The Virginia Environmental Endowment (VEE) has awarded a $315,000 grant to support the Glen Stream Restoration Project at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The grant is part of VEE’s James River Water Quality Improvement Program.

The Glen Stream Restoration Project is near the entrance to the Garden in an area catching run-off from nearby neighborhoods, streets and parking lots. By using a relatively new concept called Regenerative Stormwater Conveyance, the Garden will engineer the landscape to slow the water, reducing pollution to the James River. Work will begin in January 2020.

The project involves altering the geography of the stream to create a more meandering path, slowing down the water and allowing particulates to settle. This mitigates stormwater run-off and allows water to be filtered by the soil and the plants. In addition, native plants will flourish and provide habitat for diverse wildlife.

“We’re grateful for the Virginia Environmental Endowment’s work advancing water quality and we’re honored to be a grant recipient,” said Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Executive Director Shane Tippett. “As the project unfolds, the Garden will be able to study and share issues related to water quality, wetland habitat and native plant communities with our guests, teachers, students and the community.” In 2018, the Garden welcomed more than 390,000 visitors, and 14,088 students participated in educational programs.

Joseph Maroon, Virginia Environmental Endowment’s Executive Director noted, “This stream restoration project brings to Richmond the realities of how integral urban water quality efforts are to the improvement of the James River. VEE is grateful to have a partner like Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in the work to restore the James.”