RVAgreener Highlight: Jeanne
Meet RVAgreener Jeanne! She resides in Green Park, a neighborhood located within Highland Park. Jeanne moved to Richmond from Midlothian to attend college and stayed. She has appreciated the growth of the city; she sees it reflected while shopping at local stores along Brookland Park Boulevard on Sundays as well as in the awareness her neighbors have of displacement and gentrification. She knows that the protests that took place last year and the monuments coming down are not the end of Richmond addressing its history and the ramifications it has on our present life. Jeanne loves her neighborhood - she, her husband, and and her dogs enjoy the Cannon Creek Parkway which was made possible by Charles Price, Sierra Club, Army Corps of Engineers, other local groups, and city and state partners. It has truly made her feel that we are going in the right direction regarding climate resilience; however, we can always do more.
"Our city is not yet a walkable city; it is necessary to drive unless you live in the Fan or Church Hill. Too many neighborhoods are being built with cul de sacs that don't connect to anything. Many years ago I regularly rode the bus; however, it was very hard because the routes were not, and still aren’t, convenient for too many of our city residents." Jeanne has also noticed that although much of the city experiences unnecessary flooding, it doesn't impact her neighborhood because they are on a hill. It is only until she and her family are trying to commute out of the community do they see how flooding is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.
As a Certified Master Gardener, Clean City Commission Board Member, and RVAgreen 2050 Racial Equity & Environmental Justice and Waste Working Group member, Jeanne advocates for more green space where people can safely connect with each other. She particularly loves the nation's largest edible public park in Atlanta, GA, and hopes to see something similar at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church located on Fourqurean Lane. What Jeanne accredits most to her time working with RVAgreen 2050 is the breadth and depth to addressing climate change and environmental injustice. She says, "This has been a real learning experience because I didn't fully understand the impacts that climate changes have on historically marginalized communities. We are fortunate to have a wide range of experience and expertise collaborating; it's simply a matter of time to get these strategies in place."
Jeanne will be coordinating with the Science Museum of Virginia to set a date or two for Northside neighbors to walk and collect air quality samples. If you are interested in joining her, reach out to get connected.
Author: JaVonne Bowles, Office of Sustainability Equity Fellow and RVAgreen 2050 Roundtable Member