by Jonah Holland , PR and Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
During June, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was the fortunate recipient of 258 hours of volunteer service donated by 86 Richmond area CarMax Associates. They tackled nine Volunteer Team-Builders projects here, making the Garden eligible for an additional $9,000 donation. The CarMax Foundation had a record-breaking volunteer blitz in June, completing more than 250 projects nationally. Here at the Garden, CarMax associates, mulched, weeded, and planted all around the Garden, including the front berm of the Garden and in the Children’s Garden.
In the Children’s Garden alone, CarMax had 56 volunteers who worked working a total of 168 hours on four different days!
Children’s Garden horticulturist Heather Veneziano reports that CarMax associates weeded and mulched, assembled bags that we hand out to schools, divided plants, stained benches and wrapped safety foam on structures, and then weeded some more! Another team worked near the front berm of the Garden, removing invasive species from in between established plants. Horticulturist Seth Roadman, who worked with the group, said the team removed mostly grapevine, honeysuckle, thistle, and wire grass. He remarked that the group showed great energy and seemed to enjoy being out in the garden.
…And then they started work in the Community Kitchen Garden. On their first visit in June, the CarMax team mulched pathways, planted eggplant, built a support structure for fava beans, and accomplished a huge amount of weeding. A few weeks later, a new team arrived to harvest 160 lbs. of red potatoes, harvested sweet peppers and Swiss chard, they tossed a mountain of weeds into the compost pile, completed a trellis for cucumbers, weeded a bed of fava beans, and mulched beds of eggplant. If you’ve ever wondered how many people 160 lbs. of new potatoes can feed, that is enough potatoes for Feedmore’s Community Kitchen to provide 400 servings of mashed potatoes or 800 servings of potato salad to Meals on Wheels recipients!
We love that CarMax is such a positive influence in the Richmond community, and we are honored that they’ve partnered with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. On July 4th join us for CarMax Free Fourth of July! On Friday, July 4, 2014, all visitors to the Garden will receive free admission throughout the day (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) The free admission includes entrance to the popular Butterflies LIVE! exhibit.