Due to the lack of funding for park maintenance in the city’s budget (as recently noted by our friends in Byrd Park), the City of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Rec, and Community Facilities, the Department of Public Works, RVA Clean Sweep, the Randolph Neighborhood Association, and the Richmond Tree Stewards worked to bring about a much needed overhaul at Thomas Square, a public space that anchors the northeastern part of the Randolph neighborhood.
From start to finish, the project took about three weeks and there is still some minor clean up work to be done. On Saturday, October 4, residents from the Randolph community worked with staff members from the City of Richmond, local nonprofits (noted above), and several dozen college volunteers (consisting of UR’s Bonner Scholars Program, VCU’s RUF campus ministry, and VCU students from the neighborhood) to remove overgrown bushes, plant new trees, and do some light repairs on benches and signs. To close out the day, Dr. Peyton McCoy, Ms. Ethel Johnston and Ms. Lala Williams spoke to the students about the history of the Randolph neighborhood and encouraged them to collaborate with long-time residents to promote positive change in the area. (Before and after photos can be found below.) The weather was beautiful and many residents expressed a tremendous amount of gratitude when the work was finished.