Oct 28th, 2009

Richmond Places Greater Importance on Trees & Parks

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

It looks like Richmond is looking at its trees and its parks more seriously these days.  Ever since our symposium, Green Tonic: Urban Gardening for Health & Wholeness back in August, I’ve been thinking more about the city’s parks and trees and apparently so has the rest of Richmond.

On Monday, City Council voted on whether to establish an urban forestry commission for the city — that proposal was adopted! And then I came across Mark Holmberg’s report on city parks on Buttermilk & Molasses earlier this week, it was even more good news for Richmond’s parks!  Holmberg’s report addresses the $3 million dollar investment in the city’s parks right now. An investment that is long overdue but also an investment may even pay off in additional surprising ways.

Tonight is the start of the Timeless Design in a Sustainable World: The Charles F. Gillette Forum — our fourth and final 25th anniversary symposia here at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The focus will be on making beautiful spaces that are sustainable, beautiful and responsible.  But tomorrow night, as the finale of the Gillette Forum, the theme will once again turn to urban green spaces when Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden hosts the FREE Richmond Premier of “The Nature of Cities” (Thursday, October 29th at 4:30 p.m.)  We’ll open our doors to the public for the last part of the Gillette Forum to share this wonderful documentary with you.  Plus,  join special guest, UVA School of Architecture Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, Tim Beatley, as he leads a question & answer session after the film.  Hope you can join us!

Here are some more details about the movie:

“The Nature of Cities” is a one-hour documentary about people in cities across the world who believe that, even as we become more urbanized, we must reclaim an essential piece of our humanness — our connection to the nature around us. Amazing projects in cities around the globe have already begun this task. The Nature of Cities is about raising consciousness and understanding of this movement and exploring the need of moving not only towards sustainability, but also to a regenerative way of living.

“The Nature of Cities” explores both the nature in are own backyards- Austin and San Diego and the possibilities in projects of cities of the future- Malmo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Freiburg, Amsterdam and Paris. The film features Sustainable Communities professor Timothy Beatley as he tours these places with City Planners, Landscape Architects, Ecologists and Residents. Commentary by Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods) and Dr. Stephen Kellert (Biophilic Design) provide the background for looking at the living possibilities of how we can be in an urban environment integrated with the nature around us.

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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