McIntire Botanical Garden

Celebrating Virginia's Flora

Latest News Updates

McIntire Botanical Garden Meets Matching Donation Challenge from Great Eastern Management Company
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, June 2, 2017
Charlottesville, VA - The McIntire Botanical Garden is pleased to announce that it has met a $25,000 challenge donation from Great Eastern Management Company, a 45-year-old firm headquartered in Charlottesville that, together with its related entities and individuals, has long been interested in supporting civic and nonprofit organizations in the Charlottesville-Albemarle area.

"We are very grateful to Great Eastern for its generous $25,000 challenge gift. It's the first matching gift that McIntire Botanical Garden has ever received," commented Dorothy Tompkins, president of the Garden's Board of Directors. "Every member of the Garden's Board contributed to meet the match," Tompkins added, "and we are thankful for the additional 31 donors who contributed to help us meet the challenge."

The McIntire Botanical Garden is a public landscape garden included in the City of Charlottesville's Master Plan for the eastern section of McIntire Park. The Garden will focus on Virginia flora native to the Piedmont region and will be designed and constructed on 8.5 acres of parkland at the intersection of Melbourne Road and the John W. Warner Parkway.

McIntire Botanical Garden, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed in 2008 to work in partnership with the City to plan, build, and operate the Garden. The MBG Board is responsible for fundraising for the project and anticipates that some part of the Garden will be open in late 2018.

According to its website, the Great Eastern Management Company was founded in 1972. It "develops, constructs, and manages income-producing real estate properties and engages in other business ventures and investments" and "currently owns and manages multi-family residential properties, shopping centers, and office buildings in Charlottesville and the central Virginia area." More information is available at gemc.com.
McIntire Botanical Garden Receives Award from Nonprofit
McIntire Botanical Garden Forms Partnership for Lecture Series to Honor Horticulturalist and Raise Funds to Develop the Garden.
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, March 29, 2017
The Board of McIntire Botanical Garden (MBG) and the Friends of Ian Robertson (FIR) announce their new partnership to endow an educational lecture series in Robertson’s name and to build a structural element in the future Botanical Garden to honor his contributions to horticulture, landscape design and education. The lecture series will be a fundraiser for the design and construction of the Garden on 8.5 acres in Charlottesville’s McIntire Park and will help with operating costs after the Garden opens. The MBG Board and FIR formalized their partnership in March by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

A master horticulturalist, landscape designer, educator and author who lived in Charlottesville, Robertson passed away in Nov. 2014. He was internationally known for public and private garden designs. Among his best-known works are several original gardens at Richmond’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, including the Henry M. Flagler Perennial Garden. He was also a lecturer of Horticulture and Landscape Design at Piedmont Virginia Community College, an instructor at the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs Landscape Design Institute, and an instructor for Master Gardeners and the Virginia Native Plant Society.

The McIntire Botanical Garden is a public landscape garden included in Charlottesville’s Master Plan for the eastern section of McIntire Park. The idea for the Botanical Garden originated 10 years ago with Albemarle County resident and MBG Founder Helen Flamini. In 2008, she formed McIntire Botanical Garden, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) to work in partnership with the City to bring the Garden to fruition. The MBG Board is now raising funds for the design and construction. “We couldn’t be more pleased and grateful about this joint venture,” commented Dorothy Tompkins, MBG Board president. “The garden element will honor Ian’s love of horticulture, and the annual lecture will pay tribute to Ian’s commitment to education while creating a revenue source to help create and sustain the future McIntire Botanical Garden.”

The inaugural Ian Robertson Legacy: Lectureship is planned for Saturday, Sept. 30, at White Hall Vineyards in Crozet, Virginia. C. Colston Burrell, twice winner of the American Horticulture Society Book Award and a lecturer for the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Virginia, will deliver the keynote address. Burrell is also principal in Native Landscape Design and Restoration and serves on the MBG Board. “The lecture series is an opportunity for Ian to continue to promote the love of horticulture to those who didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him in person,” said Jill Trischman-Marks with FIR. FIR member Judy Robertson added about her husband: “Ian had an utter and complete love of horticulture, and this advantageous partnership with the Botanical Garden creates a lasting legacy for him and his family.”

