Jan 8th, 2015

Highlights of The Year in Review

by Jonah Holland,  Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Cherry Trees and the Conservatory

A glimpse of what the view from the new Cherry Tree Walk might look like this spring.


2014 has been a remarkable year for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. In many ways, 2014 is the year we’ve come full circle.  Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s Board of Directors announced this week that President and CEO Frank Robinson will retire on March 31, 2015, after 23 years of leadership at the Garden. We celebrated Dominion GardenFest of Lights this year with the theme A Legacy in Lights: 120 Years from Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden, recognizing our years as the Lakeside Wheel Club, and in honor of Richmond 2015 coming to Richmond in September. And we’ve come full circle quite literally with the completion of the Cherry Tree Walk around Lake Sydnor. For the first time the Lucy Payne Minor and Streb Gardens are fully accessible to strollers and wheel chairs, and we could allow visitors to walk around the lake at night too, thanks to paved walkways and added lighting. Plus we added floating docks to Lake Sydnor for a new view of the Garden.

As we look forward to another great year in 2015, we wanted to take a quick look back on some  more highlights of fabulous year we just finished.
*With your help we were named USAToday Travel’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2nd Best Public Garden in North America.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is USAToday Travel's 10Best Readers' Choice 2nd Best Public Garden in North America.

*We were thrilled to partner with Blue Sky Fund to host nearly 600 5th graders from Richmond’s inner city schools for hands-on, outdoor learning about science and math.

*Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor we replaced 9,200 sq. feet of existing traditional turf with attractive, low maintenance ornamental grasses, so that we could showcase sustainable best-practices with eco-friendly ornamental grasses outside the Conservatory.

*We showcased the Garden’s history as the Lakeside Wheelclub not only at Dominion GardenFest of Lights, but also in an exhibit — “From Bicycle Club to Botanical Garden” –– that will be on display again during Heritage Weekend, and extended evening hours at the Garden during Richmond 2015.

*Again we hosted the ever-popular Butterflies LIVE! and for the first time had a Richmond Times-Dispatch Butterfly Cam.  Butterflies LIVE! returns April 17, 2015!

Butterflies LIVE! at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Photo by Scott Elmquist

*We continued hosting Beautiful RVA at the Garden — pulling the best minds from Richmond’s urban greening community together in one place, to make this city more beautiful. Beautiful RVA is a 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.

*We hosted the community, well  7,668 of you, for CarMax FREE Fourth of July (Please come celebrate with us in 2015 if you missed it in 2014.)

Father and Daughter on July 4th at the CarMax Free Fourth of July.

Father and Daughter on July 4th at the CarMax Free Fourth of July.

*We received a grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to build a mobile-friendly website for Richmond’s Garden Trail.

*This spring we hosted librarians from all over the United States and Canada for the annual meeting of the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. 

*Garden CEO and President Frank Robinson was honored with Richmond Region Tourism’s Leadership in Tourism Award and a Virginia Public Relations Award for his Times-Dispatch Op-Ed piece: It’s Not That Hard Being Green.

*We celebrated American Public Garden Association’s National Public Gardens Day with other gardens across the country.

* We made a difference in the community!  Hundreds of community and corporate volunteers helped cultivate food for Central Virginia’s neediest citizens in Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens Community Kitchen Garden growing food for FeedMore.  Hundreds of Head Start students from Richmond Public School visited the Garden and participated in Young Buds educational programming.

Child looking through binoculars

Seeing the Garden in a whole new way!

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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