The Norfolk Soil Sponge Project
Interested in planting trees and building healthier soils? Then this project is for you. Instead of yard signs, we’ve bought trees and plan to strategically distribute them in Norfolk’s hottest neighborhoods to preserve native green space and reduce temperatures while absorbing and retaining rain during flooding events.
Attend our first organizing meeting!
5:45pm, March 30th, 2023
Jordan-Newby Anchor Branch Library
Strategically cultivate edible plants, trees and shrubs to combat food insecurity while preserving native green space and reducing temperatures while absorbing and retaining rain during flood events in Norfolk’s hottest neighborhoods.
We are asking for your help to provide site selection, preparation, and maintenance services to every household interested in participating in this project. We also need help telling the story of this project through digital and traditional media.
Project Phase 1
Virginia’s Department of Forestry has been growing native tree seedlings and selling them at cost for over 100 years.
Our office has purchased 400 of these trees (and plans to purchase many more) to plant in key Norfolk neighborhoods.
We want to maximize the potential of these trees, so our goal is to provide site selection, preparation, and maintenance services to every household interested in participating in this project.
To accomplish this, we need your help with:
1. Telling the story of the project through dedicated web and social media presences.
2. Site selection, inspection, and preparation strategies.
3. Performing the manual labor necessary to prepare the sites and plant the trees and provide ongoing maintenance and monitoring services for the selected sites.
If you are interested in joining our team to help make this project a success, please use the form to sign-up and we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
What do we mean by site selection?
When we say “site selection” what we really mean is using geographic information systems (GIS) data to determine which parcels in Norfolk are the highest priority and where exactly on those parcels we should focus on.
The image above was created using GIS data from the City of Norfolk. It shows residential building and driveway footprints, along with property boundaries, sidewalks, and roads. The green tree icons represent trees under the management of the City of Norfolk. The shaded green boxes represent existing tree cover.
Financially Support the Soil Sponge Project
With your support, we can purchase more trees and the supplies essential to make this project a success.
Our Phase 1 Project Budget is $7,200 and it runs from March through the end of June.
- Site Preparation – $4,000
- Logistics / Supplies – $1,500
- Marketing – $1,000
- Initial 400 trees – $700
Our phase two project budget is $10,000. During this part of the project, we will be investing in seasonable vegetable gardens in our community to continue addressing flooding and climate change while also combatting food insecurity. This phase runs from June through the end of October.
- Site Preparation – $5,000
- Logistics / Supplies – $2,000
- Grants for vegetable plants / seed starting – $2,000
- Marketing – $1,000
What Kind of trees are we talking about?
We believe in being as transparent as possible. Below is the actual order we placed with the Virginia Department of Forestry and the delivery date of April 3rd, 2022.
|Buttonbush, Common 1-0 (Cephalanthus occidentalis)||100||$120.00|
|Birch, River 1-0 (Betula nigra)||100||$120.00|
|Dogwood, White 1-0 (Cornus florida)||100||$125.00|
|Oak, Overcup 1-0 (Quercus lyrata)||100||$130.00|
|Shipping:||$173.25 via UPS|
Delivery Date: 3 April, 2023