Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s mission is education; our passion is connecting plants and people to improve our community.
The Garden strives to be a primary resource to the community for learning about the botanical world – its beauty, its heritage, its pleasures and its significance to the web of life, and to our very survival. We are committed firmly to stewardship and sustainability, especially involving water. Following the model established by our first benefactor, Grace Arents, we embrace our responsibility to engage the community, to increase the appreciation for and understanding of the natural world, and through these, to enrich lives and enhance the environment in which we live.
In 2015, Garden visitation exceeded more than 386,000, and the number of membership households exceeded 12,000. Structured Children's Education programs at the Garden served more than 12,000 children during this time. meanwhile our Community Kitchen Garden provided 6,000 lbs. of fresh produce for donation to FeedMore's Meals on Wheels and Kids Cafe programs.
While much has been accomplished in the Garden's first 30 years, the Garden grows every year.
Current goals include:
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of the most comprehensive public gardens on the East Coast. Situated on 82 acres of exquisitely landscaped gardens in Henrico County, Virginia, Lewis Ginter contains more than 5,500 unique genera, species and cultivars and serves as a “living classroom” for the education of learners of all ages and stages. Annual visitation has increased from 65,000 in 1997 to more than 386,000 in 2015. The Garden was established in 1984 through the bequest of local philanthropist Grace Arents, who wished to provide a place of natural beauty, learning and renewal to an increasingly urbanized community.
Shane has been with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden since 2004; first as Assistant Executive Director (September 2004 - October 2011) and now as Executive Director.
As Assistant Executive Director he oversaw administration and IT, finance, budgeting, volunteers, guest services, and the auxiliary revenue centers of the Garden Shop, Facility Rental, the Garden Café, the Robins Tea House and catering through the Garden’s exclusive food service partner: Meriwether Godsey.
Prior to Lewis Ginter, Shane worked a dozen years in other non-profit organizations. He was the Assistant Head for Finance and Operations at St. Catherine’s School, an Episcopal girl’s school in Richmond. Before that he served as the Manager of the Virginian Diocesan Center at Roslyn, a year-round full service church conference and retreat center.
Shane was born and raised in Montana. He attended the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. After graduation, he served 11 years on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps, and 10 years as a Reservist during his time at Roslyn. While on active duty, he held various department head positions while on flight status as a bombardier navigator in A-6E Intruder squadrons, and subsequently as an AV-8B Harrier pilot. Shane retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Shane’s passion for plants was kindled in the early 1990’s by a Lewis Ginter arborist who mentored Shane on the care of specimen trees at Roslyn. This passion underlies his firm conviction in the transformative power of gardens to re-shape and renew individuals, families and communities.
Click here to learn more about Children’s Education Programs.
Short term goals:
1. Maintain or improve teacher satisfaction.
(95% of teachers participating in group programs or teacher workshops will be satisfied or very satisfied.)
2. Maintain or increase repeat group program enrollment
(50% of groups enrolled in programs in the last three years will re-enroll in at least one successive year.)
3. Increase the impact of teacher workshops
(250 teachers representing 5,000 students will participate in workshops)
Lewis Ginter is committed to the education of children as the future stewards of our most valuable natural resources, and is particularly devoted to providing hands-on experiences of nature and interactive learning opportunities to underserved populations.
Our children's education programming addresses the need for children to engage with nature in a way that stimulates their curiosity and encourages appreciation for the central importance of plants in both the natural world and human society. The goals we pursue are not all easily measurable – the enjoyment of nature; increasing interest in and knowledge about plant processes; increased appreciation for the role of plants in providing for basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and medicines; and – for some – the first sputtering flame of a lifelong passion for science, scientific observation and experimentation.
In this dynamic, ever-changing "learning landscape," adult students can expand their knowledge of the plant world, develop gardening skills, and sample the best in horticulture and landscape design.
The long term goal of the Community Kitchen Garden is to serve as a model to demonstrate the importance of plants to human life and to teach and encourage visitors and volunteers to plant produce gardens for themselves and for others in their community.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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