On December 9, 2023, Henrico’s Environmental Action Resource Team (H.E.A.R.T.) assembled more than 35 volunteers consisting of members of the H.E.A.R.T. committee, the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF), Scouts, Master Naturalists, and local environmental enthusiasts to plant close to 180 native trees and shrubs at Lake Hening, located at the Henrico Western Government Center.
This collaboration between H.E.A.R.T. and VDOF will enhance the existing natural buffer surrounding Lake Hening. VDOF’s James River Buffer Program aims at restoring bodies of water and the surrounding land to a healthy, vibrant state by planting riparian buffers. Riparian buffers are areas of native trees and shrubs located near bodies of water that provide a variety of natural benefits to the surrounding environment!
These benefits can include creating shade for the lake water, making it cooler and more habitable for aquatic life. The new plants can provide food and shelter for native wildlife. They can help to minimize soil erosion by slowing rainwater from impervious surfaces and improve water quality of the lake by absorbing extra nutrients created by runoff from suburban lawns.
The seedlings provided by the Virginia Department of Forestry may be starting off small, but they have big potential! In a few years, visitors to Lake Hening will be able to reap the physical and mental benefits from this healthier, vibrant, and more beautiful greenspace!
With the collective efforts of H.E.A.R.T., VDOF, and local stewards of the environment, Henrico has taken a huge step towards becoming a cleaner, greener community to live in.
Watch Lake Hening Podcast