Monday, February 26, 2024

Does your city preserve green space? Well, this one does

The Newport News Green Foundation owns 22 properties throughout the city (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Newport News Green Foundation)
The Newport News Green Foundation owns 22 properties throughout the city (WYDaily/ Courtesy of the Newport News Green Foundation)

NEWPORT NEWS — The Newport News Green Foundation is a nonprofit tasked with preserving green space throughout city.

“We’re something like 90 to 95 percent filled out,” said Tami Farinholt, executive director for the nonprofit. “There’s not a lot of green space left.”

Originally established in 1998 by City Council, the foundation acquires properties and spruces up the areas with flower beds, benches and other amenities, or leave the space as is.

Creating green spaces in the community is an “economic driver” especially for millennials by attracting business and increasing safety by using abandoned lots, she said.

“It’s the broken window system,” Farinholt said. “It’s a lot more complicated than we have a pretty space with just trees on it. You may not notice them now but you would notice them if they weren’t there.”

The foundation mainly relies on donations or grants from corporate sponsors or individuals and has an annual fundraiser, Party at the Pond, each year.

The most recent parcel the foundation acquired was a former Hampton Roads Sanitary District pumping station, 315 Center Ave., Farinholt said.

At the Huntington Heights site acquired in March 2018, the foundation asked for input from the community about what they would like to see in the green space. The total cost of the project, which could include artwork and benches, is around $14,000.

Maintaining 25 properties of green space cost $70,000, she said.

Next year, the foundation is creating a linear trail on Bates Drive between 12th and 6th street in the Marshall-Ridley neighborhood as part of the city’s Choice Neighborhood Initiative. The $52,000 project is being funded by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dominion Energy.

For more information about the Newport News Green Foundation, visit their website or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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