Making a Difference in the Community

Aug 10th, 2018

A Hands-on Learning Day in the Garden

The wonder and beauty of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden never cease to amaze me each time I visit. But sometimes, I need to remind myself to slow down and take in the smaller details around me. Rushing along the Lotus Bridge or the Main Garden Walk means I’ll miss creatures in the water and new […]

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Aug 7th, 2018

Growing Food for Those in Need

People right here in Central Virginia struggle with hunger every day. The populations most likely to be affected by hunger, children and the elderly, may have trouble not only getting enough food but getting the right kind of food  — fresh locally grown vegetables and fruits. The Kroger Community Kitchen Garden is working to change that. […]

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Jul 18th, 2018

Life-Changing Experiences for Youth

At age 15, Kendra Norrell interned in the Children’s Garden. She recalls “dealing with dirt, plants, and bugs,” than advancing to cataloging plants. As the first high school participant in the Partnership for the Future collaboration (2005), Kendra didn’t expect her internship to repeat two more summers — and she certainly didn’t expect it to […]

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Jul 5th, 2018

Grassroots Urban Gardener

Cucumbers. Tomatoes. Strawberries and collards. Big plans are underway to infuse the community garden at Peter Paul Development Center (PPDC) in Church Hill. Lakeshia Allen, a former engagement coordinator at PPDC and a Ginter Urban Gardener graduate says, “I wanted residents who live here to buy into this garden by creating the list of what […]

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Jun 26th, 2018

Making Space

The young man in duck trousers and a company shirt had just finished off-loading the last of four ball-and-burlap pin oaks. As he busied himself latching up the tailgate of his truck, he chided me, “Remember, don’t put a dollar tree in a nickel hole.” I have heard this admonition many times over the years. […]

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Jun 18th, 2018

Job Skills Take Root

It’s 8:15 a.m. Like many 18-year-olds, Tristin Compton would love to spend his morning listening to music or watching videos on his iPad. Yet he also yearns for independence and a meaningful job. So, reminded of these goals, he boards a van that transports him to Lewis Ginter. On arrival, he clocks in and pins […]

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May 28th, 2018

Therapeutic Horticulture

Most of us can attest to the positive effects that nature in general and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, in particular, has on our minds, bodies, and souls. The Therapeutic Horticulture program that Lewis Ginter hopes to launch would unearth this healing effect on populations that lack routine access to the Garden or any safe space […]

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Apr 12th, 2018

Servant Leader
Randee Humphrey

The leadership team at Lewis Ginter is as varied as you think it might be, given all the diverse things the Garden does to connect people through plants for the benefit of RVA.  I am privileged to serve alongside remarkable individuals who support and inspire our teams in thoughtful and passionate ways. One has shepherded […]

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Mar 22nd, 2018

Connecting People Through Plants

Although they’ve only known each other for two days, 16-year-olds Honoka Sato and Olivia Appelrouth have become fast friends. Sato, a Japanese exchange student from Municipal Urawa High School (Saitama, Japan) and Appelrouth, her host student, and a sophomore at Clover Hill High School, say they have learned much from each other already. Appelrouth explains […]

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Mar 12th, 2018

Foodscaping

About a decade ago, Brie Arthur won a Yard of the Year award for her home landscape. That’s not unusual since she’s a professional horticulturist. What was surprising was the design. Apparently, her North Carolina homeowners’ association hadn’t noticed her “foodscaping” — planting various vegetables and herbs planted in plain sight, alongside ornamental shrubs and […]

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Mar 4th, 2018

Therapeutic Horticulture: Soothing the Heart, Mind & Soul

Social workers are unique: we operate from the knowledge that a person’s overall well-being depends greatly on the conditions of his or her environment. The impact of nature and experiences out-of-doors are often under-valued in my field and many others.  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden— where nurturing the mind, body, and spirit is a constant, enduring […]

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Feb 12th, 2018

Gardens Grow Community and More

10 steps for making your own urban garden in Richmond A vacant lot, neighborhood square and school courtyard have something in common. All have potential to be transformed into vibrant community gardens. Duron Chavis readily recognizes the possibility, having launched 12 community gardens in urban areas of Richmond and Petersburg. “None of this is new, […]

