Mayor Stoney talks about building a greener Richmond during Earth Day briefing


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Mayor Stoney discussed how Richmond is building a greener city in his weekly briefing on Earth Day 2021.

Mayor Stoney said the mission for Earth Day is the “willingness to take action” to protect the planet. He highlighted in this week’s briefing — how departments within the city are contributing towards Earth Day’s mission.

The mayor asked Kendra Norrell, Senior Management Analyst in the Office of Sustainability about changes the office is implementing in order to gain a healthier environment. She said the office is making changes day by day.

“In the Office of Sustainability we are working on RVA Green 2050, the city’s climate action and resilient initiative to help guide us to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” she said. “We’ve been working a lot with Virginia Community Voice, Groundworks RVA, Southside ReLeaf and the Science Museum of Virginia.”

Ryan Rinn, Economic Development Business Service Manager at the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities said his office has been working with a lot of the organizations that the Office of Sustainability is working with. He added that Richmond residents should be on the lookout for new green spaces coming soon.

“We’ve been working every weekend, every week with volunteers and community members clearing a trail through the site,” he said.”We hope to have a trail that can get you all the way through this 17-acre site by the end of this summer so that community members can start coming through and envisioning what the space can be.”

Rinn said creating green spaces for the public to enjoy is not an overnight task.

“We’ve been spending a lot of time with our workforce development program and our southside maintenance and operations and our trail crew,” Rinn said, “Trying to make sure the site is safe and accessible so that community members can start coming on board through the leadership of our non-profit partners.”

Norell said the pandemic has shown her the importance of acknowledging where people are, what people are interested in and how all these things all interconnect with each other.

“I’m a climate nerd, that’s what I’m really passionate about but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone is equally as passionate…but there is something that people are passionate about that relates to climate action and resilience,” she said. “to make sure we’re not just speaking in one language of climate action but all languages of climate intersectionality,”

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