Additional details about the first lecture will be announced in coming months. Visit friendsofianrobertson.com for more information, or email us.
Stacks Image 1435274
The late Ian Robertson, beloved horticulturalist, designer, educator, author and Charlottesville resident.
Stacks Image 1435277
At the official MOU signing are, seated l to r, Jill Trischman-Marks and Judy Robertson with FIR and Dorothy Tompkins MBG Board President. Standing l to r: Susan B. Viemeister, Buddy Spencer, Katharine Hannigan and Jan Sievers Mahon with FIR and Linda Seaman MBG Board President-Elect. Not pictured: Robert, James, Matthew and Stuart Robertson with FIR, and Lesley Sewell and Peter McIntosh MBG Board members.
Charlottesville Makes Plans for a Botanical Garden
MBG ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS, OFFICERS
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, January 3, 2017
Charlottesville, VA - The McIntire Botanical Garden Board of Directors welcomes new members Cindy Hamady, Katy McCune and Joan Swanberg to three-year terms.

The MBG Board officers for 2017 are:
President, Dorothy Tompkins
President-Elect, Linda Seaman
Vice President, Anita Showers
Treasurer, Sandy Wilcox
Secretary, Virginia Daugherty
Past-President, Peter McIntosh

Other Board members are Cole Burrell, Blake Caravati, Helen Flamini and Lesley Sewell. Brian Daly, director of Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Department, is an ex-officio Board member.

The McIntire Botanical Garden is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization formed in 2008 to create a public, sustainable landscape garden on 8.5 acres in McIntire Park East in partnership with the City of Charlottesville. Included in the City’s Master Plan for the park, the Garden will promote knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of plants and nature through display, education and research. The Garden will feature native and site-adapted trees, shrubs and perennials in designed and natural landscapes that are inviting, educational, inspirational, and which reflect the unique character of the Piedmont region. The anticipated opening date is late 2018.

For more information, email us.
MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN LOOKS FORWARD TO GROWING IN A BUSY 2017
FIRST PLANTING AT MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN
FIRST SIGNS OF PLANT LIFE AT MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN
FIRST ESTABLISHED PLANTING COMPLETED AT MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN
FIRST PLANTING SCHEDULED DECEMBER 14 ON SITE OF FUTURE MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, December 12, 2016
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – A group of volunteers and members of the McIntire Botanical Garden Board will gather Wednesday, December 14, starting at 9 a.m. to plant a small flower bed – the first established planting – on the site in Charlottesville’s McIntire Park where the future Garden will be located. A native Black Gum tree, shrubs and perennials, all donated by generous supporters, will be arranged around the existing MBG sign at the intersection of Melbourne Road and the John W. Warner Parkway.

In March 2015, Charlottesville City Council approved a schematic plan for eastern McIntire Park that included the McIntire Botanical Garden on 8.5 acres of the park’s property. The McIntire Botanical Garden Board and the City signed a Memorandum of Agreement later that year which delineated shared responsibilities for planning, designing, building and operating the Garden. It is expected that some part of the Garden will be open in late 2018.

The Garden’s mission is to cultivate a public garden that reflects the unique character of the Piedmont region while promoting knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of native and site adapted plants through display, education and research. The McIntire Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More information is available at the Garden’s website or by emailing us.
MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN ACTIVITIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2016
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden, November 22, 2016
The all-volunteer McIntire Botanical Garden Board and other volunteers have focused in 2016 on the following to help pave the way for the Garden’s future design, construction and operations:

• Updated the Garden’s Mission and Vision Statements
• Established a committee to write a Request for Proposals by spring 2017 for the Garden’s overall landscape design
• Partnered with local master naturalists and the City of Charlottesville to conduct a BioBlitz – a benchmark survey of existing flora in the Garden
• Held an invasive species clean-up day in the Garden with assistance from master naturalists, and began collaborations with Blue Ridge PRISM about invasive species control strategies
• Adopted the tagline Celebrating Virginia’s Flora for the Garden, and initiated a rebranding process for a new logo and publicity materials, funded entirely by generous supporters
• Began a partnership with The Friends of Ian Robertson to establish an annual MBG educational symposium honoring his memory and contributions to the horticulture industry
• Sponsored our second summer of butterfly walks in the Garden conducted by master naturalists
• Started collaborations with a University of Virginia fourth-year computer science class for custom development of volunteer, membership and donation management systems
• Launched a Speaker’s Bureau, and gave an MBG PowerPoint presentation to garden clubs, schools and allied groups.
• Outreached to local school systems to share how the Garden may be a resource for teachers and students, and began formal collaborations with Albemarle County Public Schools on how the Garden may fit into the school system’s upcoming environmental studies program.
• Planted the first flower bed on the Garden property at the corner of Melbourne Road and John W. Warner Parkway using nursery product generously donated by local companies. Volunteers assisted in the planting.

