Thursday, July 17, 2014

City Urging Residents to Help Water Trees

~New trees need at least 15 gallons of water weekly~

The City is currently experiencing extremely dry weather, which is putting trees in jeopardy. Those planted within the past three years are at a greater risk, as that is the time most critical to their survival.  The City’s Department of Public Works and the Richmond Tree Stewards are asking residents to help water City trees by filling any empty green water bags on newly planted trees near their home. The water bags, also called gator bags, provide a continuous supply of water to the trees until the bags are empty. 

Typically, in order to withstand hot temperatures, a newly planted tree either needs 15 gallons of water each week or one inch of rainfall.  A City contractor waters new trees during the first year.  Adopt-A-Tree participants water them for the first two years and City crews water them during the second and third year following transplantation.

So, while the City has been getting occasional storms and showers, the amount of rain has not been enough to keep the trees watered sufficiently. Due to the current weather conditions, some trees are not receiving enough water to survive and thrive, even with the contractors, volunteers and City workers.  Any assistance residents can provide is appreciated by the City and its urban forest.

If you would like information on how to become a Richmond Tree Steward or how to Adopt-A-Tree, please visit

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

City Riverfront Public Art Project – Call for Artists

The City’s Public Art Commission seeks to commission an artist to create outdoor public art along the James River adjacent to or within the project site for the Brown’s Island Dam Walk and Southbank Pathways. Interested artists should review the Request for Qualifications and submit all required materials by 5 p.m. on September 5, 2014. The estimated budget for this project is $200,000.

This project is overseen by the Riverfront Public Art Project #1 Site Selection Team (SST), which has 11 members from the Public Art Commission and the Richmond community. The SST will select the artist, approve the artwork, and select and approve the artwork location.

For Public Art Commission meeting announcements including date, time and location visit

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mayor Jones to Discuss Anti-Poverty Initiative With Richmond School Board

WHO:             Mayor Dwight C. Jones
                        Members of the School Board of the City of Richmond
                        Dr. Thad Williamson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building
WHAT:           Special meeting to discuss the City’s Anti-Poverty Initiative

WHEN:          Monday, July 14, 2014
                        5 p.m.

WHERE:        City Hall 
                        2nd Floor Large Conference Room
                        900 East Broad Street


Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Dr. Thad Williamson will discuss the City’s Anti-Poverty Initiative, which is now known as the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty, with the School Board of the City of Richmond at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 14 at City Hall, 900 East Broad Street, in the 2nd floor large conference room.

Friday, June 27, 2014

City to Host Building Better Business Mentorship Program Informational Session on July 9, 2014

The City’s Minority Business Development invites small business owners to attend the Building Better Business Mentorship program informational session on Wednesday, July 9 at 9 a.m. at Main Street Station, 1500 Main Street. The Building Better Business Mentorship program is designed to help develop the capacity of minority and emerging small businesses.

A participating business can expect the following from the mentorship program:

·         A 12- month relationship commitment with an associate who takes active interest in their business success
·         Consultation in a specific, needed area of expertise
·         Business development suggestions
·         A sounding board 
·         One-on-one interaction (by phone or in person) for at least one hour per month
·         A meaningful business relationship with a qualified mentor.
·         A match based on an initial assessment of mentee needs and mentor skills
·         Manageable time commitment
·         Classes and workshops designed to promote business growth

For more information about the Wednesday, July 9, Building Better Business Mentorship program information session, call the City’s Minority Business Development at (804) 646-5947.

Register today at 
Register today as seating for the information session is limited.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Workforce Development and Social Enterprise Announcement

WHO:     Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City of Richmond
                Matt McGee, President, Strickland Machine Company
               Jamison Manion, Programs Administrator, City of Richmond’s Workforce Development Program
               Thad Williamson, Director, Mayor’s Office of Community Wealth Building
               Jakob Helmboldt, City’s Bicycle, Pedestrian and Trails Coordinator

WHAT:       Workforce Development and Social Enterprise Announcement

WHEN:      Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:    Strickland Machine Company
                     2400 Magnolia Court
                     Richmond, VA 23223


The City of Richmond will highlight specifics of a workforce development agreement with Strickland Machine Shop to produce bicycle racks for locations around the city during a 9:30 a.m. press event on Thursday, June 24 at Strickland Machine Company, 2400 Magnolia Court.

The City's Workforce Development Program is an outgrowth of recommendations of the Mayors Anti-Poverty Commission, now known as the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty. The Workforce Development Program’s focus is the education and development of a viable workforce in the city of Richmond. As more employment opportunities and businesses come to the city, it is important that the workforce is prepared to compete and excel in today’s job market. The Program has assisted in the training and employment of hundreds of city residents, and the City wants to encourage more businesses to get involved in providing additional employment opportunities.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mayor Encourages Youth to Read on Summer Learning Day

~ Support learning throughout the community on Summer Learning Day, June 20~

Mayor Dwight C. Jones joins leaders across the country to recognize the importance of learning throughout the summer and encourages City youth to participate in Summer Learning Day. Friday, June 20 is Summer Learning Day, a national advocacy day to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for the nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development.

“I encourage all City youth to participate in Summer Learning Day by reading for at least 15 minutes this Friday and I am hopeful that our youth will continue to read for at least 15 minutes every day this summer,” said Mayor Jones. “Reading is a wonderful tool that can expand learning opportunities while taking the reader on amazing journeys, provide insightful how-to’s and teach the reader more about our world. I encourage everyone in our community to stop and read 15 minutes a day, every day, especially with a child.”

Richmond’s Grade Level Reading Initiative, with more than 30 partner organizations, encourages youth to read 15 minutes every day during the summer. Children who do not read over the summer school break show loss of reading, spelling and math skills – entering school in the fall farther behind than when they left school in June. Research shows that reading as little as 15 minutes a day can help children retain reading and spelling skills.

On Friday, June 20, Summer Learning Day, Richmond Public Library's branches will have special book displays featuring STEM and other different kinds of books for learning --- cookbooks, craft books, science experiments as well as promotional materials for the Library Summer Reading Program Fizz, BOOM, Read! Partner organizations include PBS, Communities in Schools and Richmond Public Schools.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Public Invited to the Mr. Smedley Statue Official Unveiling

Residents are invited to attend the official unveiling of the Mr. Smedley Statue at his new location in Jefferson Hill Park, at the intersection of North 21st Street and Princess Anne Avenue. The unveiling will occur on Wednesday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. during the annual Union Hill Civic Association Potluck Picnic.

Mr. Smedley, also known as “The Street Entertainer”, is a statue of a smiling, tall, lanky entertainer doffing his bowler hat, revealing a mouse perched on his head. The statue was crafted by sculptor John Temple "Jack" Witt and was originally placed in the food court of the former 6th Street Marketplace.

The location of Mr. Smedley in Jefferson Hill Park along a walkway, near a lighted entrance, will allow the statue to greet visitors of the park. The statue will also be visible from the right-of-way and will be in close proximity to the park’s playground, allowing interaction between children and the statue, which is the original intent of the sculptor.

For Public Art Commission meeting announcements including meeting date, time and location visit