A rain garden project coordinated by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation that helps reduce runoff from a Henrico County, Va., school has won a National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Award!
The rain garden was installed last year by horticulture students at The Academy at Virginia Randolph, school and county employees, and CBF staff to catch and filter runoff from school downspouts and a nearby playground. The students planted a variety of native trees, shrubs, and flowers whose roots absorb and retain water. The garden thus helps reduce runoff pollution and erosion, two of the most serious problems plaguing the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams.Upham Brook watershed, which drains into the Chickahominy River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. The rain garden is one of four CBF is installing in the Upham Brook watershed as part of a stream restoration project funded by a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant and funding from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund (using funds generated by the sale of Chesapeake Bay license plates in Virginia), The Community Foundation of Richmond, and the Austin Memorial Foundation. The project is part of a larger effort to help implement Virginia's Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, the state's plan to restore water quality in local rivers, streams, and the Bay.
The recent award for the rain garden was one of seven Henrico received from NACo recognizing innovative local government programs.
--Chuck Epes, CBF's Assistant Director of Media Relations