Water Managment Plan

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has great concern and interest in water management issues. Thanks to a grant from Henrico County, the Garden has a water management plan. The Garden's overall strategic plan calls for this water management plan to become reality -- and the Garden is actively pursuing funding to make  it happen.



The Chesapeake Bay starts with us!  As part of the watershed draining into the Chesapeake Bay – the largest estuary in the United States – Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, recognizes its place and responsibility in practicing and promoting best water management practices.


We know what happens on our site is part of an incredibly complex ecosystem affecting important habitats and food webs in a watershed of more than 64,000 square miles covering parts of six states – Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia – and the entire District of Columbia.


In the 400 years since English settlers arrived, the Chesapeake Bay has undergone tremendous change and serious environmental challenges, prompting a “Save the Bay” campaign. By implementing a comprehensive plan, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden plans to lead the way and provide practical examples of how we can all use best water management practices to help save the Bay.


Project Description


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Water Management Demonstration Plan


The Garden has long recognized the importance of water management issues and in 2007 worked with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects to devise a Hydrologic Master Plan. (Nelson Byrd Woltz is a leading design firm in water management with extensive national and international experience.) The overarching purpose of the plan is to use and demonstrate natural biological systems to conserve and cleanse water flowing through the Garden’s property while providing an aesthetically pleasing, highly replicable model for residential and campus-like settings in the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed and beyond.


Project Goals


  • Implement cutting edge, low tech, sustainable and regenerative design
  • Increase infiltration into local water tables
  • Reduce volume and velocity of water entering feeder streams and storm-water systems
  • Clean water on-site through natural biological systems
  • Reduce pollutant sources through 21st century landscape design
  • Provide a powerful resource for educational programming to inform a broad spectrum of children and adults that “the Chesapeake Bay begins here”


Why Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden?


Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is in a unique position to share best practices with the broad community. The Garden’s mission is focused on public education and it has the ability to demonstrate effective and replicable water management techniques to more than a quarter million visitors, including 42,000 school-age children, each year. The Garden also has numerous ready-made audiences with more than 13,000 member households, a robust adult education program, and public relations and marketing efforts which include a strong social media component. In addition, the Garden has solid partnerships with local and regional mission-related groups, including numerous colleges and universities.


While conservation efforts are important for people living in a particular area, just as valuable is the information that can be gleaned and shared with others around the globe. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden recognizes that the Chesapeake Bay Watershed is part of even greater system – our Earth’s – and believes lessons learned here will have far-reaching impact.