Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Richmond Designated “Tree City USA” for 25th Consecutive Year

For a quarter century Richmond has been recognized annually with the designation of “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. Richmond is one of 54 cities and counties in the Commonwealth being honored for the 2015 calendar year. The designation comes just as Arbor Day celebrations are approaching on April 29. 

During each of the past 25 years the City has met the requirements for the designation, which include: a tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget at least $2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. According to the Arbor Day Foundation website, “The Tree City USA program provides direction, assistance and national recognition for your community. It’s the framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry program in your town. And the benefits are substantial.”

There are approximately 80,000 public trees on City-owned properties. They are maintained by certified arborists in the Urban Forestry Division (UFD). Mayor Dwight C. Jones has supported the division’s efforts to increase the number of trees through his initiative to plant nearly 2000 new trees annually over the past five years. 

When properly maintained, trees provide shade, reduce air pollutants, are aesthetically appealing, increase property values and provide a habitat for wildlife. 

In addition to the City arborists, a group of volunteers called the Richmond Tree Stewards who train under City arborists, work closely with the Urban Forestry Division to monitor the health of City trees and promote their ability to thrive and survive in an urban environment.

For more information on City services, please visit

City Partners With PulsePoint to Improve Cardiac Arrest Response in RVA

Mayor Dwight C. Jones and City of Richmond Public Safety agencies have joined with the PulsePoint Foundation to bring life-saving technology to the city through PulsePoint, a mobile app designed to increase public awareness of cardiac events beyond a traditional “witnessed” area and engage them in potentially life-saving CPR.

With the launch of a new smartphone application, saving lives and preventing catastrophic injuries is now just a click away. The PulsePoint Respond smartphone application, or app, is currently active throughout the City of Richmond. This free app, available on Android and Apple platforms, notifies residents and off-duty professionals who are trained in CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and are willing to assist in the event of an emergency.

With location-aware software linked to the 911 system, PulsePoint Respond notifies registered users when someone may be in need of CPR in a nearby public place. If the app user responds to the alert, they are given further instructions to include if an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) is also nearby. As a result, PulsePoint users can potentially find a victim of cardiac arrest, begin CPR, and implement an AED during the time it takes for First Responders to arrive.

A second free app, PulsePoint AED, enables the public to report and update AED locations so that emergency responders, including nearby individuals trained in CPR, can find an AED close to them when a cardiac emergency occurs. PulsePoint AED app users can describe the location, snap a picture, and the information is stored for Richmond Fire Department officials to verify. After that, the AED location data is made available to anyone using PulsePoint Respond.

“Bringing this mobile, life-saving technology to our community is a tremendous step forward. The PulsePoint app will be of great assistance to our first responders as it will position Good Samaritans to engage in life saving CPR right away, especially when seconds count, said Mayor Jones. “At City Hall, we've installed AEDs, which will help us take full advantage of these applications. I encourage everyone to learn about this life saving device as well as the PulsePoint apps."

With more than 1,000 people in the U.S. dying each day from cardiac arrest, the life-saving potential of bystander intervention cannot be overstated. Four out of five cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital setting. Sadly, the likelihood of surviving a cardiac arrest falls by 10% for every minute that a person does not receive CPR assistance. In fact, national survival rates are below 8% due, in part, to the lack of effective bystander CPR assistance. In addition, without timely CPR and AED assistance many who survive must endure a lifetime of residual neurological injuries. However, study after study proves effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double, and even triple, a victim’s chance of survival and reduce if not eliminate permanent and debilitating injuries.

The PulsePoint app has played a key role in saving several lives. The first documented PulsePoint save involved a 57-year old truck driver near Portland, Oregon, who suffered sudden cardiac arrest outside his gym and received CPR from a PulsePoint responder. In Spokane, Washington a five-week old infant received CPR from a nearby off-duty EMS volunteer working at his job as a mechanic. In Sunnyvale, California, a 63-year old father of two collapsed on a soccer field and received CPR from a college student living nearby who received a PulsePoint alert on his mobile phone.

