Posted: March 5, 2016
Contact: Beth Monroe, Public Relations & Marketing Director; (804) 262-9887, ext. 316; [email protected]

Local family donates 79-acre Hanover County estate with significant azalea collection

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is the recipient of a gift from a local family of an 79-acre estate in Hanover County. The property includes a significant azalea collection as well as resources to ensure the preservation of the land for generations to come. The family has life-rights to the property and the Garden’s immediate goal is to work alongside them to learn as much as possible about their vision to benefit the Garden and the community.

Over the past 30 years, the family has developed an extraordinary collection of more than 1,600 varieties of azaleas and a significant collection of rhododendrons. They also introduced numerous trees, as well as protecting and preserving native specimen trees. In December 2012, the family secured a conservation easement on the land through the North American Land Trust to help ensure the property would maintain a rural character in perpetuity.

“We are grateful for this transformative gift, which we are calling the Lewis Ginter Nature Reserve. It’s the result of several years of discussion between the Garden, its leadership, and the family, and we see it as part of an on-going and deliberate process in the evolution of the Garden,” says Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Board of Directors President John Reed.

This major gift comes as the Garden enters its thirty-second year and there are several interesting parallels to the botanical garden’s history. The Hanover County acreage is approximately the same as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s site in Henrico County, the azalea collection on the Hanover property was started 31 years ago, and both gifts are the result of generous individuals known for their love of nature and philanthropy.

The non-profit Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has a mission focused on education and a passion for connecting people and plants to improve communities. To learn more, visit lewisginter.org.

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Read more about this gift in two articles in the Richmond Times-Dispatch (March 6, 2016):

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden accepts major land gift from Hanover family

Hanover siblings donating 79 acres to Lewis Ginter for use as conservation area to foster education and healing