As February begins, the General Assembly is hard at work on a number of preservation-related bills and budget items. Several of these items relate directly to Historic Richmond’s advocacy efforts for particular historic sites in and around Richmond and could have a significant positive impact on those sites and the Richmond Region.
First is the establishment of a new BIPOC Fund. This new grant fund would support and provide nonprofit organizations, localities, and state and federally-recognized Indian tribes eligible costs to acquire, preserve and interpret historic structures, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites important to the history of Black, Indigenous and People of Color. If established, eligible groups and localities would have access to a funding resource to save and preserve these historic places.
- In the Senate, this legislation was proposed by Senator Hashmi SB 158 and has been referred to the Finance Committee.
- In the House, this legislation was proposed by Delegate McQuinn HB 141, and has been referred to the Agriculture Committee.
- Please consider writing to your legislator, particularly if they sit on one of these committees, to note your support for the BIPOC Fund and to ask for their support for it. And if your legislator is either Senator Hashmi or Delegate McQuinn, THANK them!
In addition, Delegate Bourne has patroned a budget amendment to provide funding to support the JXN Project from this BIPOC Fund. Please also consider writing in support of this item. 386#20h (DHR) The JXN Project. HB30 – Member Request (virginia.gov)
Delegate Bourne also has patroned a budget amendment for preservation of Moore Street School, one of the oldest surviving purpose-built public school buildings built for Black students and a significant historic resource in Richmond’s Carver neighborhood. Please also consider writing in support of this item and thanking Delegate Bourne for his support for preservation of the Moore Street School. 386#15h (DHR) Moore Street School. HB30 – Member Request (virginia.gov)
Finally, preservation of the Byrd Park Pump House could be advanced by the additional funding proposed for the implementation of elements of the James River Park System Master Plan. This amendment provides $15.0 million from the general fund each year to support the City of Richmond with implementation of the James River Park System master plan for an immersive historical and eco-tourism site that includes four eco-labs and two historical sites located at Ancarrow’s landing and along the Richmond Slave Trail.
The funding afforded by this legislation for Richmond’s historic, cultural and natural resources could have a significant positive impact on these historic sites and the Richmond region as a whole.