NORFOLK, VA – Norfolk’s Office of Resilience awarded the Elizabeth River Trail (ERT) Foundation a Retain Your Rain grant that will fund much-needed soil remediation and new trees at the new Plum Point Park Trailhead obstacle course site. Volunteers will plant 17 new trees this Saturday, February 6 from noon to 2 p.m.
“We are very grateful for this grant and early support received from Elizabeth River Crossings and Pender & Coward,” said Cheryl White, executive director of the Elizabeth River Trail Foundation. “Through their generosity, we are able to enhance a formerly empty lot with a total of 31 new trees and more than 300 native plants and shrubs.”
The new trees include nine native longleaf pines donated by the Virginia Department of Forestry and nursed for the last year by the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Other tree species include Sweet Bay Magnolia, River Birch and Live Oak.
“We are thrilled to be able to support Elizabeth River Trail’s tree planting at Plum Point Park,” said Chief Resilience Officer, Doug Beaver. “The trail gives so much back to the community throughout Norfolk and we think Plum Point Park will be a great place to showcase Retain Your Rain projects. With over 1000 people utilizing the trail everyday hopefully they will be inspired to make our City a model for promoting a healthy lifestyle and coastal resilience.”
Twice a year, the City of Norfolk awards up to $2,500 to neighborhood organizations or nonprofits to support Retain Your Rain projects like creating a rain garden, planting trees and installing rain barrels. Past recipients of the grant include Northside Civic League who installed a food forest; Eggleston Garden Center, who built a water catchment to support their urban farm, and The Little Theatre of Norfolk, who incorporated rain barrels, native trees, shrubs, and flowers and dry wells into their landscaping to catch the water running off their roof.
The Spring application cycle is now open with applications accepted through March 1, 2021.