Community Greening 

Community greening projects, also known as Green Infrastructure, are practices that manage stormwater where it falls. Community greening projects allow stormwater to percolate into the ground instead of washing into Richmond's waterways. 


Rain Gardens

Rain gardens can be easily adapted to almost any unpaved space. Also called bioretention, or biofiltration cells, the are vegetated basins designed to collect runoff from rooftops, sidewalks, and streets. Rain gardens mimic natural hydrology by infiltrating and evaporating stormwater runoff. 

A rain garden on the VCU Monroe Park Campus at the intersection of Harrison Street and Floyd Avenue.

Planter Boxes

Planter boxes are small, urban rain gardens with vertical walls that collect  and treat stormwater from sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. Planter boxes are ideal for smaller spaces in dense urban areas. Planter boxes can also be adapted into traffic calming measures. 

Planter box located between a sidewalk and a roadway.

Urban Tree Canopy

Trees reduce and slow stormwater by intercepting rainfall with their leaves and branches. Trees also help purify the air we breath and provide shade that helps cool urban areas. Trees can be installed in empty tree wells, on private or public property, or included in other community greening practices such as rain gardens and planter boxes. 

Street trees along West Clay St. in Jackson Ward.

Permeable Pavements

Permeable pavements allow stormwater to infiltrate where it falls. Permeable pavements can be pervious concrete, porous asphalt, or permeable interlocking pavers. Permeable pavements are well suited to be installed in parking areas. 

Permeable pavement in a parking area.

Green Streets

Green streets are created by integrating community greening practices to collect, hold, and infiltrate stormwater. Permeable pavement, planter boxes, and trees can be used together in street design. Community greening practices can also be used to calm traffic and make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists. 

This green street uses planter boxes and trees to reduce stormwater and calm traffic.

Green Parking

many community greening practices can be used in parking areas. Permeable pavements can be installed along with rain gardens, planter boxes, and trees in medians and around the parking area perimeter. 

Community greening practices reduce stormwater and make parking areas more attractive.