Make changes to your yard and get a free tree

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree. – Joyce Kilmer

When traveling around Richmond, I’ve found that stepping into a neighborhood blessed with a large number of trees you automatically feel dramatically cooler. The James River Association is now making it easier for everyone to enjoy all the shade and water runoff benefits of trees.

During the fall planting season, the James River Association (JRA) is offering free trees to Richmond City residents. Homeowners can receive up to a $200 reimbursement per home for trees planted on their property.

Trees are an important feature for any property because they reduce stormwater runoff and provide aesthetic value. Tree canopies capture and store rainfall and reduce soil erosion. They take up a large amount of water from the soil and provide important habitat for wildlife. Their shade can also help homeowners reduce the cost of cooling their home.

This tree incentive program is only open to City of Richmond residents and reimbursements are available September through November 2014. Homeowners must be an existing River Hero Home or submit an application to become a new River Hero Home to qualify.

River Hero Homes is JRA’s certification program that recognizes homeowners who are successfully taking steps to improve water quality by reducing the amount of stormwater and pollution leaving their property. To become certified, JRA requires homeowners to install a river-friendly practice, such as planting trees or installing a rain barrel, as well as following some simple everyday actions to reduce pollution. These actions, which include picking up after your pet or planting native plants, may seem small, but when adopted on a wide scale, can have a significant impact on local water quality.

Tree reimbursements are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be available until funding runs out. For more information about this program, and to find out if your property qualifies, go to

Image: James River Association

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Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

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