A Message from the Garden

Thank you to those reaching out to help; please see the “Update” below.

It is with a heavy heart that Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden announces a reduction in force (RIF) as a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The decision ensures the nonprofit Garden will be here to reopen as soon as conditions allow in Virginia and the United States.

With this move, the Garden is putting its affection for neighbors, partners and community first. The steps show the Garden’s commitment to values of integrity and responsibility and allow it to remain viable during this time of indefinite closure.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has always been an extremely resourceful organization with more than 65% of its annual operating budget coming from earned income. Since the Garden’s closure on March 15, these income streams have dropped to zero. A draw from the Garden’s endowment provides financial stability, but only for limited operations while the Garden is closed.

A core cadre of staff has been identified in order to maintain the Garden during the closure and prepare it for reopening when the time comes. Their work will not be easy, especially without our beloved volunteers, but the Garden will survive. All options have been explored. The reduction in force affected all levels of employment. Remaining staff are taking significant pay cuts.

We have applied for an SBA Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, and hopefully our colleagues can return to work sooner rather than later.

Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is resolute. It’s always been the people that have made this Garden outstanding. We know there are many special relationships among our staff, volunteers, members and partners. We recognize the passion and efforts so many have put into the Garden, and we honor the work by ensuring the Garden can reopen.

We know this is an incredibly challenging and painful time for many. Thank you for your grace and support as we ensure the Garden’s future, not just for tomorrow, but for many years to come. We look forward to the days when we’ll be able to be together again.


We are grateful to those who are reaching out to us at this time. Your kinds words keep us going. Some have expressed a desire to help; here are several ways:

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 FacebookInstagram 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.

Thank you!