to education workshops and training opportunities. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has also founded a Tree Stewards program in Hopewell, training volunteers to help maintain the newly planted trees across the City. The project will ultimately plant 250 trees throughout the City, making the project one of the most significant environmental efforts in Hopewell in recent years. To learn more about the project, please click here.