Email us to request a presentation.
Volunteers Continue to ID Plants on McIntire Botanical Garden Site
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden Article, August 22, 2016
Volunteers have been working since early spring to inventory plants on the site of the future McIntire Botanical Garden. The property is located on 8.5 acres in the northeastern section of Charlottesville’s McIntire Park.
 
“This survey of plants will establish a useful benchmark,” explained Peter McIntosh, president of the McIntire Botanical Garden Board. “When the garden is designed, we’ll use the inventory to preserve as many of the existing plants as possible.” He added, “One of our board directors, Lesley Sewell, has been instrumental in moving this project along, and we’re extremely grateful to local master naturalists and other volunteers, and to the Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department, our official partner on the garden initiative, for their involvement.”
 
More than two dozen tree species—among them Oak, Pine, Ash, Sycamore, Poplar, Walnut and Butternut—were identified by local master naturalists through surveys conducted north of the natural stream that flows into Schenks Branch. Additional tree surveys south of the stream are planned. Master naturalists and other volunteers participated in a BioBlitz on April 16 that focused on identifying spring herbaceous plants and shrubs. BioBlitz events involve interested adults, youth and children working alongside experts and scientists to conduct surveys. Additional BioBlitz events may be conducted on the site in the future to identify other species, such as insects and animals.
 
Master Naturalist Randy Page coordinated the plant BioBlitz. “The field areas we surveyed during the BioBlitz contain mostly invasives such as Autumn Olive, Kudzu and Japanese Knot Weed,” he said. “We found only small and isolated plants of interest, such as a few colonies of ferns and goldenrod.” He continued, “The most mature and largest trees are [Tulip] Poplars located around the stream where there is more light and moisture, and the soil is better because of wash. Beyond the stream, the biggest stands are Pine. Many trees are overtaken by invasives.”
 
Sewell, a certified landscape designer, added, “An invasive species management plan will be developed for the garden in the future.”
 
Here’s the complete list of trees identified so far: Ash (Green); Butternut; Dogwood (Flowering); Gum (both Black and Sweet); Hackberry; Locust (Black); Maples (both Red and Silver); Mulberries (both White and Paper); Oak (five species - Southern Red, Post, White, Black and Scarlet); Pear (some Bradford); Persimmon; Pine  (three species - Shortleaf, Virginia and Loblolly); Sassafras; Sycamore; Tulip (Poplar); Walnut (Black); Willow (Black).
 
The MBG Board recognizes and thanks the following volunteers who have been working on the inventory project: Rebecca Barnes, Sarah Bingham, Drew Chaney, Tom Dierauf, Julie Farrell, Robert Finley, Sandra Finley, Lara Gastinger, Nancy Gercke, Pat Graham, Tara Herndon, Emily Luebke, Vicky Metcalf, Randy Page, Tony Russell, Laura Seale, Lesley Sewell, David Smith, Marilyn Smith, Blaise Spinelli, Cinder Stauton, Nancy Weiss, Tim Williams and Carol Wise. Thanks also to Chris Gensic with the Parks and Recreation Department.
 
