Tag Archives: James River

Volunteers in the Rain Garden

IMG_1095(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

It’s been a long hiatus, eight days since my last post. Like everyone else around here, I’m going to blame the winter weather. We’ve now officially had an historic winter, with more snow in a short amount of time than ever before (I don’t recall the exact number but it’s something like seventy inches over just two weeks). Needless to say, there are lots of huge piles of snow everywhere and space to put the snow is quickly running out. A few communities have begun dumping snow into the ocean or rivers that are nearby, with permission from government agencies. This has caused some controversy, as people are rightly concerned about the chemicals, road salt, and pollution which are present in the snow and will end up in the water right along with all the frozen, fluffy white stuff. What gets into our rivers, streams, bays and other bodies of water is always a concern, as it should be, and these volunteers in Virginia are working on another solution to the problem: a rain garden. At Peaks View Park, in Lynchburg, environmental volunteers are tending a rain garden which will absorb stormwater runoff, preventing it from ending up in the James River, and eventually Chesapeake Bay. The Central Virginia Master Naturalists have maintained the garden since 2009, keeping chemicals contained and out of the river. Rain gardens are a highly effective tool for capturing pollutants and keeping them out of the local watershed, a tool which anyone can create in their own backyard. As these volunteers point out, they’re also an opportunity to educate others about the watershed and just one of many ways to protect it.

If you have enjoyed any of the stories on this blog, check out my book, Being Where You Are: How Environmental Volunteers Impact Their Community and the Planet Every Day.


Barnes and Noble



Volunteers Who Never Tire

IMG_1101(Photo by Robert Barossi)

by Robert Barossi

I don’t usually post stories about upcoming volunteer events (although maybe I should start doing more of that). This one struck me for a couple of reasons. First, it takes place along the James River in Virginia. Having spent a year living in southern Virginia (although not on the James itself) it is one of my favorite places in the U.S. Secondly, while there are many river cleanups that occur all across the country and around the world, throughout the year, this one is unique in that it focuses on just one thing: Tires. Finally, I was also struck by the fact that a  number of organizations are involved and there’s also a major corporation, Bridgestone involved. They will be hauling away and recycling all the retrieved tires.

Groups involved include James River Association, Virginia Canals and Navigation Society and Heart of Viginia Council Boy Scouts of America.