Warwick Road Property To Be Added to City of Richmond Parkland
Thanks to the generosity of Joan Wilton and her surviving children, 13 wooded acres along Warwick Road were donated to the Capital Region Land Conservancy in November 2020 and prevented from being developed. CRLC will work to transfer the property to the City of Richmond, under a conservation easement. This gift will provide the community with a potential public park with trails, a greenway with shared-use paths, a natural area for students at Thomas C. Boushall Middle School to learn about watersheds and the environment, and the opportunity to connect the Deerbourne and Walmsley neighborhoods to parks and open space where public spaces are currently unavailable.
Future Public Engagement
Capital Region Land Conservancy and the City of Richmond strive to engage the public and likely users of this new open space in a sincere public engagement process to solicit community input on the proposed future uses of the property. This will include listening to the residents’ needs. Approximately 1,145 people live within a 10-minute walk of the property, of whom 71% are African American. The area is also home to households (approximately 51%) that are low income or earn 80% of the median family income for the area. Community engagement will also include students and educators at Boushall Middle School, which is located less than a mile away. CRLC’s acquisition of these 13 acres also addresses Environmental Justice by preserving natural green infrastructure that supports clean air and clean water as well as help combat urban heat islands and climate change. As an example, this property is surrounded by land which is extremely vulnerable to summertime high heat with afternoon temperatures exceeding the limits for optimal human health. Protecting this landscape and extensive flood plain along Grindall Creek promotes cooling temperatures and helps the city prepare for larger rainfall events as predicted in the 2030/2050 climate scenario.
Most importantly, however, is that the City of Richmond will be able to add to its existing 2,300 acres of parkland – roughly 6% of its land use dedicated to public open space – and begin narrowing the equity gap for the more than 50,000 residents who currently do not have access to a park within a 10-minute walk from their home.
Read more about the Warwick Road acquisition here.