To become involved, email info@mcintirebotancialgarden.org or call 434.977.7831. Follow the garden on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Tax-deductible contributions to help build the garden may be made via PayPal through this website’s homepage or mailed to 624 Davis Ave., Charlottesville, VA 22901.
Stacks Image 1435134
Mcintire Botanical Garden Announces Summer Butterfly Walks
Charlottesville, VA - The McIntire Botanical Garden is sponsoring three butterfly walks this summer on acreage in McIntire Park that will be developed into the botanical garden in the future. The dates are:
 
Saturday, June 4, 10:30 a.m. - noon
Sunday, July 10, 10:30 a.m. - noon
Friday, August 19, 10:30 a.m. - noon
 
Participants will explore the park's rolling hills, forests and fields to look for and identify the butterflies and also venture into the City of Charlottesville's new butterfly garden. Master Naturalist Dr. Nancy Weiss will lead this family-friendly activity. There is no cost to attend. Walkers will assemble at the Melbourne Road entrance to the garden, near the intersection with the John W. Warner Parkway and across the street from Charlottesville High School's stadium.
 
To attend, please register in advance by contacting Lesley Sewell or call 434.326.2375. Rain cancels.
Volunteers Needed for BioBlitz April 16 in McIntire Botanical Garden
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, April 4, 2016
Charlottesville, VA – A BioBlitz or biological survey will take place Saturday, April 16, on acreage in McIntire Park that will become the McIntire Botanical Garden (MBG) in the future, and volunteers are needed. The MBG Board, Rivanna Master Naturalists and Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Department are coordinating the activity.
 
During a BioBlitz, teams of specialists and volunteers find and identify as many plant species as possible and enter the information into iNaturalist, a free app for smartphones.
 
“The benchmark information that teams collect can be used in the future by the botanical garden to protect rare, native and desirable plants,” explained MBG Board member Lesley Sewell. “For example, we will know a plant’s exact location and can preserve it, if necessary, during the garden’s development by transferring it to a new spot. Data will help us to track trends in plant inventory and health and will be useful in creating maintenance schedules.”
 
Prior to the activity, volunteers should register with iNaturalist though the website inaturalist.org, download the iNaturalist app to a smartphone and become familiar with its use. Those without smartphones may walk with teams to observe and offer support. Sturdy, waterproof shoes are recommended for walking through brush and on uneven ground. The event is unsuitable for very young children and dogs, except service dogs.
 
To volunteer for BioBlitz, contact Master Naturalist Randy Page at wrpage01@gmail.com. Participants will assemble at 9:30 a.m. April 16 at the Melbourne Road entrance to the MBG, located across the street from Charlottesville High School’s football stadium and near the intersection of Melbourne and the John W. Warner Parkway. Parking is available along selected sections of Melbourne. Rain cancels the activity.
 
For more information, contact Lesley Sewell at sewellhorticulture@gmail.com or 434.326.2375.
MBG ANNOUNCES NEW BOARD MEMBERS, OFFICERS
Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, January 29, 2016
Charlottesville, VA – The McIntire Botanical Garden (MBG) welcomes seven new members to its Board of Directors. The new directors are Ruth Barnett, Blake Caravati, Virginia Daugherty, Linda Seaman, Anita Showers, Dorothy Tompkins and Sandy Wilcox. They were elected to three-year terms. 
 
The MBG Board officers for 2016 are Peter McIntosh, president; Cole Burrell, vice president; Lesley Sewell, treasurer; Karen Lilleleht, secretary; and Helen Flamini, past president. Flamini is also the founder of the MBG. In addition, Brian Daly, director of Charlottesville’s Parks and Recreation Department, is an ex-officio Board member.
 
The McIntire Botanical Garden is a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity formed in 2008 to create a public, sustainable landscape garden on 8.5 acres in McIntire Park East in partnership with the City of Charlottesville. Included in the City’s Master Plan for the park, the botanical garden will promote knowledge, enjoyment and conservation of plants and nature through display, education and research. The garden will feature native and site-adapted trees, shrubs and perennials in designed and natural landscapes that are inviting, educational, inspirational, and which reflect the unique character of the Piedmont region. The garden is expected to open sometime in 2018. For more information, visit mcintirebotanicalgarden.org, email info@mcintirebotanicalgarden.org or call 434.960.6844. 
  • 2015 News
    Signs unveiled for the new Mcintire botanical garden
    SIGN MARKS FUTURE HOME OF CHARLOTTESVILLE’S BOTANICAL GARDEN
    City takes next step on botanical garden plans
    Botanical Garden Coming to McIntire Park
    City Signs Deal with McIntire Botanical Garden
    McIntire Botanical Garden, Charlottesville agree to terms of construction, operation
    McIntire Botanical Garden Signs MOA with City of Charlottesville
    Source: McIntire Botanical Garden News Release, October 5, 2015.
    Charlottesville, VA – The McIntire Botanical Garden (MBG) and the City of Charlottesville have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that stipulates their respective responsibilities for the design, development and maintenance of the future botanical garden. The garden, included in the City’s Master Plan for McIntire Park East, will be located on 8.5 acres of parkland nearest the intersection of Melbourne Road and the John W. Warner Parkway.

