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Home > Projects > Hanover-Caroline SWCD Urban Projects
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Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District Urban Projects

Greening the Way for Central Virginia

corporate bankshares

Located in Caroline County on 14 acres near I-95 and U.S. Route 1 is the new Union Bankshares Corporation’s Operations Center, the first comprehensive environmentally-friendly development in Central Virginia.  The Corporate Center has been designed to reduce water and energy needs and to capture and reduce stormwater run-off with a 23,000 square foot vegetated green roof, innovative bioretention parking lot, and native plantings. 

The 70,000 square foot building will eventually be LEED- Silver certified.  The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.  Building features will directly result in localized reductions in nonpoint source runoff, reduced energy demands and improved indoor and outdoor air quality.

tree planting

Union Bank is partnering with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay (ACB) and several natural resource agencies, including the Hanover-Caroline Soil & Water Conservation District (H-CSWCD), Virginia Cooperative Extension Caroline County (VCE), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), and the Department of Forestry (DOF), to showcase the operations center as a demonstration site of environmentally sensitive development.  The project will help move BayScaping into greater adoption by the corporate community.  BayScaping is the use of a variety of beneficial native plants that, because they are adapted to our local climate and soil, and require minimal maintenance (including trimming, watering, fertilizing or pesticide application). They reduce the amount of pollutants carried by rainwater into local waterways because they use less fertilizers and pesticides.  In addition, the ACB will highlight the completion of a Corporate BayScapes Manual: Conservation Landscaping on Corporate and Public Facilities which can be used by corporate and local government officials and staff to successfully plan and maintain conservation landscaping techniques on larger tracts of land.

tree planting

The economy of Caroline County has been in the process of changing from a primarily rural and agricultural economy to one that is diversified and supported by services, distribution, and industrial uses.  It is therefore imperative to set good role models for environmentally sensitive development, as increasing development is impending.  Caroline County recently stated in its revised Strategic Plan the need to “help to promote and encourage land uses that preserve and protect the quality of the environment.”


Public Events/Workshops

A series of public events and workshops have been held using the Corporate Center as a model and the site for teaching restoration techniques. 

Greening of Central Virginia Corporate Bayscapes Workshop - Mini-Grant Report

Photos from workshop events

beautiful roadside ditch plants



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