Feb 6th, 2013

Message from the Director: What's Your Watershed Address?

by Shane Tippett, Executive Director, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Chesapeake Bay SatelliteVirginia’s streams, lakes, rivers and bays, particularly the Bay, are the common wealth of our Commonwealth. As the nation marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a set of federal guidelines establishing standards for surface water quality and pollutant discharge, it’s time to reflect on the message behind the legislation. What we’ve learned through hard experience is that we all can too easily damage our waterways, too easily demand more from a precious resource than it has to give.

photo by Don WilliamsonWe have been thinking very hard about water at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Our strategic plan focuses on water conservation as our first and foremost goal over the next few years. We will practice it, demonstrate it, teach it. We will consider the water that falls on, flows through and streams past our Garden. We will increase our understanding as to where we fit in to the grand scheme of things, and we’ll strive to be a good neighbor to those upstream and downstream of our property.

Virginia has 497 sub-watersheds that comprise our state’s 14 major watersheds (flowing to the Chesapeake Bay, the Albemarle Sound and the Gulf of Mexico), and the Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation encourages us all to know our “watershed address.” So if you plan to visit the Garden to learn more about water stewardship, find us at 1800 Lakeside Avenue, a.k.a. Thorpe Branch Watershed, Upham Brook Watershed, Chickahominy Watershed, James River Basin, Chesapeake Bay. Together, let’s learn how to make wise water decisions today that will positively affect our tomorrow.


Working at the Garden for over 10 years, and Executive Director since 2011, Shane oversees all aspects of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s 80 acres, including more than a dozen themed gardens, a 63-foot-tall glass Conservatory, 75 staff members, 600+ volunteers, and $6 million annual budget. As the Richmond Region’s second most visited paid attraction, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden welcomes more than 300,000 visitors a year.

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