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EPA Boosts Efforts to Revitalize Richmond’s Bellemeade Community

Release Date: 09/07/2012
Contact Information: David Sternberg (215) 814-5548 sternberg.david@epa.gov

(RICHMOND, Va. - September 7, 2012) Funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will support the City of Richmond’s efforts to transform the southside community of Bellemeade into a greener, healthier neighborhood. The City will use the nearly $60,000 EPA urban waters grant to create the Bellemeade Watershed Coalition and assist the group in restoring Bellemeade Creek.

“Restoring urban waters is essential to revitalizing the health, livability and economic future of communities, especially historically underserved neighborhoods like Bellemeade,” said EPA Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. “EPA’s funding is helping empower local stakeholders to play an active role in cleaning up their communities and creating neighborhood places that offer recreational and economic value for years to come.”

Bellemeade community members have been working with the City in developing a Watershed Concept Plan for restoring the water quality and health of Bellemeade Creek, making it a key educational resource for a new community school and recreational asset for use by residents.

EPA’s funding will also help build the coalition’s capacity by providing workshops on preventing pollution, creating a web-based interactive watershed map and other activities.

Ellen Gilinsky, a senior advisor in EPA’s national Office of Water, and Jon Capacasa, director of EPA’s regional water protection division, toured the Bellemeade watershed today with Richmond officials and stakeholders who will be part of the new coalition.

EPA’s Urban Waters program helps cities unlock the potential of their waterways and the land around them to better serve the needs of their communities. For more information on EPA’s Urban Waters program visit http://www.epa.gov/urbanwaters/index.html