    “Signing of this MOA significantly moves the garden project forward,” commented Helen Flamini, president of the MBG Board. “Now the Board can focus on additional phases of the project that will make this beautiful botanical garden a reality for Central Virginia.”

    The MBG will be a public landscape garden that features native and site-adapted trees, shrubs and perennial flowers. It will include forest collection areas, trails, a pond and restored stream, and eventually a lawn amphitheatre, pavilion and visitor center.

    Among the City’s primary responsibilities outlined in the MOA are overall administration and coordination of the garden’s construction and development. The City and MBG will work in a collaborative effort on the design and development of the visitor center/education building. In addition, the City will build pedestrian and bicycle trails and perform basic horticultural maintenance “…subject to available funding”. The director of the Parks and Recreation Department will serve as an ex-officio member of the McIntire Botanical Garden Board.

    The MBG Board has responsibility for funding the garden’s design and development, including the visitor center/education building, and securing construction documents. It also will oversee and document the horticultural and research collections, provide docent and educational programs and promote awareness of the garden, its programs and activities.

    In March 2015, the Charlottesville City Council approved the overall design for McIntire Park East with its inclusion of the botanical garden. For more information about MBG and the MOA document, visit www.mcintirebotanicalgarden.org. For information about the City’s plans for McIntire Park East and West, visit www.charlottesville.org/mcintirepark.
    MCINTIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN LAUNCHES REDESIGNED WEBSITE
    September 21, 2015. Click to read article.
    Charlottesville, VA – The McIntire Botanical Garden today announced the launch of its redesigned website, www.mcintirebotanicalgarden.org. Revamped for responsive viewing on mobile devices, the redesigned site welcomes visitors with bright colors, botanical photos, concise information in a simplified layout and more intuitive navigation. A landscape architect’s rendering of the McIntire Botanical Garden also is included.
     
    “The Board of Directors for the McIntire Botanical Garden is so pleased to unveil this redesign,” commented Helen Flamini, Board president. “Through the website, we hope that visitors will learn more and become enthused about this public landscape garden which will be located within McIntire Park East and offer numerous benefits to our community when it comes to fruition in the future.”
     
    In March 2015, the Charlottesville City Council approved the overall design for McIntire Park East with its inclusion of the McIntire Botanical Garden (MBG) on approximately eight acres in the northern section of the park, which is nearest the intersection of Melbourne Road and the John W. Warner Parkway. Plans for the MBG include forest collection areas, trails, a pond, a stream which will be restored, and eventually a lawn amphitheatre, pavilion and visitors center. The City of Charlottesville and the MBG Board of Directors will build and operate the garden in partnership.
     
    Flamini added that the website is still evolving and will include additional features in the near future, such as a section about volunteering and a means for making online donations to the garden to help fund the design and construction. “We look forward to using the website to announce exciting new developments to come,” she said. “One of those developments will happen soon when a sign announcing the site of the future McIntire Botanical Garden will be placed on the property.”
    Charlottesville City Council approves design for eastern McIntire Park
    Source: Charlottesville Tomorrow, March 17, 2015. Click to read article.
    Charlottesville’s City Council has approved a new design for the eastern side of McIntire Park, a 75-acre space that will include a botanical garden, skate park and enhanced access for pedestrian and bike traffic. “This design is the outcome of many months of community input, public open houses and a presentation to council this past December,” said Brian Daly, the city’s parks and recreation director.

    The council voted 4-1 late Monday to endorse the plan, with Bob Fenwick voting against, citing objections to the cost. “This is not a need,” Fenwick said. “This is a want. I can’t support this when we have bridges to be fixed and roads to be paved.” However, Fenwick did vote to approve a design for the new McIntire Skate Park, which will be on the southern edge of the greater park.

