Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Inc.
1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond VA 23228-4700
Mission Statement Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden enlightens and inspires its constituents through its outstanding botanical collections, horticultural displays and landscape design. We engage our constituents with the natural world through interpretation, programs, educational resources and outreach. We advocate for sustainability and stewardship of our planet.
Web and Social Media
Our mission is education – our passion is connecting plants and people to improve our community.
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Shane Tippett
Board Chair Mrs. Kathleen Allen Luke
Board Chair Company Affiliation PepsiCo Inc.
Contact Information
Address 1800 Lakeside Avenue
Richmond, VA 232284700
Telephone 804 262-9887
Fax 804 553-3178
E-mail development@lewisginter.org
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1984
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $6,119,265.00
Projected Expenses $6,119,251.00
Mission Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden enlightens and inspires its constituents through its outstanding botanical collections, horticultural displays and landscape design. We engage our constituents with the natural world through interpretation, programs, educational resources and outreach. We advocate for sustainability and stewardship of our planet.

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:

  • Enhancing and refining gardens and collections
  • Establishing more community outreach programs
  • Broadening environmental outreach and leadership
  • Increasing the number of household members
  • Increasing the admissions and visitation totals
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden depends on the support of its members and donors to fulfill its educational and scientific mission, to continue its physical growth, and expand its positive influence in our community. Contributions to the Annual Fund, membership, volunteer participation, sponsorships and gifts for special programs, events and projects are crucial to the program, display,  and community work of the Garden.

 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.

This year more than 41,000 children will participate in our hands-on environmental educational programs. Learning opportunities include drop-in programs for families, group programs for schools, teacher training and a variety of courses for adult gardeners and professionals. In the Community Kitchen Garden, everyone from students and families to corporate volunteer teams and staff will come together to harvest  more than 6,000 lbs. of fresh produce for donation to Richmond's hungry.
CEO Statement
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is located on 82 acres in Richmond, Virginia. A public place for the display and study of plants, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is one of only two independent public botanical gardens in Virginia and has the designation of a State Botanical Garden. Through daily visitation, education programs for adults and children, special events and outreach, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is educating our community about the natural world in which we live and our interactions with it.
Board Chair Statement
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Tri-cities Region
Richmond, City
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Kathleen Allen Luke
Company Affiliation PepsiCo Inc.
Term Apr 2016 to Mar 2018
Email development@lewisginter.org
Board of Directors
Board Members
Mr. Dennis I. Belcher Esq.McGuireWoods LLP
Ms. Anedra Bourne City of Richmond, Tourism Coordinator
Mr. Matthew J. Bruning Virginia Bankers Association
Ms. Lori Cochran Dixon, Hughes, Goodman
Ms. Joelle K. Cosby U.S. Trust
Ms. Katherine B. Duval Duval & Duval Consulting
Ms. Mary A. Elfner Virginia Audubon Council
Ms. Janet T. Geldzahler Sullivan & Cromwell
Mr. Gary M. Gore ACIMA Private Wealth
Mr. Mike C. Gray Commonwealth Partnerships Group
Mr. J. Eric Greenwood J. E. Greenwood & Company, L. P.
Dr. Jill Harris Beautiful Smiles
Ms. Donna G. Kelliher Dominion
Ms. Anne Leigh Kerr Troutman Sanders Strategies
Ms. Candace Lindenzweig Retired
Sr. Anne Marie Mack Bon Secours Richmond Health System
Ms. Martha F. Moore Community Volunteer
Ms. Paula H. Nachman Community Volunteer
Mr. Hugh Newton M&T Bank
Dr. Kee Sung Ro Community Volunteer
Mrs. Susan Robertson Community Volunteer
Mrs. Clare Osdene Schapiro Blogger, Chef and Writer
Mrs. Carolyn Snow Community Volunteer
Ms. Debbie Sydow Richard Bland College of William & Mary
Ms. Sue C. Thompson Garden Graces
Mr. J. Melvin Watkins M&T Bank
Mrs. Peyton Page Wells Community Volunteer
Mrs. Susanne N. Wick Community Volunteer
Ms. Mary Wick Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 29
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 6
Female 23
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 67
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 94
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 6
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Risk Management Provisions
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Blanket Personal Property
Boiler and Machinery
Builders Risk
Computer Equipment and Software
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
Employee Dishonesty
Employment Practices Liability
Exhibit Liability
Fine Arts and Collectibles
General Property Coverage
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Inland Marine and Mobile Equipment
Internet Liability Insurance
Life Insurance
Liquor Liability
Medical Health Insurance
Medical Malpractice
Patient Liability
Professional Liability
Property in Transit and Off Premises
Public Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Public Officials Liability
Renter's Insurance
Risk Management Provisions
See Management and Governance Comments
Special Event Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Water Craft and Aircraft
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Workplace Violence
Accident and Injury Coverage
Automobile Insurance
Automobile Insurance and Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Blanket Personal Property
Boiler and Machinery
Computer Equipment and Software
Crime Coverage
Directors and Officers Policy
Disability Insurance
Employee Benefits Liability
Employee Dishonesty
Employment Practices Liability
Exhibit Liability
Fine Arts and Collectibles
General Property Coverage
Improper Sexual Conduct/Sexual Abuse
Life Insurance
Liquor Liability
Medical Health Insurance
Professional Liability
Special Event Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Workers Compensation and Employers' Liability
Workplace Violence
Crime Coverage
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Campus Planning and Development
Program / Program Planning
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.

Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. Shane Tippett
As Executive Director, Shane Tippett is responsible for all daily operations, program, facilities, staffing and financial activity for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

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.

Former CEOs
Mr. Frank Robinson Feb 1992 - Mar 2015
Mr. Garland S. Sydnor Sept 1991 - Jan 1992
Senior Staff
Mrs. Alice Baker Director of Development
Mrs. Grace Chapman Elton Director of Horticulture
Mrs. Kim Dove Director of Guest Services
Mrs. Randee Humphrey Director of Education
Mrs. Beth Monroe Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Full Time Staff 76
Part Time Staff 25
Volunteers 600
Contractors 0
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Mar 2009
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
2010 BEST special Event VenueRichmond Magazine2010
Most Visited Paid AttractionRMCVB2009
National Medal for Museum and Library ServiceInstitute for Museum and Library Services2011
Top 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling ForCanadian Garden Garden Tourism Award LogoTourism Council and the American Public Gardens Association2013
Best Botanical Gardens in the USThe Travel Channel2013
#2 Best Public Garden in North AmericaUSA Today2014
Environmental Education Excellence AwardVirginia Department of Conservation and Recreation2015
Four Star Award WinnerCharity Navigator2015
The Children's Garden is a place where children of all ages can grow and learn through up-close and personal interactions with the natural world--not as passive bystanders, but as active participants who touch, smell and taste. Children learn new vocabulary and develop observational and listening skills.
The playful, informal setting of the Children's Garden and our hands-on, child-centered approach to teaching not only support a child's instinctive acquisition of new knowledge, but provide an environment that builds social, emotional, physical and creative competencies as well.
The following education programs are offered to Garden guests, school groups, community groups and disadvantaged children in our community.
  • Self-directed daily activities 
  • Young Buds Programs (structured preschool programs)
  • Discovery Programs (structured elementary school programs)
  • Vocational Programs for special needs students
  • Service Learning & Volunteer programs for teens
  • Teacher Workshops

Click here to learn more about Children’s Education Programs.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success

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)


Long Term Success

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.

Opportunities include:

  • Year-round classes, workshops, and lectures
  • Garden education certificates for studies in home gardening, botanical illustration, and floral design
  • Symposium on  aspects of gardening, garden design, and professional issues in the green industry  
  • Teacher Workshops and courses to help teachers bring natural sciences into the classroom.
  • Travel opportunities to public and private gardens throughout the U.S. and abroad.
  • Professional Continuing Education programs allow students to earn a Landscape Design Professional Certificate through the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.
  • Resources- Opportunities for research, reading, and exploration are available year-round through our library, art exhibits, and interpretive displays.
Population Served Adults
Short Term Success
Lewis Ginter's short term goal is to maintain a class enrollment averages 85% of capacity. We are also working to increase teacher and green-industry education.
Long Term Success
Lewis Ginter's goal is to educate adults in our community about our natural world. In the long term, we hope to offer as many programs as possible that appeal to our community and engage as many students as possible while maintaining a high level of classes at capacity.
The Garden is a year-round destination with events and exhibits complementing the glorious seasonal displays.  Guests are encouraged to visit often to explore the ever-changing landscape.  From digging in the dirt and family fun to performing arts, the Garden's special events and exhibits appeal to a wide audience and offer opportunities to learn about, interact with and enjoy our natural world. 

Annual Events
Click the links below to learn more about each event


Population Served Families
The Community Kitchen Garden (CKG) is a place where volunteers, students and staff come together to learn, to grow and to feed a community.
Since 2009 the CKG has provided more than 32 tons of produce to FeedMore’s Meals on Wheels and Kids Cafe programs, supplementing more than 260,000 meals with healthy fruits and vegetables. As our partnership has grown we’ve tailored our output to meet their needs. Last year not a single pound of produce was wasted.

The CKG also serves as a demonstration model for Garden visitors, educating them about the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet and encouraging them to plant their own gardens and contribute a portion of their bounty to help feed the hungry in our community. 
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success Lewis Ginter's immediate goal is to donate 6,000 pounds of fresh produce from the Community Kitchen Garden to the Central Virginia Foodbank and to engage volunteers in maintaining the garden.
Long Term Success

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.

CEO/ED/Board Comments

Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $6,119,265.00
Projected Expenses $6,119,251.00
Endowment Value $19,541,906.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 4.5
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$2,798,246$5,081,879$2,135,973
Investment Income, Net of Losses($10,340)$26,574$29,932
Membership Dues--$297,363$546,652
Special Events$73,771$55,943$226,923
Revenue In-Kind$34,544$28,398$15,024
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$6,502,028$6,434,839$6,119,528
Administration Expense$597,331$975,437$1,106,958
Fundraising Expense$60,010$70,777$64,685
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.961.190.76
Program Expense/Total Expenses91%86%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%1%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$26,844,032$26,868,305$29,247,560
Current Assets$4,654,197$3,667,630$5,868,941
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$3,001,772
Current Liabilities$1,451,940$1,168,511$1,999,106
Total Net Assets$25,392,092$25,699,794$24,246,682
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.213.142.94
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%10%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit Application Confirmation 3/2016View
Foundation Comments
  • Audited financial statements represent the combined financial picture of both Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Inc. and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Foundation.
  • IRS Form 990s represent solely the financial position of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Inc.