The Village of Midlothian Volunteer Coalition has been focusing this Virginia community’s pride and enthusiasm since 1991. It was incorporated in 2006 and became a formal 501(c)3 tax-exempt foundation in 2007.
Before being incorporated, VMVC was organized as several loose-knit groups of volunteers working with local government, businesses and others. The sidewalks throughout the village and the formal entryway near the
east end of the village’s historical district were the VMVC’s
largest initial projects. The VMVC has also helped find a place for hundreds of
plantings in the village.
The coalition was originally part of, and still has a relationship with, the
Richmond-area Community Foundation. The coalition's impetus was to offer citizens
and others a means to work together to enhance the identity and protect
the threatened scale of this small, historic village. Implementing a pedestrian scale streetscape plan along both sides of
1.2 miles of Route 60 through the village district was identified as
the first goal to accomplish this.
The management and staff of the Chesterfield County
Planning Department deserve much of the credit for their leadership in
bringing the VMVC together and providing the base to make VMVC’s
While trees and flowers are vital, the first step toward protecting
the village entailed refining zoning standards. After a series of
public meetings in the 1980s, the County Planning Commissioners and
Chesterfield Board of Supervisors adopted the Midlothian Land Use Plan
which provides distinctive standards for the village district. The
cooperation of leading developers in the area and the Virginia
Department of Transportation as well as the Chesterfield Transportation
Department has been key to making the plan workable, but much remains
unfunded. Working with others, the VMVC seeks ways to fund the community's identified
needs without having to depend entirely on government support.
The county retained a landscape architect with a specialty in
streetscape design to work with volunteers to design the plan used
today. The Midlothian Plan not only directs development, but protects
the village by defining geographical boundaries and preserves the scale
through landscaping, sidewalks, benches, streetlights, historical
markers, and other streetscape aesthetics. The green and white Village of Midlothian with the daylilies logo came from this county-funded effort as well.
In June 1991 the county's citizen volunteers formed their first committees and elected officers
to guide and direct the implementation the county's new streetscape plan, creating the VMVC.
Working in "teams", the Route 60 pocket park with benches and
historical markers at the Midlothian Middle School was one of the group’s
first landscaping projects. VMVC committees also developed the popular Village of Midlothian
logo (with county funding and assistance) and, later, working with the Midlothian Junior Women's Club, helped create the first Visit the VIllage Day Parade, now run by the Midlothian Foundation. VMVC volunteers and others launched the MidlothianVA.org website, now managed by the Midlothian Communications Committee.
in Midlothian benefits from the work of the VMVC?
Every individual in the community, whether citizen or
visitor, enjoys a safer and more pleasant village–thanks to the
efforts of the Village of Midlothian Volunteer Coalition.
It's more than just sidewalks, streetlights, and signs all working to build a
more secure and comfortable environment.
The volunteers of the VMVC also provide a valuable resource for citizens, government professionals, elected officials, businesses, land owners and developers so they can more easily and more effectively work together to determine what is appropriate to build in the community.
Civic and youth organizations and faith-based groups benefit as their donations of time and money work cooperatively with those of others who are working to improve the village's safety and build on its traditions.
Individuals find pride in contributing to the improvement
of their village.
Everyone benefits from having focal points for community identity and
With a stronger sense of place, local businesses benefit as customers more easily identify the businesses' locations. New customers or clients are attracted to a more attractive Village of Midlothian.
Property owners and developers benefit because landscape improvements enhance the value of their property.
