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.”
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.