RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An urban heat island was torn apart in Richmond, in an effort by several local organizations to improve urban canopies throughout the City.

Urban heat islands occur when natural land is covered with large stretches of pavement, buildings and other surfaces that absorb and retain heat.

The Virginia Department of Forestry, City of Richmond Department of Public Works and Chesapeake Bay Foundation worked together to remove an area consisting of nearly 175 feet of sidewalk that was identified as a heat island during a study by students at the University of Richmond.

The destruction of such “islands” helps to decrease heat retention in the city. The concrete/asphalt is broken down into small pieces to be taken away and replaced by an assortment of vegetation, which will assist in lowering the temperature of the area, increasing urban canopies and helping to keep the areas cool.

The Department of Forestry reported that trees will be planted at the site to complete the rehabilitation efforts, according to the organization’s Facebook post.