“PulsePoint-connected communities don’t need to rely on the luck of having a CPR-trained citizen witness a cardiac arrest,” said Richard Price, President of the PulsePoint Foundation. “By directly notifying those who are qualified and nearby, PulsePoint helps put the right people in the right place at the right time. PulsePoint builds on the good work that a community has done with CPR training and AED placement and improves the efficiency and use of these resources. Two-thirds of our 24-hour healthcare professionals – firefighters, paramedics, police officers, nurses, doctors – are off-duty at any one time. With PulsePoint, responders like these are available to assist if they are made aware of an urgent need nearby.”

“Normally, less than a third of these victims receive CPR from a bystander,” said Dr Joseph P Ornato, Medical Director of both Richmond Ambulance Authority and Richmond Fire Dept. “Widespread participation in the PulsePoint app could improve survival rates for these patients.” Ornato himself is also a survivor of sudden cardiac arrest.

“The 100 Club of Metropolitan Richmond, an extension of the Retail Merchants Association, is pleased to have made PulsePoint available to the citizens of Richmond through a grant from The 100 Club,” said James Hatcher, President of The 100 Club.

About the PulsePoint Foundation

PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through the use of location-aware mobile devices PulsePoint is building applications that work with local public safety agencies to improve communications with citizens, empowering them to help reduce the millions of annual deaths from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Deployment of the PulsePoint app can significantly strengthen the “chain of survival” by improving bystander response to cardiac arrest victims and increasing the chance that lifesaving steps will be taken prior to the arrival of emergency medical services (EMS). PulsePoint is built and maintained by volunteer engineers at Workday and distributed by our marketing and implementation partner Physio-Control, Inc. CTIA Wireless Foundation is a key sponsor and advocate of PulsePoint, providing industry and financial support. Learn more at or join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter. The free app is available for download on iTunesand Google Play.

About Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that effective bystander CPR, provided immediately after cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. However, less than half of cardiac arrest victims receive bystander CPR and even fewer receive a potentially lifesaving therapeutic shock from a public access AED. Improving bystander CPR rates and access to AEDs is critical to the chain of survival, which requires: (1) early recognition of the emergency and phoning 911 for EMS, (2) early bystander CPR, (3) early delivery of a shock via a defibrillator if indicated and (4) early advanced life support and post-resuscitation care delivered by healthcare providers. Different than a heart attack, sudden cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions and the heart stops working properly. For every minute that passes without a cardiac arrest victim receiving resuscitation, the chances of that person surviving decrease 10 percent. After 10 minutes the chances of survival are minimal.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Public Input Sought on Richmond’s Transit Choices

The City, in cooperation with GRTC Transit System, wants to involve residents in balancing the city’s many transit goals and needs. Implementation of Bus Rapid Transit – GRTC Pulse – has created new enthusiasm for transit in the city, and raises important questions about how the rest of the transit routes can best serve the city once the Pulse begins operations.

The City invites residents, businesses and stakeholders to a series of public meetings that will be the first of three phases of outreach as part of the Richmond Transit Network Plan. This plan will analyze the current bus routes and ask the public to weigh tradeoffs in how transit could serve the city. In future phases, the study team will develop a range of route options for the city’s bus routes and seek feedback from the community on those route options. The result of the technical assessment and community process will be a Transit Network Plan for the City of Richmond that will provide recommendations on the city’s bus routes that may be implemented beginning in 2017.

Four public meetings have been scheduled to kick off the planning process. The meetings will offer the community an opportunity to:
  • Learn details of the planning process.
  • Discover how the transit system has been performing in Richmond.
  • Understand how transit in Richmond compares to other regions.
  • Learn how different transit goals might affect the design of a network of bus routes.
  • Consider tradeoffs in how a network of bus routes can be designed.
  • Provide feedback on what goals transit should be trying to achieve.
  • Have discussions with the project team.
The public is welcome to attend any of these public meetings:

Tuesday, April 19
Southside Community Service Center
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
4100 Hull Street Rd.
Richmond, VA, 23224

Wednesday, April 20
Peter Paul Development Center
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1708 North 22nd St
Richmond, VA 23223

Tuesday, May 3
DMV Richmond Central Service Center
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
2300 West Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23230

Wednesday, May 4
Main Public Library Auditorium
Noon to 2 p.m.
101 East Franklin Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Public meeting locations are accessible to persons with disabilities. The City of Richmond strives to provide reasonable accommodations and services for persons who require assistance to participate. For special assistance, residents should call Amy Inman at (804) 646-5871 or TDD 711 at least 72 hours in advance of each meeting. Si usted necesita servicios de traducción a participar, por favor manda un email:

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sustainability Accomplishments from the UCI Worlds Highlighted

The Council for Responsible Sport presented Mayor Dwight C. Jones, City officials, and partners with the Gold Level Certification today for their sustainability efforts for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships.

