Beautiful RVA


Beautiful RVABeautiful RVA is a regional coalition of public and private agencies and organizations invested in improving the quality of life in greater Richmond through public horticulture, urban greening and beautiful place-making initiatives.


Meetings are held every other month and are open to anyone who would like to attend. Follow the discussion on Twitter at #beautifulrva


Beautiful RVA’s Shiny New Tools!:  at the next meeting of Beautiful RVA, Thursday, February 26, 5-7 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Robins Room, we’ll unpack our work-in-progress Community Greening ToolKit and take a first look at accomplishments since our work groups met in September.  We want you to try out some of the interactive features and help refine the ToolKit components.  Please mark your calendar and plan to join us. Let us know via e-mail if you plan to attend:  randeeh [at]



November 19, 5-7 p.m. in the Robins Rooms, Robins Visitors Center, at the Garden. 

The Low Down on the Low Line

Join us at the Garden this coming Wednesday evening, when Beautiful RVA brings you the low down on the Low Line.  The visionary folks from Capital Trees (Jeanette McKittrick, Meg Turner, Susan Robertson), joined by Keith Whipple from Waterstreet Studio and City of Richmond Planning Director Mark Olinger, will present an overview of this latest public-private urban landscape project, a prominent section of which they hope to complete in time for the UCI Road World Championships next September.  By creating a linear park along a critically important but neglected stretch of the Kanawha Canal and Virginia Capital Trail, the team envisions a “waterfront refuge for people and plants,” in the spirit of New York City’s tremendously successful High Line.

There will be a snazzy media presentation with commentary from team members, and an open period for a “process” discussion.  There is much to be learned from the behind-the-scenes collaborative work of all involved on this ambitious project!  So come join us—these meetings always attract civic-minded, can-do folks who see urban greening efforts as ways of building economic vitality and an improved quality of life for Richmonders.   Not able to attend, but want to learn more about the Low Line?  Contact information[at] or Jeanette McKittrick, Jeanette[at]

September 24, 5-7 p.m.Community Greening ToolKit.  You’ve said “a ToolKit is essential.” So now comes the roll-up-your-sleeves fun part of making it happen.  More information will follow next week on the specific work groups we’re assembling, so you can find your right fit. 

Wednesday, June 18, 5 - 7 p.m.

A “Don’t Miss” Meeting! Come see the unveiling of the Richmond Garden Trail on the Richmond Region Tourism website.  You’ll recall that we met in July 2013 with local tourism experts and special guest Richard Benfield, author of Garden Tourism, to explore the potential for linking landscape-rich public venues in a self-guided trail.  The first phase of this venture is coming to fruition and you’ll want to be present to rally around and support its launch. 

Wednesday, April 23, 5-7 p.m.  Brown’s Island Dam Walk with City of Richmond planner Tyler Potterfield; meet-up at the parking lot at 7th and Semmes Avenue.  Limited to 20 participants.


Thursday, April 24, 5-7 p.m., Robins Room, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Come extend a Beautiful RVA welcome to Jason Debney, coordinator of the Thames Landscape Strategy, who will present an overview of the 100-year blueprint for the Thames between Hampton and Kew, a vision established in 1994 to conserve, enhance and promote the future one of the world’s great urban landscapes.  More details to come on this special opportunity to learn from our neighbors in Richmond-upon-Thames.  Mark your calendar and don’t miss this gathering, hosted by Beautiful RVA at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Scenic Virginia, and Capital Trees.  It’s a beautiful time to experience Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, too, so we hope for a great turn-out!

Thursday, February 20, 2014
5-7 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
The Robins Room

Beautiful RVA will reconvene to examine next steps in the design of a community-based beautification program to support the City of Richmond’s RVAgreen Roadmap to Sustainability.  Stay tuned for more details, and let Randee Humphrey know via a quick e-mail if you plan to attend:


Wednesday, November 20, 2013
11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
, Robins Room in the Visitors Center

Space is limited; a light lunch will be provided.  Reserve your space with an email to

Beautiful RVA’s next meeting will focus on the City of Richmond’s community plan “RVAgreen: A Roadmap to Sustainability.” The goal of this plan is to create a thriving, healthier, more sustainable city. Alicia Zatcoff, a key advisor in the plan and the City’s Sustainability Manager, will lead the discussion on creating a safer, more welcoming, and beautiful City environment—one of 55 initiatives in the RVAgreen Plan.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
5:30 - 8:15 p.m.
Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Robins Room
Meeting is free and open to the public

RVA Tree Summit: Growing Our Community Forestwill be the next Beautiful RVA meeting on September 18, 5:15-8:15 p.m. at LGBG (Robins Room).  The event will promote cooperation and collaboration among community groups involved with our urban forest. The organizers are affiliated with James River Association, Capital Trees, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, the Urban Forestry Commission and Richmond Tree Stewards.

The July meeting was a continuation of a dialogue started in April, 2013, during a Richmond Times-Dispatch Public Square about the role of gardens and green space in promoting and enhancing the Richmond region.

Garden Tourism: Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Location: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Robins Room
Meeting is free and open to the public

Join in a discussion of the role of public green space and its impact on regional tourism. Richard Benfield, professor at Central Connecticut State University and author of the book Garden Tourism, will present data showing more people visit U.S. gardens each year than Disney World and Disneyland combined. Regional tourism and attractions representatives including Janie Lawson, tourism sales manager with Richmond Region Tourism, and Beth Monroe, public relations director for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, will discuss current garden and tourism related initiatives. The final portion of the meeting will include a "mapping activity" identifying green spaces throughout the Richmond region.


Beautiful RVA meeting at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardento discuss public green space in the Richmond, Virginia, area

Attendees at the  July Beautiful RVA meeting discuss Garden Tourism and its connections to public greening initiatives.




Dr. Richard Benfield talks about Garden Tourism at the Beautiful RVA meeting at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Dr. Richard Benfield, author of the book Garden Tourism, presents research about the power and value of Garden Tourism.





Participants look at map of public green spaces in Richmond, Virginia, at Beautiful RVA meeting

Attendees break into smaller groups and look at large maps of the Richmond, Va., area to identify public green spaces and their connections.