A Message from the Garden
We are working hard to welcome you back.
How does a public garden open in the midst of a pandemic? Very, very carefully.
You put your trust in us. That is something we don’t take lightly. We have to make sure you and everyone around you are as safe as possible. Just like the natural world, we are all connected.
The Garden is fortunate to be a mostly outdoor attraction. People are craving the peace and beauty of gardens and green spaces, perhaps now more than ever. As you might imagine, great minds think alike and even outdoor spaces can become crowded very quickly. Essential indoor spaces such as the Visitors Center and bathrooms were not designed for social distancing.
We’re a garden, but we’re also people. Like you, we’re feeling a lot of different things right now, sometimes all at once. We’re doing our best to plan in a scenario that changes daily and is beyond our control. We’re consumed with planning, and have been since mid-March.
Our plan is a phased approach that can be implemented once the “Safer at Home” order is lifted June 10. It starts with bringing back our volunteers in small numbers, allowing us to be flexible and nimble in an ever-changing situation, and building toward a reopening in mid-summer.
We wish we could give you an exact date right now, but the last thing we want to do is announce something that may change, creating disappointment and confusion. After June 10, we should be in a much better position to share timeframes.
Our promise is we are doing everything with you in mind. Here is what we know:
Members: As a thank you for your patience, the Garden will open to members only for a number of days before the public opening.
Ticketing: To reduce contact and manage numbers, all ticket will be sold online. A set number of tickets will be available and timed for two-hour intervals. Although members are free, they must reserve a ticket and members will scan their own membership cards upon entry.
Schedule: To accommodate deep cleaning, the Garden will go to a four-day schedule and new hours upon reopening. Garden hours will be 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays. This schedule will be assessed and expanded as time goes on.
Safety: The Garden will continue to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and health and elected officials regarding masks and other safety measures. Social distancing will be observed, the Garden will have frequent and deep cleanings, and some high-contact areas will be closed.
Areas and Paths: Due to their confined spaces and/or hands-on nature, some Garden areas will not be accessible upon reopening. These include interior spaces (with the exception of bathrooms) and portions of the Children’s Garden including WaterPlay. Please be prepared to expect different flow of movement throughout the Garden; we’ll have it well-marked with signage.
Dining and Shop: Upon reopening, the Garden Café and Garden Shop will be open according to protocols set by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Food will also be available for online ordering with pick-up at the Tea House to eat outside in the Garden.
As we move toward reopening, please feel free to reach out to us at any time at [email protected]. We appreciate your understanding and your patience. As the saying goes: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Please rest assured, this Garden is here for you and ready to welcome you back.
In the Meantime
Stay connected. We know this current situation will pass and we want to stay in touch because you are important to us. Sign up for our enewsletter or follow us on social media: @lewisginter on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Once conditions allow and if you are able, consider volunteering. Volunteers, you’ve always been vital to this Garden and we’ll need you more than ever to help with reopening. More details about volunteering will be available once an opening date becomes clearer.
Help sustain us through membership.
Members, we miss you. Thank you for renewing your memberships during this challenging time. Our staffing decisions ensure the Garden will be here for you when we reopen. If you’re not already a member, considering joining to show your support. Join or Renew
If you are inclined, support our Annual Fund. The generosity of donors helps keep this nonprofit Garden going. Gifts of any size are always appreciated and can be made through online giving.