The Council for Responsible Sport event certification is based on an objective verification of the event’s actual performance in key areas of social and environmental responsibility. Gold certification is the second highest level of certification available. The City of Richmond and partners met or exceeded all of their sustainability goals for the event, passed an on-site validation process and submitted documentation to receive a total of 48 out of 61 available credits in the areas of planning, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.

“I commend Mayor Jones, the City of Richmond, the event management team and partners for their significant achievement. Hosting such a large event and doing so in a socially and environmentally responsible way required a huge amount of sustained effort,” said Keith Peters, Executive Director for the Council for Responsible Sport. 

“The Gold Certification recognizes the tremendous effort our dedicated City employees and partners put forth to make the 2015 Road World Cycling Championships a sustainable event,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “I especially want to acknowledge Alicia Zatcoff, the City of Richmond Sustainability Manager, and Tom Griffin, Executive Director of Virginia Green Travel Alliance for their leadership and commitment in this undertaking.”

Sustainability was a key factor in the success of the Worlds and in giving athletes and spectators an immensely positive experience. In making the 2015 Road World Championships a sustainable event, the city also moved its broader RVAgreen sustainability initiatives forward.

Initiatives include making the city more bike friendly with over 23 miles of new bike infrastructure and 450 new bike racks, this event also set a new standard for sustainable events and festivals in the city. These actions will enhance the quality of life for the entire community and continue to benefit residents well into the future.

During today’s press event, which was held at the corner of Broad and 5th streets, Mayor Jones and City officials also announced a project designed to memorialize Richmond, Virginia hosting the 2015 Worlds – the first time the event had been held in the United States in nearly 30 years, and only the second time the event had been held in the United States in its 88 year history.

“The event brought international attention to our City and the region,” noted Mayor Jones. “Right here at 5th and Broad is where the Finish line was created, and right here is where we will memorialize the City of Richmond hosting the event.”

The Mayor announced plans to stripe the pavement across Broad Street with the UCI rainbow stripe colors to mark the spot of the official Finish Line of the 2015 Road World Cycling Championships.

“This project will be a part of our downtown corridor improvement project that will take place over the spring and summer months and will be part of our restoration effort for this corridor, post-event,” said Jones.

About City of Richmond RVAgreen

RVAgreen is the City’s sustainability program. It includes the RVAgreen Sustainability Plan to further the City’s sustainability goals: improve the quality of life for residents, create a healthy environment and enhance economic opportunity in the city of Richmond. For more information about RVAgreen including a copy of the RVAgreen Progress Report called Moving Sustainability Forward visit

About the Council for Responsible Sport

The mission of the Council for Responsible Sport is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing, and to actively support event organizers who strive to make a difference in their communities. The Council for Responsible Sport is an Oregon-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization.

2015 Road World Championships Sustainability Highlights

For more information about the sustainability effort for the 2015 Worlds including a copy of the Sustainability Report visit or visit

