Hopewell Recreation and Parks was awarded a $5,000 grant from the Virginia Outdoors Foundation to install a stormwater debris 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 was installed in January of 2021 and will be emptied as needed by the department's Park Services team.
Woodlawn Urban Orchard
The Hopewell Recreation and Parks Foundation teamed up with the Hopewell Tree Stewards, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to plant over 30 trees at the Woodlawn Learning Center. Almost all the new trees will provide fruit, nuts, or seeds that are beneficial to wildlife but also edible for people. The added tree canopy will also improve the overall environmental health of the Woodlawn Learning Center Campus. The project was planned by the Hopewell Tree Stewards with help from the Chesapeake Bay. The Hopewell Recreation and Parks Foundation received grant funding from the VA Department of Forestry that funded the entire project. The department's Park Services team helped with transporting materials, locating utilities, and digging holes for the trees. On the planting day, more than 40 volunteers gave their time to help install the new trees. The urban orchard compliments an already successful community garden on the Woodlawn campus.
Cypress Tree Planting Project
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.
Riverside Stormwater Greenway
The natural area at Riverside Park has been given new life with the creation of the Riverside Park 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. The project was recognized at the Virginia Recreation and Park Society Annual Conference and was 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.