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Protecting America's
Founding River

Learn about the vast watershed of the James River, its importance to the ecology of Virginia and the threats facing its vitally important role in that ecology.

In the first class of this two-part series, we explore the rich history and diverse ecology of the James River, examine the effects of pollutants on plant and animal species, and investigate the environmental regulations established to protect this natural resource and improve overall water quality. In the second part, explore the specific practices modeled that will not only beautify the landscape but also protect the watershed.

Participants receive extensive information on water regulatory guidelines and how to conduct an assessment of a residential-scale site. An annotated map of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden allows participants to visit the Garden on their own to explore examples of mitigation tactics in place. This program is supported by a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Why study the James River? It is a historically and ecologically important river in Virginia flowing over 400 miles from its headwaters in the mountains to its mouth at the Chesapeake Bay. It is an ecosystem rich with life that is threatened by a growing human population, sprawling urban development, and increasing levels of pollutants.

This is an online class conducted via Zoom.  

Free - Register Now!

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - Saturday, May 22, 2021
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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Event Details

Copyright Ben Greenberg - Protecting America's Founding RiverThis in a live online class via Zoom.

This class takes place on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, May 19, 6:30-8pm
  • Saturday, May 22, 9-10:30am

GES: HL, 3, elective*

This class offers 3 hours of elective credit toward the Garden Education Series: Gardening and Garden Design Certificate.


About the instructors

Sarah Croscutt, M.S., (May 19) is the owner and facilitator of From the Outside, LLC, a horticulture and nature-based therapy program. She has degrees in Biology and Environmental Science. The research for her Master’s degree discussed the role of gardens in both preserving biodiversity and providing socio-economic support in urban areas.  Her goal is to inspire people to action. As an educational consultant, teacher, curriculum specialist, and program developer, Sarah has had many incredible opportunities to design and execute a multitude of creative, science-based, experiential programs for a range of grade levels in an assortment of unique settings. With her science background, as well as a deep love for the outdoors, she has cultivated a rich, sacred relationship with plants and the natural world.

Elizabeth Fogel (May 22) is a Senior Horticulturist at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. She designed and planned plantings on the north shore of Lake Sydnor to mitigate shoreline erosion and manage storm runoff. She is a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional and former recipient of the Frank L. Robinson Endowed Chair in Horticulture at the Garden. She has a BA in biology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a MS in horticulture from Virginia Tech.