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Jan 3rd, 2018

Digging Deep with Urban Gardening

I entered into the Ginter Urban Gardeners program with a deep affection for the term urban and wanting to learn more about sustainable gardening practices.  Ultimately, I was seeking to make a difference in my community. I have certainly gained much knowledge in the ways of growing plants with respect for the earth and its […]

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Dec 31st, 2017

Gardening with Ginter Urban Gardeners

Making a Difference One Garden at Time The day I decided to browse the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden website beyond the home page felt very serendipitous. Inspired by the recent Garden Times newsletter that arrived in my mailbox, I decided to reacquaint myself with the Garden. As I browsed, I stumbled across information on the Urban […]

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Sep 15th, 2017

Urban Greening for Youth

Urban Greening for the Future: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Groundwork RVA Partnership Empowers Youth to Transform Richmond. Urban greening: “I want to make a difference in the community,” said DarQuan, a rising senior at Huguenot High School, about urban greening. DarQuan is one of the nine students participating in the Sustainable Landscape Management Program, a collaborative […]

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Aug 25th, 2017

Butterfly Garden Pro!

For this month’s blog I’d like to demonstrate how simple, straight-forward, and fun creating a butterfly garden is. I asked around the horticulturist’s lunch table to find out who among them ranks as a butterfly gardening expert. I’m glad I did, because Senior Horticulturist Shannon Smith is a butterfly gardening pro and plants specifically to support our native pollinators both here at Lewis Ginter […]

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Aug 11th, 2017

A Vision for the Future

David Palma-Carias is like many teenagers. At 19, he loves to listen to music, has a wicked sense of humor, and he’s using his time out of school during the summer to build a foundation for his future. David is thinking about career plans and dreaming big (he wants to be a radio personality).  When […]

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Aug 9th, 2017

Lia Bazemore: Intern Goodbyes

For the past three summers, Lia Bazemore has worked as an intern in the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter through a partnership with Partnership for the Future. Bazemore is a recent graduate Henrico High School in the International Baccalaureate Program. In the fall, she will be a freshman at James Madison University.  This summer has been very bittersweet. This is the where everything changes […]

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Jul 8th, 2017

Conservation Conversation

A visitor recently asked me about Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s conservation efforts. It made me stop and think. So many of those efforts are simply part of our everyday activities. For instance as I walk through the Garden, I am surrounded by thousands of them – 5,538, in fact! That’s the total number of “taxa” […]

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Jul 5th, 2017

The Joy of Butterfly Host Plants

Have you ever wondered which plants are butterfly host plants? Since it is officially summer, I recently packed up the car for a camping trip with friends to Crabtree Falls to see if I could learn more. The first thing I noticed when we arrived in the George Washington National Forest area was that there were  a spectacular number of butterflies, and all different […]

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Jun 23rd, 2017

CarMax Free Fourth of July & CarMax Volunteers

When I look back at how Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has changed over the years, I think about some of the physical changes: the new Lotus Bridge, the floating docks and the new gardens we have created thanks to generous donors (the Morton Native Plant Garden, and the Cherry Tree Walk, among others)  I think about […]

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Jun 16th, 2017

Gardening as a Career: Taking it to the Next Level

Randy Minor has always had a connection to plants. His mother, Flordeen Cabiness, took him to the James River Park System often when he was a kid.  They lived near Forest Hill Park and it was an easy walk through the park to the 42nd Street entrance. “This is where you can come to get clarity […]

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Jun 9th, 2017

Gardening From the Heart

My mother was a gardener. She had blackberries and tomatoes in our backyard, and an herb garden near the back door that flavored her thoughtful and delicious meals. In her late 50s, my mom developed early onset Alzheimer’s. When she was ailing, but could still get into the car for occasional excursions, we liked to […]

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May 26th, 2017

People with Purpose

Making a Difference with Urban Greening The last few months have been a whirlwind, as the Garden launched and wrapped up its first training cohort of Ginter Urban Gardeners.  I think back to conversations in 2014, when wise friends pondered together “what would it take to create a more enabling environment for community urban greening […]

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Apr 27th, 2017

Planting in Hard Places

The first class of Beautiful RVA‘s Ginter Urban Gardeners gathered twice a week, for 12 weeks, to do the very important work of making a difference: learning new things, building relationships, getting their hands dirty and urban gardening for the benefit of the Richmond community. Earlier this month, they became the first graduates of the program.  Support […]

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