Location: Charlottesville, VA | Client: James River Association | Project Date: June 2015 – June 2016
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In Charlottesville, Virginia, residents who lived along Pollocks Branch were experiencing disconnection from the creek, parks and other nearby open spaces. Regular rain events were causing stormwater backwashes and trash was regularly found in the creek and in illegal dumping areas. Residents and local organizations were interested in opportunities to connect their neighborhood with natural areas, provide safe walking and bicycling routes and clean their nearby waterways.
Skeo partnered with the James River Association, City of Charlottesville, the Center for Watershed Protection and The Bridge PAI to conduct an existing conditions analysis, facilitate a series of community meetings to learn community needs and priorities and develop a Walkable Watershed Concept Plan.
The Concept Plan identifies opportunities for green infrastructure improvements, a greenway trail system, pedestrian and bicycle amenities and safe crossings. The Plan improves connectivity by prioritizing streets for sidewalks and crosswalks, recommends trail extensions and access points that connect to surrounding neighborhoods and intersections for safe crossing improvements. Additionally, the Plan focuses on four key areas and gives detailed recommendations for implementation.
The Charlottesville Walkable Watershed project spurred interest from nearby university students who developed capstone projects related to the project, The Bridge PAI installed a WaterWise mural with underserved youth, and a Community Festival to celebrate the work completed and connect local residents to the natural world.