Sunday, April 21, 2024

News Briefs Aug. 27

HISTORIC TRIANGLE — Catch up on news and notes in brief from in and around the Historic Triangle.

Freedom Park Outdoor Classroom Opens

(James City County)

The Freedom Park Outdoor Classroom, James City County Parks & Recreation’s newest park amenity, is now open at Freedom Park. The classroom features 10 locally sourced white oak benches from Carters Grove Orchard Road that seat at least 40 people and a white-board kiosk.

The space can be reserved daily, 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. (or until the park closes) for public and private groups looking to enjoy a unique learning environment, the county said. The rental rate is $20/hour; a one-hour minimum is required for all reservations. Use of the whiteboard kiosk is allowed only with reservations. A park instructor or historical interpreter may be requested for a group reservation at an additional rate of $20/hour. Staff will only be provided should availability allow.

According to the county, the project was made possible through the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program, along with over 110 hours of volunteer support. To reserve the area, call 757-259-4200 or check out the Outdoor Classroom Request Form.

Dominion Energy Environmental Grant Application Now Open to Nonprofit, Educational Organizations

(Dominion Energy)

Dominion Energy is encouraging nonprofit and educational organizations within its footprint to apply for environmental grants to be distributed this year through its Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.

According to Dominion Energy, The Environmental Education and Stewardship Grant program highlights Dominion Energy’s efforts to improve the environment and provide educational experiences in the communities it serves.

Since 2003, the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation has awarded nearly $40 million to projects that protect and improve the environment, it said. In 2022, $1.3 million in grant funding was awarded to 97 environmental organizations across eight states.

Eligible organizations are invited to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support specific projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment. In addition, public and private K-12 schools in eligible regions can apply for classroom grants of up to $5,000 for environmental education programs.

For more information and to apply visit

Riverside Behavioral Health Center Announces Name Change to Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center

(Riverside Health System)

Riverside Health System announced a name change for Riverside Behavioral Health Center (RBHC) to better align the evolving mission and enhanced services offered for mental health in the region, it said.

According to Riverside, the new name, Riverside Mental Health & Recovery Center (RMHRC), reflects its commitment to providing comprehensive care for those facing mental health and substance use challenges.

The facility offers adult acute-care services, an adolescent treatment unit, inpatient detoxification services, outpatient addiction support and other addiction services. The RMHRC will also offer a new psychiatric emergency department, scheduled to open later this year.

The reflection of the new name, RMHRC, will continue to evolve over the next four weeks as they update assets, materials, and signage. To learn more about Riverside Mental Health and Recovery Center and its community services, call 757-827-3119 or visit

Open House Set for VPCC’s Historic Triangle Campus


Virginia Peninsula Community College is holding an open house Sept. 5 at its Historic Triangle Campus for its nursing program.

The event will run from 6-8:30 p.m. and include a tour of the campus (including nursing rooms and labs) and a birthing simulation. In addition, current students, alumni, professors and administrators will be available to answer questions and help prospective students enroll in the College and the nursing program, if eligible.

The College’s nursing program is a two-year commitment and is offered at both its
campuses. The Hampton cohorts start in August, and the Historic Triangle cohorts start in
January. For more information on the College and its nursing program, visit

Sentara Health awards $300,000 grant to the American Heart Association’s Live Fierce program

(Sentara Health)

Sentara Health awarded $300,000 to the American Heart Association’s Live Fierce program.

The American Heart Association challenges the community to “live fierce” and take control of their health. The Live Fierce program encourages individuals of all ages to adopt heart-healthy lifestyles, providing them the tools needed to improve their health and overall well-being, Sentara Health said.

With a combination of education, community engagement, and innovative awareness campaigns, Live Fierce seeks to reduce the prevalence of heart disease and stroke, according to Sentara Health. Live Fierce provides hands-on training for individuals, empowering them to make informed decisions on issues such as food and nutrition, exercise, and stress management.

Sentara Health said the grant reinforces its pledge to promote health equity and improve access to care throughout Virginia and North Carolina. This contribution is part of Sentara’s Spring 2023 Grant Cycle, where Sentara bestowed over $5 million in grants to more than 130 community partners in Virginia and North Carolina.

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