Commitment to the Environment and Sustainability

Making the environment our top priority is essential. Our commitment goes beyond responsibility; it’s a pledge to preserve and enhance our planet for future generations. At Rush River Commons, we’re leading by example.

We’ve embraced a comprehensive stormwater management plan and are dedicated to reviving the site’s wetlands, streambanks, and forests. Our efforts include managing water runoff quantity and water quality, controlling erosion and sediment, and restoring the woodlands.

Beyond preservation, we aim to positively impact our surroundings. Plans for pedestrian paths will provide easy access and opportunities enjoy and learn about native habitat.

Through these initiatives, Rush River Commons is not just a project but a testament to our dedication to environmental health and sustainability.

We’re also committed to minimizing light pollution by minimizing the number of exterior lighting fixtures at the project.

We have worked closely with the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection’s Dark Skies Committee to have lighting that meets the Dark Sky Friendly standards set by Dark Sky International.

At Rush River Commons, we’re leading by example

Stormwater management

One of the main features of Rush River Commons is the treatment of stormwater runoff. A series of measures have been employed to manage stormwater runoff volumes and to treat the associated pollutant loads (nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment, road salt, etc.). The main stormwater facilities for the project are located underground and runoff is detained, and released after treatment at slow, non-erosive rates.

Between the Food Pantry and Community Office buildings we are constructing a Micro-Bioretention facility that functions as an amenity as well as a water quality treatment area. Working in combination, these methods manage the volume of stormwater runoff while also improving on site water quality.

Wetland and Riparian Area Restoration

Rush River Commons is part of the Rush River Watershed which flows into the Thornton River, becoming the Hazel River before flowing into the Rappahannock River. Like much of the region the Rush River Watershed has become degraded over time.

The hydrology of the project consists of three upper perennial streams and ten (10) individual palustrine wetlands that are classified as either emergent, scrub-shrub, or forested. The primary stream, an unnamed tributary, drains generally south and eventually flows into the Rush River, which is part of the Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock watershed.

Wetlands encompass over 30 percent of the property

Geothermal heating and cooling

All of the buildings at Rush River are equipped with state of the art geothermal systems. The systems are designed to provide energy-efficient heating and cooling by utilizing the stable temperature of the earth. This design uses significantly less energy than conventional systems and eliminates the need for external condenser units that can be very noisy and unsightly.

The system involves the use of vertical boreholes that are several hundred feet deep. Sealed piping in the boreholes contains water which exchanges heat to and from the ground. The groundwater at the site is not impacted and the system provides a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to regulate the temperature within the buildings.


The south facing roof of the office building at Rush River is being equipped with solar panels to generate electricity for on site use. The system has over 80 panels and is rated at about 40Kw. In the first year of operation, the system will produce over 50,000 kWh of power for the project.

The use of solar power will have a positive environmental impact. The system will offset over 40 tons of CO2 per year, about the same consumption as 950 trees.

Forest Preservation

A restoration plan for the area is being developed that will include saving significant native trees and shrubs (i.e., red maple, silky dogwood, black willow) and removing invasive species like autumn olive, Japanese honeysuckle and wild grape.

While no threatened or endangered species have been found at the site, the hope is that restoring the ecology of the streambank, wetlands and woods will increase biodiversity and create an amenity that the whole community will enjoy.

Access to the natural areas will include walking footpath, a timber bridge connecting Phases I and II, and gathering spots where residents and the community can enjoy the natural features of the site.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Rush River Commons is working with the Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Virginia Clean Cities, and Federal Rural Reimagined EV Charging Program to install several charging stations at the project.

The Rural Reimagined program is managed by Tennessee Tech University and has the goal to harness science, technology, and innovation to transform rural communities. The EV Charging Program aims to provide clean and affordable mobility options to underserved communities by developing needed charging infrastructure.

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