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Dedicated to environmental compliance, public education, pollution prevention, and environmental stewardship opportunities. The City of Charlottesville has adopted an Environmental Sustainability Policy.

Rivanna River Charlottesville Leaf Rivanna Tributary

Climate 2

Charlottesville - "A Green City"

The Charlottesville City Council has adopted a 2025 Vision Statement for the City.  One of the major goals of the vision is "A Green City", which states that "Charlottesville citizens live in a community with a vibrant urban forest, tree-lined streets, and lush green neighborhoods. We have an extensive natural trail system, along with healthy rivers and streams. We have clean air and water, we emphasize recycling and reuse, and we minimize stormwater runoff. Our homes and buildings are sustainably designed and energy efficient."

Click here to find out about community efforts to achieve this vision of becoming "A Green City".

 Programs and Projects

Stormwater Management Program

Storm Drain 1

All stormwater from the City of Charlottesville drains to the Rivanna River. The City has developed a stormwater management program to reduce the amount of pollutants entering local waterways in order to protect water quality. To learn more about stormwater, how the City is managing it, and our watershed, click here.

The City has completed a stormwater management study, Charlottesville Stormwater Stewardship on Public Lands, of its City Parks and Charlottesville City Schools campuses.  The Study identified numerous opportunities to utilize public lands to improve local water quality while serving as the locations for demonstration projects and educational sites.  

Water Resources Protection Program


The City has developed a comprehensive Water Resources Protection Program (WRPP).  The main goals of the WRPP are to address the following water resources challenges:

  • Increasingly stringent stormwater regulations
  • An aging and deteriorating stormwater system
  • A backlog of drainage and flooding projects
  • Decades of water resources degradation

Click here to learn more about the WRPP

Downtown Transit Station Achieves Green Building Certification

 DTS photo

The new Downtown Transit Station on the east end of the Downtown Mall was designed and constructed to fulfill the requirements of a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified building. In April of 2008, it was awarded the prestigious LEED Gold designation, becoming the first municipal project in the Commonwealth of Virginia to attain this status.  The Downtown Transit Station includes a geothermal heating and cooling system, recycled and local building materials, water and energy efficient features, extensive use of natural lighting, and public education displays.

To learn more about sustainable aspects of the Downtown Transit Station, click here. To learn more about green buildings see the US Green Building Council article in the Environmental News Archive.

Meadow Creek Stream Restoration Project in Charlottesville

 Meadow Creek Erosion

This intensive $3.95 million project, funded by the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund, addresses erosion and sedimentation problems in the city's Meadow Creek. 

Restoration work began in May 2012 and was concluded in the spring of 2013 and entailed reducing the steep height of the stream banks, adding meanders and habitat structures to the stream channel, and planting trees to enhance the forested buffer along the stream. 

For further information on this project, please click here.

Raingarden in Greenleaf Park

 Completed Raingarden

A demonstration raingarden in Greenleaf Park was constructed in September and October of 2005. The raingarden will help protect local waterways by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff, reducing stormwater volumes, velocities and flow rates, as well as promoting on-site infiltration and groundwater recharge. Click here for more information.

City Promotes Alternative Fuels and Alternatively Fueled Vehicles

Newer Prius

An emphasis has been placed on the use of gas-electric hybrid vehicles and compressed natural gas, as well as the exploration of cleaner burning alternative fuels. For more information on the City's use of alternative fuels and hybrid vehicles, click here.

Energy Conservation

CFL 1 

The Facilities Maintenance Division of the Department of Public Works completed a comprehensive Water and Energy Audit of municipal and school buildings. The Audit was intended to identify opportunities for physical and operational improvements, which can result in reduced consumption of electricity, natural gas, and water.  The recommendations of this Energy Audit were implemented via an Energy Performance Contract beginning in June and concluding in October 2008.

These improvements will result in estimated 1st-year cost savings of $217,004, as well as a reduction of 2,755,065 pounds of carbon dioxide.  The total construction cost of these improvements is $1,835,893, which will be repaid in full by cost savings, within 9 years.  

Water Conservation

A drop of water

The City has developed a comprehensive website addressing water conservation issues. For more information and tips on how you can help our community conserve water, click here.

Environmental Programs and Projects Archive

Pollution Prevention Hotline : To report an environmental incident or concern, illegal dumping, or an illicit discharge to the stormwater system or a stream, please E-mail.


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