    Other councilors said investing in the park would help improve the quality of life in Charlottesville. “This will be our Central Park in many ways,” said Mayor Satyendra Huja. “This really has been something we’ve been planning, so it’s not an impulse buy,” said Councilor Kristin Szakos. “We are just at that point where the rubber meets the road and we’re starting to talk about money.”

    The park will be centered around a “great lawn” in the middle of the property. Other features approved are a network of trails, space for a botanical garden and a children’s play area. The initial cost estimate to implement the plan is $5 million, according to Daly. However, the proposed capital improvement budget currently being reviewed by the council only allocates $2.5 million over the next five years.

    Daly said the funding gap is not an obstacle to getting started on implementation. “Our next step is to get back with the design firm and begin to develop the actual construction documents, make material choices, look at specific cost estimates and make a phasing choice,” Daly said. “The critical thing from our perspective is opening the park back up and making the connectivity that this plan envisions.” Daly also said the cost of implementation may be lower if the trails are built by city parks staff.

    The park is bordered by Melbourne Road to the north, the John W. Warner Parkway to the east and the railroad to the west. Steve Kelly, an architect with Mahan Rykiel, said the park will serve as a junction between existing bike paths and walkways throughout the city. He also said the design could expand the footprint of the botanical garden that will be within the park.

    “The botanical garden portion is just on these eight acres but we thought this whole park in a sense could be a botanical garden,” Kelly said. “As we restore these areas for public use, they are to be restored with native plantings that represent the different zones of the Piedmont landscape.” The design was last before the council in December. Kelly was directed to refine a pond located in the northern section of the park. “We tried to provide a large water body near the future botanical garden’s visitors center and we tried to make it as large as it could be so that it could serve some program functions, as well as be aesthetically pleasing,” Kelly said.

    Three natural streams flow into one waterway that eventually leads to Schenks Branch, which flows south toward downtown Charlottesville along McIntire Road. The new park design will replace the golf course that has been in the park since the 1930s. While the council set a deadline requiring the course to close by the end of 2016, Daly said it will close within the next few months so the trails can be built. Some of the soon-to-be-former golf course holes will be memorialized with new uses. “One of them is for a sandbox play area and the others are for sculptural opportunities,” Kelly said.

    The children’s play area is in a natural setting without playground equipment. “These nature play areas change over time so it’s a really great way to get involved with nature,” Kelly said. “We thought we could actually add a stream that goes through the nature play area so that children have a chance to play with water.”

    The council also discussed the memorandum of understanding under which the McIntire Botanical Garden and the city will build and operate that amenity. The nonprofit group will raise funds for support buildings and other amenities. Huja said he wanted to ensure a city representative was on the nonprofit’s board of directors.

    Source: http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/20418-mcintire-park-approval/
    Preparation Continues for McIntire Botanical Garden
    Source: Charlottesville Tomorrow, February 18, 2015. Click to read article.
    As Charlottesville plans a new look for the eastern half of McIntire Park, a nonprofit organization is working with the city to make their collective dream of a botanical garden a near-term reality. “It is hoped that by 2016 a lot of the trails inside the park will have been built to take visitors into the botanical garden area for the very first time,” said Helen Flamini, president of the McIntire Botanical Garden. 
     
    The organization was founded in 2008 when planning for the east side of McIntire Park got underway. After the City Council approved a route for the John W. Warner Parkway that traveled along the eastern edge of the park, Flamini’s group wanted to secure a spot for their project inside a park that would be opened up by the project. “Our board for the last seven years has had its focus on achieving community awareness about the botanical garden,” Flamini said. 
     
    Now that the parkway is open, officials are implementing a master plan the City Council adopted in September 2012 that will eliminate a nine-hole golf course by the end of 2016. The conceptual design for the garden will be among the items on display tonight at a design open house for the master plan. The McIntire Skate Park, the network of trails and other park amenities also are among proposed items that will be shown. 
     
    If the council approves the design in March, work can begin on building the necessary infrastructure to support the garden. “First and foremost, access to the northern portion of the park needs to be constructed,” said Brian Daly, the city’s parks and recreations director. “The current schematic design shows parking and infrastructure that would be required first for vehicular access.”
     
