RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The James River Association (JRA) is celebrating the completion of green infrastructure projects at three Richmond Library Branches.

The projects are a part of the Greening Richmond Public Libraries initiative that launched its first green infrastructure plan at Westover Hills Branch Library in 2019. The innitative is a collaboration between the Richmond Public Library, City of Richmond Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O, JRA and Four Winds Design.

Green infrastructures located in the Broad Rock Branch, North Avenue Branch, and West End Branch are complete, according to the JRA. Each of the three projects feature a bio-retention basin that reduces the amount of storm-water pollution entering the James River and its tributary streams.

Contractor Harbor Dredge & Dock implemented the projects at each branch and a total of 173 trees and shrubs were planted alongside perennials and grasses with the help of volunteers. The Richmond Public Library Foundation funded outdoor seating areas with features that also reduced runoff near the Broad Rock Branch entrance.

“We’ve reimagined how library campuses can serve the city, from adding Bike Share stations and outdoor reading benches to new methods of landscape maintenance,” Scott Firestine, Director of Richmond Public Library said.

The JRA is commemorating the project’s completion with community engagement activities scheduled at the East End Branch Library this month. A public meeting will be help at the library on Wednesday, June 15, at 5 p.m. Attendees will be invited to share thoughts on these new outdoor spaces and give suggestions for future green projects.

A rain barrel workshop will be held at the library June 21 as a partnership between the JRA and the Richmond Public Library and Department of Public Utilities/RVAH2O. At this workshop, participants will learn how to assemble and use a rain barrel to collect rainwater and learn and receive a native plant to take home.

A questionnaire is available at the library and online to gather input from residents and library users of Richmond’s East End here.