Thursday, July 12, 2012

CenterStage Foundation and City of Richmond Announce Landmark Theater Naming Rights Partnership with Altria Group

CenterStage Foundation today announced a $10 million contribution from Altria as part of a Naming Rights agreement for the Landmark Theater. 

The announcement of this leadership gift to the Foundation’s Landmark and Legacies Capital and Endowment Campaign was made this morning by CenterStage Executive Director Richard M. Parison, Jr., Altria Chairman and CEO and Chairman Martin J. Barrington, and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones in the lobby of the soon-to-be renamed Altria Theater in Richmond’s Fan District.

The renovations approved by City Council to the theater will include significant safety and infrastructure improvements, including the fire alarm and suppression system, plumbing and electrical.  The Landmark Theater’s acoustics systems and several patron-centered amenities will also receive a much-needed upgrade. 

“We are fortunate to have a partner like Altria which understands the power of the arts and the impact they as a corporate citizen can make on our community,” said Richard M. Parison, Jr., Executive Director of Richmond CenterStage.  “Altria has been a great supporter of CenterStage and our artistic programs since our inception. We are very grateful for its continued commitment to supporting the performing arts at our CenterStage venues and in the City of Richmond.”

To continue reading the full press release, please click here.

City to Begin Work on Phase II of Cannon Creek Trail Greenway Improvements Project

The City of Richmond Department of Public Works is partnering with the Virginia Army National Guard to begin a two week assignment clearing land and performing the initial construction for Phase II of the Cannon Creek Trail Greenway Improvements Project. In preparation for the work, Richmond Henrico Turnpike from Dove Street to East Brookland Park Boulevard will be closed from Friday, July 13 to Monday, July 30.  The work begins Sunday, July 15. 
This phase is a 0.6 mile stretch that begins at Dove Street and extends to Brookland Park Boulevard.  Construction will include asphalt pavement on the trail, pavement markings, new trees, concrete curb and gutter installation and drainage improvements.  
The work for this portion of the project is divided into three segments:
  • Dove Street to the Richmond Henrico Turnpike – shared-use path, 10’ wide with 3’ shoulders
  • Henrico Drive to Fourquerean Lane – milling and resurfacing, bike sharrows, sidewalk replacement
  • Fourquerean Lane to East Brookland Park Boulevard – shared-use path, curb and gutter installation
The initial phase of the Cannon Creek Trail Greenway Improvements project, a .6 mile trail from Valley Road to Dove Street, opened to the public in May.   
Once all three phases are complete, the entire project will consist of a 1.9 mile asphalt trail designed for recreational walking and bicycling.  The scheduled completion date is 2014.
For more information on City services and programs, visit

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

City Receives Outstanding Procurement Accreditation Award

The City’s Department of Procurement Services was presented the Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Agency Accreditation Award by the National Institute of Government Purchasing (NIGP) Board of Directors. The City joins 116 government entities that have attained this NIGP distinction from more than 2,400 member governmental agencies throughout the United States and Canada.

“This procurement accreditation brings credibility and recognition to the work performed by our City’s procurement services’ staff in providing the most efficient and effective procurement process possible,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. "Excellent performance and achieving the highest standards in government procurement is critical to a well-managed government.”

The accreditation formally recognizes excellence in public procurement. Some of the areas of criteria recognized for excellence were mission and strategies, authority and responsibility, standards and specifications, personnel and professional development, best practices, procurement technology, policy and procedure, and organization and structure. The next obtainable goal for the City’s Department of Procurement Services is the Pareto Award of Excellence in public procurement, public procurement’s pinnacle achievement that is currently only held by three entities.

City Receives Grant Award for Bellemeade Creek Watershed

The city of Richmond and the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) have been awarded more than $59,000 in grant funding for the Bellemeade Creek Watershed Coalition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award, $59,671, is part of $2.7 million in total awards to 46 organizations in 32 states and Puerto Rico to help restore urban waters, support community revitalization and protect Americans’ health.

The proposed Bellemeade Watershed Coalition project builds upon widespread local support for environmental restoration of Bellemeade Creek in South Richmond. The project will establish a new community-based coalition that will be trained in myriad aspects of watershed stewardship and healthy communities. Bellemeade Creek is part of an urban watershed that includes the Bellemeade neighborhood and Hillside Court public housing development. It feeds into Goodes Creek, a tributary of the James River. Land use is primarily residential within the neighborhood, but the watershed project area is bound by commercial/industrial corridors along Route 1 and Commerce Avenue.

Over the past year, the City, GIC and its environmental organization partners have worked with community members, non-profit groups and business leaders to develop a Watershed Concept Plan for the Bellemeade neighborhood. The Plan was developed by integrating the new Oak Grove Elementary School (currently under construction), which sits adjacent to Bellemeade Creek, with the watershed to identify strategies to improve the health of both the creek and the community. Components include green streets that provide safe routes to school and improve water quality; creek crossings that provide watershed education and stream bank restoration; and community rain gardens that improve water quality and provide outdoor education.

The City has launched a number of new initiatives to promote walkability, greenways and healthy lifestyles in the city over the past several years, to include everything from crosswalk improvements and sidewalk repairs to stormwater runoff mitigation and a plan for better access to the James River.

“This grant will be extremely helpful as we continue to move forward with RVAgreen: A Roadmap to Sustainability. This grant will help bring together neighbors, students, and non-profits to make sure that the tributaries that flow into the mighty James are clean and healthy,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “A sustainable and healthy Richmond can only be achieved with a healthy James River.” 

EPA’s Urban Waters program funding supports communities’ efforts to access, improve and benefit from their urban waters and the surrounding land. Urban waters include canals, rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, estuaries, bays and oceans in urbanized areas. The grants range from $30,000 to $60,000 for projects across the country, including a number of underserved communities. Recipients will promote the restoration of urban waters through community engagement and outreach, water quality monitoring and studies, and environmental education and training. To view a list of the projects that will be funded, visit

Many urban waterways have been polluted for years by sewage, runoff from city streets and contamination from abandoned industrial facilities. Healthy and accessible urban waters can help grow local businesses and enhance educational, economic, recreational, employment and social opportunities in nearby communities. By promoting public access to urban waterways, EPA will help communities become active participants in restoring urban waters while improving and protecting their neighborhoods.

EPA’s Urban Waters program supports the goals and principles of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, a partnership of 12 federal agencies working to reconnect urban communities with their waterways by improving coordination among federal agencies and collaborating with communityled revitalization efforts.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership closely aligns with and advances the work of the White House’s placebased efforts, including the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, to revitalize communities, create jobs and improve the quality of life in cities and towns across the nation. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership also advances the work of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.

Information on EPA’s Urban Waters program:

Information on the Urban Waters Federal Partnership: