Showing posts from 2013

7th Annual Union Hill Progressive Dessert: Friday Dec 13, 7 to 11 pm

A century ago, the residents of our neighborhood began a holiday tradition. To commemorate the spirit of the season, neighbors chose an evening in which to open their homes and share in sweet treats, hospitality, and fellowship. 

Seven years ago, present-day residents revived this great tradition with the annual Union Hill Progressive Dessert. With the help of gracious hosts, we continue our historic custom this year. 

A festive evening of merriment begins with acclaimed brass quintet Festival Brass, performing live in Jefferson Park. Warm beverages will be served to keep everyone toasty warm and in good cheer. 

If you have not received your invitation to the Union Hill Progressive Dessert and would like to participate, please contact Mark Lemaire at 804-322-3016, or

We hope you will join us! We have much to celebrate and be thankful for. 

Annual holiday walk with bagpipes from Jefferson Park to Libby Park.

The UHCA will join with Church Hill Civic Association (CHA) on Friday Dec. 6, 2013, for the annual holiday walk to Libby Park. The recording above was made last year in Jefferson Park and gives you a taste of what you'll hear this Friday.

Bagpipers will gather in Jefferson Park at 7:00 pm to play a few musical selections. At approximately 7:20pm, folks can walk with the bagpipers through the streets of Union Hill and Church Hill to St. John's Church (E Broad Street at N 25th Street). 

The group will be joined by folks who have participated in the Vesper Services at St. John's Church and the procession will continue to Libby Park where there will be carol singing and a visit from Santa. 

It is suggested that you bring a flash light.

Jefferson Park Tree Decorating Sun Dec 1, 2pm

Bring the kids and help us decorate the Jefferson Park Holiday Tree.  We will meet at 2:00 pm and with lots of helping hands, we should have plenty of time for hot chocolate and cookies.

Don't Let Some Turkey Steal Thanksgiving!

From our friends at Church Hill House:

A holiday party for disabled and elderly neighbors is in jeopardy. A thief stole money meant for their Thanksgiving party. Let's at least double what was stolen from these needy neighbors!

Organizer: Friends and Neighbors of Union Hill/Church Hill Beneficiary: Senior Citizen and Disabled Residents of Church Hill House

See more at:

Progressive Dessert returns: Fri Dec 13, 2013.

From the UHCA Vice President, Inas El-Amin:

This year's Progressive Dessert is building up to be as smashing as last year's event.  The date is Friday, December 13, from 7-11pm. Locations TBA.

As usual, we ask for food volunteers so that all the preparation is not put on our marvelous hosts.

To volunteer/contibriute email me at

1)  List the item that you want to bring.  It can be dessert, a savory item, utensils, cups, beverages, etc.  
2)  Include your phone number so that I can call you and keep in touch.

Regards, Inas El-Amin 

Venue Change: UHCA Neighborhood Meeting Wed. Nov. 2013

The UHCA will meet at 2306 Jefferson Ave (in soon-to-open Union Market,) at 7:00 pm. on November 20, 2013.

The purpose of the meeting is to provide all possible and pertinent information regarding Mayor Jones' proposal for the development ofShockoe Bottom

Our UHCA Secretary has contacted the office of Mayor Jones and requested that either he, or a representative from his office attend this meeting. We also hope our 7th District Councilperson, Dr. Cynthia Newbille will attend and share her vision of Shockoe Bottom.

You can prepare for the discussion by checking out any of the following resources:

-Loving RVA  (the official website of the Mayor's proposed plan) 
-a recent news story in the Times Dispatch
-a recent editorial in the Times Dispatch
-a featured story in Style: Double Play
-along with Style editorials: For the FencesGambling with Gold and Team Players

Note: The above list is simply a sampling of published articles and web resources as of 11-12-2013. The Shockoe plan is c…

Friends of Jefferson Park, Planning Meeting, Thurs. Nov. 7, 2013

FOJP will meet on Thursday, November 7, at 6pm at 801 North 24th Street. We will be planning for 2014. All are welcome to attend and be part of this group.  

We will be forming a board, too. So, if you've every wanted to try your hand in a leadership position, now's the time (all positions are open). 

Light refreshments served. Contact Bill Conkle at (804) 649-3764.

Happy Halloween!

Don't forget, trick-or-treaters are welcome to stop by the soon to open Union Market on Jefferson Avenue.

From Aaron, Brooke, Gillian, Hunter and Shawn:

Thank you to our Union Hill neighbors for all your support with our new venture, the Union Market.

We are chugging along with renovations and planning. We hope to be up and running by January. 

In the meantime, we’d love to get to know you — please bring your munchkins and come by and see us at 2306 Jefferson Avenue on Halloween. We'll have lots of treats for the kids.

We’d also like to give a shout out to all of you who have popped by to lend a hand, share a tool or say hello. Union Hill, we couldn’t do this without you!

"New" Streets in Union Hill

Union Hill resident, Ann Wortham has the skinny on the street re-surfacing now happening in our neighborhood:
Touted as resurfacing, the process that's been giving some Union Hill streets a new surface is more like recycling.In the past our tax dollars have paid to have the surface of a street torn up and hauled off, and a new surface hauled in and put down. The process we've been seeing recently isn't like that at all. Equipment heats the existing surface and scrapes up the heated surface, slowly and one lane at a time. Each lane's spillover is raked back into its lane and then a Volvo makes several passes to mash down the heated and scraped surface.  Defects are later marked in white and corrected and then a sealer is applied to the recycled surface. The last thing that will be done is the painted markings.The process originated in Illinois, has been used in Henrico for 8 to 10 years, is new to Richmond...and is reportedly about 1/3 the cost of the dig-up-old-and-put…

Union Market welcomes trick-or-treaters this Halloween

From the folks at the soon-to-open Union Market:

Thank you to our Union Hill neighbors for all your support with our new venture: Union Market.

We are chugging along with renovations and planning. We hope to be up and running by January. 

In the meantime, we’d love to get to know you — please bring your munchkins and come by and see us at 2306 Jefferson Avenue on Halloween. We'll have lots of treats for the kids.

We’d also like to give a shout out to all of you who have popped by to lend a hand, share a tool or say hello. Union Hill, we couldn’t do this without you!

Thanks from the Union Market team: Aaron, Brooke, Gillian, Hunter and Shawn.

Friends of Jefferson Park: Thurs Nov 7, 2013

The Friends of Jefferson Park will hold a planning meeting on Thursday, November 7th, from 6-7 pm at 801 North 24th Street.   Items of discussion will include the Mr. Smedley Statue, the Jefferson Park Fountain project, Trees, park clean-ups, 2013 Holiday tree trimming, and planning for 2014.  Light refreshments will be served. Please contact Bill Conkle at or 804-649-3764 if you have an interest in the FOJP.

Union Hill Sausage Feast, Sat. Oct 19, 2pm

DATE: Saturday, October 19th FEATURING:Sausage Craft TIME: 2:00 p.m. GUESTS: YOU! Neighbors and Friends of Union Hill LOCATION: The green space at the intersection of 23rd and Jessamine Streets (map) WHAT CAN YOU BRING: Your appetite for fresh, seasonal foods and a side dish (optional)
Two centuries ago, Union Hill was founded by a diverse group of people who shared a love of...SAUSAGE! We hope you will join with the modern neighbors of our community to celebrate all of the exciting things happening in and around our unique community.  We will have tasty sausages thanks to our neighbor and sausage guy Chris Mattera, and co-founder of Richmond's very own Sausage Craft.  Also, vegetarian dishes, and the delicious gumbo that has made prior Union Hill Stew Feasts such a hit!  Best of all: IT'S FREE!!
Contact Jeannie Kronenthal with any questions:

Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Info

Our Union Hill neighbor, Mark Kronenthal, provides this brief overview of how to handle any VA Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issues and complaints:

Noticing after hours sales of alcohol at a neighborhood corner store? Frustrated with the lack of ABC and law enforcement response?

In order for complaints to be processed effectively, citizens should go to the ABC website linked below and file a complaint online or call the ABC Complaint Line number posted below.

Please make sure you have the name of the business and the address so the complaints get into the correct file. For example, the address of Ocean Grocery is 2438 Venable Street.  Multiple complaints about the same address will help ABC understand the priority of the problem.

If alcohol-related trash accumulation is a problem you are experiencing, it is also helpful for enforcement to have photographs of the accumulation of beverage containers with date and locations noted.

Please also note the date, time, and method o…

Autumn and Winter 2013 happenings!

There are lots of  great things happening in Union Hill.  Trees are being planted, folks are working to keep Jefferson Park tidy, Mr. Smedley will soon be moving in and will need a huge welcome party, and our annual Dessert Tour can not be far behind.  We also have many new neighbors. If you are working on one of these projects or have something entirely different in mind,  please let us all know what kind of help, encouragement or financial resources your project needs. Send your information to and it will be sent to everyone on the UHCA mailing list.

City of Richmond CAR, IMPACT and CAPS meetings

Two of our Union Hill neighbors, Ann Wortham and Charlie Field, attended the September meetings of the Commission of Architectural Review, (CAR) Community Assisted Public Safety (CAPS) and the Mayor’s Participation, Action and Communication Team (MPACT).

Download the PDF with their reports on these meetings by clicking here.

The Future of the UHCA

UHCA has played a significant role in making Union Hill the diverse, vibrant and safe community in which we live.  A small corps of committed individuals has with great skill and dedication provided UHCA leadership since its inception. This summer it became apparent that the future of the organization depends on engaging more of our neighbors and on Identifying new leadership.  With that in mind, the September 17, 2013 meeting was focused on reaching consensus as to the future course of the organization.
Please take a minute and look at the summary of that meeting. Everyone is encouraged to join the dialogue.  Send your thoughts and comments to

This is a "work in progress" with the only goal being an organization that meets the needs of the community.
During this period of transition, staying in touch will be particularly critical.  Please feel free to use the address to identify any issues that need immediate UHCA attention or to share …

New House Plans for 22nd Street

Plans for a new home on N. 22nd Street were presented at last nights UHCA meeting.  If you have any questions about the plans, contact Tom O'Kelly at

Next Meeting: Wed Sept 18 @ 7pm

Location: home of Inas El-Amin 705 N. 24th Street

This month our main agenda item will be to discuss and decide upon how the Union Hill Civic Association will function in the future. Items to discuss include: 

- How often will the organization meet? - Main function(s) of the organization - How committees will function - Membership - Social events, including the Progressive Dessert Christmas Party

We want this organization to be for everyone in the neighborhood, whether you own a home or are a renter. 

Please come on out and join the meeting. Everyone in the neighborhood is welcome! 

Coming soon: a new Union Hill business.

Thursday,  September 12, 2013 at 7pm, Union Hill residents are invited to learn about the soon-to-open market and sandwich shop at 2306 Jefferson Avenue.

From the business owners:

Dear Union Hill neighbors, We, Hunter Robertson, Gillian Field, and Shawn Tunstall, are excited to announce that we will be opening a new business in the commercial space at 2300-2306 Jefferson Avenue (formerly Johnson’s Southern Comfort). 

As residents of the neighborhood, we are seeking to fill what we believe is a much-needed service for the community: a safe and reliable high-quality market and sandwich shop. While we currently have a Special Use Permit (“SUP”) in place permitting operation as a restaurant, we will need to apply for a text-only amendment to the SUP in support of the market portion of the business. We would like to invite all of our neighbors in Union Hill to come learn more about our concept and the amendment we are proposing. Please join us at the space at 2300-2306 Jefferson Ave. on Thursda…

"Mr Smedley" coming to Jefferson Park!

Neighbors attended today's meeting of the Public Art Commission, and here it their report:

At their meeting this morning, The Richmond City Art Commission officially selected Jefferson Park as the new home for Mr. Smedley. 

Your letters and demonstrated support were noted as unique and positive additions to the proposal submitted by UHCA and the Friends of Jefferson Park.

The Art Commission will fund the refurbishing of the statue and the City will handle the installation. An unveiling ceremony is planned once the project is completed. Let's make that a community celebration!

Thank you for your encouragement and assistance.  --Mary and Chuck Field

We'll post updates here as to when the base for the statue will be laid and when the 8-foot tall bronze statue of "Mr Smedley" will arrive in Jefferson Park.  

The Central Richmond Montessori School, Friends of Jefferson Park, the Union Hill Civic Association and several neighbors wrote wonderful letters of support for bringi…

Del. McClellan at Wed July 17, 2013 Meeting

Our monthly meeting is at the home of our out-going president, Lora Toothman, 711 N. 23rd Street, at 7pm.  All are welcome to attend.

Our representative in the Virginia House of Delegates, the honorable  Jennifer McClellan will join us to discuss the 2013 General Assembly session and upcoming legislative issues.

Also on the agenda: who will be our new president in 2013/2014? If you or a neighbor would like to hold that position, we would welcome your nomination.

Help us bring "Mr. Smedley" to Jefferson Park

The Richmond City Public Art Commission has issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for the suitable public placement of a sculpture by John Temple "Jack" Witt called Mr. Smedley.  Mr. Smedley is an eight feet tall bronze sculpture of a tall lanky smiling entertainer, doffing his hat revealing a mouse on his head.  It is also called "The Street Entertainer." The statue was formerly at the 6th Street Market in 2004 and is currently being stored at a City facility.  The city will transport and install the sculpture at the selected location.  There are restoration costs ($1500) and an anonymous donor has been found to help defray some of those costs. Mary Field has copies of the RFP if you would like to see it. It can also be found online.
The Union Hill Civic Association and the Friends of Jefferson Park intend to submit a response to the RFP and are soliciting input from the community in order to reflect community support.  We will propose to install the sculpture near…

Wow! Now THAT was a picnic!

We had a Super turnout and the weather couldn't have been better - thanks to all who came out for the summer picnic at Jefferson Park!
A BIG THANKS to:    - Matt Conrad, Lora Toothman and Dan Russell who brought their grills for use at the picnic  - Dan Russell, Adam Wu and Bob James for being our Grill Masters - they were grilling up the dogs and burgers throughout the event and we couldn't have done it without them!
- Chuck & Mary Field for buying all the d burgers, dogs, buns, condiments and sodas  - Alamo BBQ for donating the delicious Texas caviar, jalapeno mac & cheese and slaw
 - Sausage Craft for the yummy sausage donation

PICNIC WEDNESDAY June 19, Jefferson Park, 7pm

Our annual community picnic in Jefferson Park is Wednesday June 19 at 7pm. Hot dogs, burgers (veggie options) along with drinks will be provided by a generous donor. If you last name begins with A-M please bring a side dish to share, a desert if you're N-Z.  See you in the park!

Calling all Grill Masters and Mistresses!

Our annual Union Hill Picnic in Jefferson Park is Wednesday June 19 at 7pm. We're roundin' up some grills and people who like to cook food on grills.  We know you're out there--we've smelled your cooking in the 'hood.   Contact Stacey Moulds at if you'd like to volunteer your cooking skills and/or grill.  Thanks!

Wed June 19, 7pm Picnic in Jefferson Park!

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 19, at 7pm for the annual Union Hill Pot-Luck Picnic in Jefferson Park.  Everyone is welcome!
Bring your favorite dish and/or beverage to share with neighbors. Enjoy the cool breeze and amazing city view from our hill-top park.

This is a great opportunity to catch up with your friends and meet new folks in your neighborhood.

The UHCA will have a brief business meeting.  We'll also elect new officers for 2013-2014.

We'll be posting updates here as we get closer to the 19th.

VCU Urban Planning , Wed May 15 UHCA Meeting

Union Hill's next neighborhood meeting is Wednesday May 15, 2013. 7pm, at 2314 Jefferson Avenue (corner of 24th & Jefferson.)  Everyone is welcome. 
We'll get a special presentation on two hot topics in our neighborhood: Adaptive Reuse and Displacement in Union Hill.  
VCU Masters of  Urban and Regional Planning Program will present two of their 2013 class projects: The Adaptive Reuse study examines potential uses for existing corner commercial buildings and the impact of current zoning. The Displacement study analyzes demographic and economic data and places it in the context of current academic thinking on the topic.

The kids have been working on this all semester long: we owe it to them to come out and listen to what they learned about our neighborhood.  See you there!

When: Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 pm
Where: Church Hill Studio, 2314 Jefferson Avenue

Thanks to the sidewalk crews!

Ann Wortham, of Venable Street writes: "On the last day of all their hard work, Union Hill neighbors treated the crew to lunch, with our thanks. "

Arbor Day is here!

Thanks to Mosquito Squad and The City of Richmond Tree Stewards, 20 new trees were planted on Arbor Day, April 26, 2013, in Union Hill.  We made a little video about the event. Check it out and you'll learn a lot about the best way to plant a tree.

Restoring the Urban Tree Canopy with Mosquito Squad, UHCA, Cedar Street Baptist Church, Church Hill Planters and Richmond's City Arborist

On Arbor Day, Friday, April 26, 2013, Mosquito Squad, its two local franchises and its national Richmond headquarters staff, will be in Union Hill planting trees as part of their Arbor Day national day of service. They're helping restore the urban tree canopy in city neighborhoods devoid of trees.

City of Richmond Department of Public Works has been restoring sidewalks in the physical heart of Union Hill, formerly blighted areas on Cedar Street, O Street, North 23rd Street, and North 24th Street.  The City has left great tree wells for us to fill to make the new sidewalks comfortable, safe, and attractive. The improved sidewalks and trees will connect new businesses with our neighborhood and Church Hill House.

Here's the schedule: Friday, April 26, Mosquito Squad-Sponsored Arbor Day:   The two local franchises of Mosquito Squad and Richmond-based national headquarters staff will be planting between 20 to 40 trees in the new tree wells on N. 23rd and N. 24th Street…

UHCA Meeting April 17, 2013, 7pm.

Join your neighbors for the next Union Hill Civic Association Meeting and make change happen in your neighborhood! We'll gather at 7pm at Johnson's Southern Comfort, 2306 Jefferson Avenue, between N. 23rd and E. Leigh Streets.

Volunteers needed for Church Hill Games

Blue Sky Fund invites you to the 8th annual Church Hill Games! Church Hill Games (CHG) is a sports clinic for kids from K to 8th grades that will include 12 different sports stations. 
After the clinic, there is a Christian inspirational speaker and lunch. This year, we are expecting 250 kids, so we need lots of volunteers! Details: Volunteer registration deadline: April 29th, 2013CHG is on Saturday, May 11th from 9:30 am to 2 pm.CHG location: Bill Robinson Park in Church Hill, 701 North 37th St. Richmond, VAVolunteers must be in 9th grade or older. Children of volunteers in K–8th grade are encouraged to attend as a participant but cannot volunteer.

Save the dates! Spring Tree Planting April 26 and 27

Calling all Union Hill friends and neighbors! We have over 30 trees to plant starting Arbor Day, Friday April 26 and continuing on Saturday, April 27. We'll plant new trees, mulch the tree wells, pull weeds and beautify the sidewalks.

Union Hill resident and tree lover Mark Kronenthal is coordinating this effort. 
If you'd like to help organize or volunteer in a special way, contact Mark directly at

Check back here for more details as we get closer to Fri/Sat April 26 & 27.  We'll post the exact times, locations and volunteer opportunities here.

Hill Topper 5K--Sunday March 26, 2013

Our neighborhood's annual 5K race is coming! It's lots of fun. You can run, jog, or walk with your friends and family through Richmond's oldest community.

Volunteers are needed to be course marshals, hand out post-race food, and help with the course set-up/clean-up.  Contact if you can help/for more info.

Go to to learn more about the race and sign up.

Here's a short video from last year's event:

Trees, please!

There are a few streets and blocks in northern Union Hill that need trees.  Sidewalks in these areas are currently under restoration (thanks to the City of Richmond Public Works.)  New tree wells will be ready for young trees in March 2013.

The average cost of purchasing and planting a tree is $50.  Due to the pedestrian nature of our urban neighborhood, we must plant young trees that aren't too small  (experience has shown us that tiny saplings get trampled while larger young trees thrive.)

Please consider joining the ARBOR CLUB and help us continue to green the neighborhood. Use the PayPal button to the right and you'll help provide fresh air, shade and a home to a bird or squirrel (yeah, we love our wildlife in Union Hill.)

Thank-you!  You can see on the map where the trees will go. Updates on planting coming soon. 

Next Meeting: Wed Feb 20, 2013 @ 7pm

The Union Hill Civic Association meets every third Wednesday at 7pm.  Meeting locations vary. You can always look here to find out where we're getting together.

Our next meeting is Wednesday Feb 20, 2013.  A long time Union Hill neighbor, Debra Clark, has graciously invited us to her home in Church Hill House at the corner of Venable and Burton Streets in Union Hill.

Debra's apartment number is 224.  Please bring your ID/drivers license, as you will need to show it to the building security guard to enter. Simply identify yourself and tell the guard you are going to Ms. Clark's apartment, number 224. 

Our monthly meeting always includes a report from the Police Precinct along with a variety of neighborhood issues and concerns.  Please join us. We get things done!


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