The Carver Tree Project
The Carver Tree Project is a collection of organizations working to make the Carver Neighborhood a more sustainable community. The goals of the project are to
- Make the Carver Neighborhood a greener, more walkable neighborhood by planting and maintaining 80 trees in empty tree wells.
- Understand the economic, social, and human health benefits of trees in the Carver Neighborhood and in the City of Richmond.
- Build and sustain partnerships that support ongoing research in urban forestry and urban ecology.
During the first phase of the Carver Tree Project, with the help of VCU Service Learning students, we conducted a survey, inventorying every tree within the Carver neighborhood, including standing trees and vacant sites. From this information, we determined which tree wells were eligible for replanting.
We also conducted several spatial analyses of tree cover and poverty levels in the city of Richmond, identifying the Carver neighborhood as a high priority site for tree work.
The next phase of the Carver Tree Project includes tree planting and maintenance, where we will plant and maintain 80 trees in preexisting tree wells in the Carver neighborhood.
Through survey work by VCU Service Learning students, we found 431 standing street trees and 190 vacant sites, 80 of which have been deemed eligible for replanting. This project proposes planting eighty street trees in City of Richmond street tree wells in the Carver neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia. Using iTree Eco software, we estimate the combined ecosystem service value of standing trees to be $769,000.
Covering approximately 144 acres, Carver neighborhood’s total tree canopy cover is less than 10 percent, well below the city-wide average of 26 percent.
Using iTree Eco software, it was estimated the 411 existing trees in Carver intercept 7,500 cubic feet of stormwater per year with an average of 18.25 cubic feet of stormwater intercepted per tree. With this estimate, we can expect planting 80 trees in Carver will intercept an additional 1,460 cubic feet of stormwater per year.
As the next phase of the Carver Tree Project, this planting will provide multiple benefits to project partners and increase ecosystem services in Carver, particularly improvements in local water quality.
During mid-November, we will plant 80 trees in empty tree wells in Carver with the help of 3 independent study students, the Richmond Tree Stewards, and volunteers from the neighborhood, VCU, and other interested parties,
To select trees, we created a list of appropriate and eligible trees based on each site’s conditions and allowed the residents of Carver neighborhood to make the final selection.
If you’re interested in volunteering, see the upcoming events section on our homepage to find out how to get involved.
After our tree planting in November, we plan to implement a tree maintenance program, where we will maintain currently planted and preexisting street trees in the Carver neighborhood and evaluate carbon offsets and other ecosystem services provided by the newly planted trees.
Through this program, we hope to maintain strong relationships with our partner organizations, maintain and monitor newly planted trees, provide educational opportunities to VCU students and Carver Residents, reduce VCU’s carbon footprint with tangible results, and set a good example for future projects like ours.
Funding for phase one of the Carver Tree Project, which included surveying all the trees within the Carver neighborhood, was provided by a grant from VCU Division Community Engagement.
Funding for the tree planting comes from the 2018 Virginia Trees for Clean Water grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry.
Funding for tree maintenance comes from the Urban and Community Forestry Assistance Program grant from the Virginia Department of Forestry.