Achievements to Reduce Waste
  • 76% of event waste diverted from landfill
  • Comprehensive Waste Management Plan that includes compost and commingled recycling
  • All food vendors and caterers required to use compostable serve ware
  • New bulk purchase system developed to lower price of compostable serve ware for event
  • All food vendors and caterers composting/diverting as much pre-consumer food scraps as possible
  • Recycling of traditionally difficult materials including pallets, plastic bags and cooking grease
  • Food recovery program to donate unused food from event to local charities
  • City, VGTA and HandsOn Greater Richmond created the new RVA Green Team Volunteer Network to recruit and train sustainability volunteers for the UCI Worlds
  • City, HandsOn Greater Richmond and Virginia Green Travel Alliance received a grant for six AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers to serve as green team leaders during event
  • Volunteer training included pre-event e-mails, a video on compost and recycling during the event, a short pre-shift training session and on the scene training from a team leader
  • RVA Green Team volunteers encourage, educate and involve attendees in separating items into proper bins
  • Nine water refill stations located throughout the event area provided by the City of Richmond
  • Reusable beer cups in beer gardens
  • Public eco-stations: three bin stations with 96 gallon commingled recycling, 96 gallon compost, and 96 gallon trash (landfill) bin. Located throughout key event areas and marked w/color coded and coordinated system of flags, symbols and signage for high visibility.
  • Vendor Eco-stations: three bin stations with 96 gallon commingled recycling, 96 gallon compost, and 96 gallon trash (landfill) bin. Located conveniently near caterers and food vendors. Also includes collection of: cardboard, plastic bags and cooking grease.
  • Staging Areas placed in strategic locations where recycling, compost and trash from eco-stations as well as cardboard, pallets, plastic bags and cooking grease is placed temporarily until picked up and taken off-site
  • Eco-station banners and signage created to educate attendees and encourage waste reduction efforts
  • Developed detailed maps showing locations of eco-stations and staging areas and shared with caterers and vendors
  • Conducted pre-event meetings and daily check-ins with caterers and food vendors
  • Caterers monitored attendance numbers to ensure supply tailored accordingly to avoid waste
  • Recycle packaging material from event
  • Event app that provides event details and information to reduce the need for printing
  • 100% online registration for athletes and volunteers
  • Event communications and marketing conducted electronically to minimize printed material
  • Encourage reduction of give-away items at event
  • Rent, borrow, or reuse a majority of event equipment
Achievements to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Transportation
  • created to clearly convey day by day event information related to: traffic and commuting, transit, Amtrak and parking, pedestrian/cyclist guide
  • “RVA Green the Scene” campaign and signage to encourage people to use public transport, walk or ride to the event
  • Multiple temporary bike share stations to provide rental bikes for use during the event
  • Bike valets available to encourage people to ride to the event
  • Shuttle buses to and from event are available where people can park/ride from two convenient locations
  • Event venues can be conveniently accessed by public transport
  • Event partner GRTC offering a special $35 unlimited ride pass during entire event
  • Event partner RideFinders providing carpooling and other alternative mode resources
  • Amtrak to offer enhanced walk-up checked bike service on select trains and at select stations
  • The event courses and schedules were developed to take into account morning and afternoon travel patterns and peak travel times
Achievements to Be Healthy
  • Using local caterers and food vendors that are serving healthy food options
  • Encouraging healthy activities by engaging the community in events like “Conquer the Cobbles” which gives the public a chance to ride the race course
  • Car Max Kid Zone with interactive and educational activities on being healthy and bike safety
  • Partnered with DRIVE SMART Virginia on a “Be Aware. Be Safe. Share the Road” campaign
  • Promoting September is Virginia Bicyclist and Pedestrian Awareness Month with partner DRIVE SMART Virginia
Achievements to Leave a Positive Legacy for Future Events
  • “UCI World Sustainability Champion” community focused campaign to engage attendees in sustainability activations during event and educate them on broader city sustainability initiatives
  • Main event site is the Greater Richmond Convention Center (GRCC) which is a Virginia Green Certified facility
  • Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 100% carbon footprint of event operations
  • A green event toolkit provided by the City of Richmond and VGTA with information and resources to help more events adopt sustainable practices
  • RVA Green Team Volunteer Network continues to serve as a resource to help events and festivals in the community become more sustainable
  • 200 eco-stations provided by the City of Richmond for free to help organizers in the community make their events more sustainable
  • 10 water refill stations available from the City of Richmond to help organizers in the community make their events more sustainable
  • Bulk purchase system to lower the price of compostable serve ware for event organizers, caterers and food vendors
  • “RVA Green the Scene” campaign and signage to inform attendees about sustainability initiatives and encourage adoption at future events
  • Green team volunteer video, eco-station banners, signage, and flags are available for use at future events
  • A new category for the Virginia Green Program that enables food trucks and mobile food vendors to apply for certification