    The city entered into a partnership with the nonprofit in September 2013 to manage the garden. The two groups are negotiating a memorandum of understanding that describes the responsibilities of each. The draft document states that the nonprofit will be responsible for designing the garden, creating construction plans, establishing curatorial policies, recruiting volunteers, and providing educational opportunities. They will also need to raise funds for the project. The city would be responsible for approving designs, overseeing construction, maintaining the infrastructure for the park and providing a “base level of maintenance.” The latter would include “general cleanup, mulching where appropriate, basic pruning, establishment watering and pest control activities.” 

    The draft memorandum is not expected to be a major discussion point at the open house. “The draft at this time is very loosely formed and intended to be a guide and framework for moving forward, not a down in the details specific document,” Daly said, adding that many things will change in the coming months as the details are finalized. 
     
    A man who was part of a different group that wanted to create a botanical garden in the area has been critical of the way the agreement has been negotiated. “I feel significant decisions that affect the management of the botanical garden in McIntire East, such as the memorandum of understanding, have been discussed privately and would be better done in a public advisory committee,” said Lonnie Murray, who also is an elected member of the Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District. However, Murray said he has recently met with a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors to discuss his concerns. “I feel way more confident that going forward that the process will be more open, transparent and inclusive,” Murray said. Murray has also raised questions about the garden’s design. In response, Flamini said many of the decisions about how the garden will be laid out have yet to be made. 
     
    “Once the designs have been adopted by the City Council, there will be opportunities for much more involvement from the community in the way of volunteers, in the way of an advisory committee, and as we move into our fund-raising and capital campaign,” Flamini said. Flamini said she hopes the organization can begin fundraising by the end of the calendar year. She estimates the cost range could be between $5 million and $20 million. 
     
    An unnamed tributary that flows through the area will be restored and the design of the garden will be informed by how that is implemented. “The uniqueness of having a stream located in this area, particularly one that has eroded over the years, presents a lot of challenges and a lot of opportunities,” Flamini said. Flamini also said the garden will have an emphasis on native species.“Appreciating the flora and fauna of the area promotes the history of our area, particularly in this time of climate change,” Flamini said. “It is important to try to maintain some of the native species that been here and might be in danger.” 
     
    Daly said the garden could expand to other areas of the park, but that would be determined as the conceptual stage makes way for the creation of a design. “As time goes by, other areas of the park may become locations for certain plant collections, demonstrations, natural interpretive areas and the like,” Daly said. “The management and care of those areas may be a city responsibility, the non-profit’s responsibility or some combination.” 

    Source: http://www.cvilletomorrow.org/news/article/20200-mcintire-garden-planning/
  • 2014 News
    McIntire Park Design Contracts Awarded
    Source: City of Charlottesville News Release, February 28, 2014. Click to read article.
    CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – The City of Charlottesville is pleased to announce the award of two design contracts for the implementation of the Master Plan for the east side of McIntire Park.The first, for the design and development of the skate park, has been awarded to Stantec Planning and Landscape Architecture of Boston, Massachusetts. With over 200 designs to their credit this group is uniquely positioned to bring the design expertise of recently acquired Action Sport Design to Stantec while benefiting from the global expertise of the parent company. Stantec is a skate park design only firm and is well known within the skating community for their flexibility and uniqueness in design. A sample of their work can be found at http://actionsportdesign.com/.
    The second, for the design and development of the remainder of the east side of the park, including the Botanical Garden, has been awarded to Mahan Rykiel Associates of Baltimore, Maryland. Mahan Rykiel, along with the Timmons Group of Charlottesville, will be the primary team leading the design efforts. Mahan Rykiel brings tremendous expertise to planning and design efforts with a portfolio that includes Blandair and Druid Hill Parks in Maryland, the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore and the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in northern Virginia. A sample of their work can be found at www.mahanrykiel.com.
    City Parks and Recreation staff, along with the McIntire Botanical Garden, the Skate Park Advisory Board and the design teams will be working together to implement the vision outlined in the Master Plan. A number of community meetings will be held in the coming months and specific dates, times and locations will be forthcoming.
Stacks Image p628566_n81605
Directions
Stacks Image p628566_n1506172
Stacks Image p628566_n1506174
Stacks Image p628566_n1506176