Village of Midlothian Volunteer Coalition accomplishments and recognitions
June 1991 Village of Midlothian Volunteer Coalition established
1991, Visit The Village Day, co-sponsored with the Midlothian Junior Woman’s Club, established
1991, "America The Beautiful" grant through the Virginia Department of Forestry for $6,000
1991, "Natural Resources Grant" for $12,000 from the Small Business Administration 1992, "Meritorious Planning Award" from the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association
1992, "Achievement Award" from the National Association of Counties
1992, Watkins Nursery donated Midlothian Post Office zelkova tree
1992, Salisbury Garden Club designed and donated Midlothian Post Office’s landscaping 1993, Chesterfield Beautification Steering Committee donated trees for the village medians
1993, Watkins Nursery donated Midlothian Middle School evergreen tree
1993, "Best Small Community" Award presented from Keep Virginia Beautiful Organization 1994, Chesterfield Beautification Steering Committee donated $1,200 for Mt. Pisgah Rd. median landscaping
1994, Watkins Nursery donated Midlothian Middle School evergreen tree
1994, Virginia Department of Forestry donated a tree for Midlothian Middle School’s Pocket Park
1994, Village’s east entryway, sponsored by Garner Investment Company, dedicated
1994, "Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act" (ISTEA) grant for $20,000 from Department of Transportation for sidewalks 1995, Union Raid on Coalfield Station historical marker donated by Bettie Weaver
1995, Midlothian Garden Club donate east entrywall landscaping 1996, "Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act" (ISTEA) grant for $75,000 from Department of Transportation for sidewalks 1997, "Community Enhancement Grant" for $2,600 from Chesterfield County 1998, Belgrade Jaycees adopt the Village Day Parade 1999, Community Bank installs first total landscaping plan with streetlights
1999, Successfully worked with Chesterfield County to create Woolridge Road as a bypass for the village, landscaping follows new standards adopted for the village
1999, The historic Railey Hill home (circa 1840) is protected 2000, Phase II Sidewalk network completed 2001, MidlothianVa.org launched
2001, Merchant’s Tire store agrees to install streetlights and consults with VMVC on architecture and landscaping
2001, MidlothianVA.org updated and enhanced
2001, Midlothian entryway management revised, landscaping improved 2002, Formal program to educate developers and local citizens on goals and objectives of Midlothian Village Plan devised 2003, Joins with Chesterfield County to successfully locate a site outside of the village for CarMax
2003, Meet with local homeowners associations to educate them about the Midlothian Village Plan
2003, Successfully assists local communities in negotiations with Wal-Mart. $340,000 donation is made by Wal-Mart to Chesterfield County for beautification of the Village of Midlothian 2004, Greenspace network proposed by county committee reviewed, Greenspace Committee formed at VMVC
2004, Architectural pattern book for village effort started, local historic properties are identified by style
2004, First neotraditional development project is introduced in the village. The VMVC works with the James Doran Company to educate them on the Midlothian Village Plan.
2004, Virginia Department of Transportation_s adopt-a-spot effort joined
2004, Education program continues with developers and results in 25 new gooseneck streetlights, 4 miles of new sidewalks, and extensive additions to village landscaping. Developers agree to add paved pedestrian connections between older communities and newer developments and create two tunnels under busy roads for pedestrian traffic 2005, Kroger supermarket agrees to move into former Kmart building outside of village, and agrees to provide nearby architecture that is compatible with historic Ivymont house (circa1860) as well as new gooseneck streetlights
2005, Second neotraditional development project is proposed. Revised pattern book is adopted by developer, VMVC agrees to serve on first architectural review committee
2005, Shopping center in village is reviewed, Wendy’s, Seven Eleven, and all other shops meet village standards, voluntary sign standards are proposed and implemented.
2005, Village entryway sign begins refurbishment
2005, Hosts five public meetings and participates in local Christmas open house to educate nearby communities on mission of VMVC
2005, Watkins Centre plans reviewed with developer and county planning staff, VMVC agrees to serve on architectural review committee to assure continuity between village and Watkins Centre 2006, Greenspace Committee begins work to identify new park and/or trail sites in the village. Historic coalmine site is protected with proposed 3acre park to be built in near future
2006, Education of community continues with VMVC speakers at meetings of Midlothian Kiwanis and Western Chesterfield Business Alliance.
2006, Chesterfield County and VMVC partner to review existing Midlothian Village Plan and work to improve 15-year-old plan
2006, VMVC joins with John Tyler Community College and Midlothian Garden Club to participate in Plant America’s Garden program. 120 large containers of flowers are assembled and donated to local village businesses for display outside of shops throughout the summer
2006, VMVC opens a new office in the middle of the village at Sycamore Square 2007, VMVC works with the Kroger supermarket to install photos of the community and historical artifacts in their new store which opened in the spring
2007, VMVC leads a committee of citizens, government officials, business interests, youth athletic organizations and churches to improve a neglected playing field on public property in a traditional minority community
2007, VMVC committees meet with several developers of commercial properties to improve traffic and pedestrian safety and enhance the community
2007, VMVC forms a communications committee so as to better inform the community of its activities and opportunities
2007, VMVC volunteers reach out to the community by making presentations to area nursing homes, community groups and maintaining a booth at this year's Village Day at the middle school 2008, VMVC Greenscape Committee holds meeting on improving old playground behind the Lifelong Learning Institute
2008, VMVC Development Committee holds extensive meetings with community, developer on Winterfield Road project resulting in a more human-scale development 2009, VMVC sponsors gala with the Beth Williams Field of Dreams Foundation, raising $30,000 to improve the playing field and park behind the Lifelong Learning Institute
2009, New web site launched with community email network with six other organizations
2009, Community Committee established to help coordinate and encourage civic programs 2010, Working with the Board of Supervisors and the School Board, the VMVC Greenspace Committee reports that 17 streetlights will be installed in front of Midlothian Middle School.
2010, Construction is scheduled for improvements on the park around LLI on Westfield Rd.
2010, VMVC Land-Use and Development Committee meets throughout the year reviewing the plans for the new Chesterfield County Comprehensive Plan, attending steering committee meetings and working with Planning Staff.
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