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McIntire Botanical Garden Hires
First Executive Director
Article ImageAs we plan for the next stages in our development, we're thrilled to announce that Jill Trischman-Marks has been selected as MBG's first Executive Director.
Jill is a practicing landscape architect with more than 30-years experience in design and construct processes for gardens and outdoor spaces.  Additionally, she brings nearly 20 years of practical business experience from running her own landscape operation.  Jill has been a resident of Charlottesville since 1989, when she moved here to pursue a graduate degree in landscape architecture at UVA.
Jill is no stranger to the McIntire Botanical Garden family, having served as a member of the Board of Directors, as well as Development and Design Committees, among other important roles.
She was selected through a competitive process that considered candidates from across the country. The Board of Directors felt Jill's history with the organization, local network and business experience would best drive the Garden's future.
"We were delighted that Jill wanted to be considered for this critical role," said Deborah Bell-Burks, Member of the Board of Directors. "She has been an integral part of the McIntire Botanical Garden up until this point.  The future of our Garden is in very capable hands."
Jill will officially assume her position on September 1.  She will be working from the McIntire Botanical Garden's new offices at the Enterprise Center 401 E. Market Street, Ste. 25, Charlottesville, VA 22902.
Meet the New MBG President
 Joan Swanberg became President of the McIntire Botanical Garden on July 1.  We asked her to share a few thoughts about herself and her hopes for the Garden.
Q) What do you love most about gardening?
A)  As an artist, I am drawn to gardens as they offer experiences with color, texture, fragrance and movement.
Q) Why did you get involved wth the McIntire Botanical Garden?
A)  I feel that gardens, both public and private, provide inspiration and joy in the natural world.  Charlottesville and its surrounding communities deserve to have a free public garden that ALL can enjoy.
Q) What do you hope to accomplish as President?
A)  During my tenure as President I hope to get the organizagtion closer to achieving detailed design drawings and construction documents prior to breaking ground.  We are already creating trails, clearing invasive plants and tagging important native trees as first steps.
Q) What should the public know about McIntire Botanical Garden?
A)  Creating a public garden is a collaborative process, and we understand that the Charlottesville community is eager to begin using this space.  We are working in close partnership with the City and the Parks & Recreation Department, and I hope everyone will support our efforts as we take the time to get it right.
Q) What is your favorite flower?
A)  My favorite native shrub at the moment is Calycanthus floridus - commonly called Sweetshrub - which I am having fun hybridizing.
Q)  When not attending to the needs of the Garden, what are you doing?
A)   When I'm not working on our botanical garden, I can be found in my own gardens weeding or sketching.
Getting to Know Our Winged Neighbors
by MBG Contributor Nancy Weiss, Master Naturalist and Tree Steward
Nancy Weiss
Over the past three years, I have been leading "butterfly walks" at the MBG site.  When the temperatures get at least 65 degrees we begin to see these colorful insects flying around and we go to find them.  A butterfly walk is a chance to see different butterflies and learn about them.
First, some science.  Scientists study the interactions among all living things to better understand them.  They group them by similarities and separate them by differences.  Moths and butterflies are similar to each other by being insects (6 jointed legs and an exoskeleton) that fly with 4 wings, 2 on each side.  However, they differ from all other flying insects because they have scales on their wings.  The group is named for this characteristic - Lepidoptera.  Lepid means scale and ptera means wing.  Butterflies and also some moths fly only during the day so we may see some moths too on our "butterfly walk."
For more information about butterflies and how they are being integrated into the MBG habitat, check out the rest of the article on our website.
Join an Upcoming Butterfly Walk with Nancy Weiss
Butterfly walks are a great way to enjoy the garden's rolling hills, forests and fields.  LIMITED to 20 participants
When:  Monday, August 26 from 12 noon to 1:30 pm
Where:  Walkers meet at the Melbourne Road entrance to the garden
Parking:  On-street parking on Melbourne Road with overflow at Charlottesville High School
Send an email to to register or for questions and raindate.
Image: Scutellaria integrifolia (Hyssop skullcap)
Photo Credit:  Betty Truax, Jefferson Chapter, VNPS
Jay Townsend - Welcome a-Board!
Article ImageMcIntire Botanical Garden welcomes new board member Jay Townsend to the team.  Jay was born and raised in Albemarle County and founded J. W. Townsend Landscapes.
He is now retired from his successful business and enjoys sailing, working on the farm and spending time with his family.
Jay has been actively involved in the Charlottesville community, including being a Boy Scout leader for 12 years, a CIC (a local small business nonprofit) mentor, teacher and loan committee member and a Building Goodness supporter and board director.
Jay served on MBG's finance committee before being invited to join the Board of Directors. 
Virginia Pine
Got Trees? 
Did you know that the McIntire Botanical Garden has more than 40 different species of trees? In 2016, we identified the various plant, insect, bird and other species on the site and found it to be rich in different tree species. 
During the spring, Master Naturalists and Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards have been leading tours for interested members of the public who want to learn more about the different trees which are already in the Garden.
Later this summer we will begin labeling many of the trees with simple signs to identify their species.  Then, we will gear up with even more frequent nature walks. 
Keep checking our website or Facebook page for future tour dates and times.
 Before and After   
The Battle of the Invasives 
In 2016, a survey identified many invasive species that are choking native plants and degrading the habitat of the Garden.  We began to fight back this year with the help of Bartlett Tree Experts and our volunteers.
This summer, thanks to a grant from Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, we took our battle against these invasive plants to the next level.  At the end of July, Biologists from the Virginia Forestry and Wildlife Group, with a large forestry mulcher began to grind through problem plants such as autumn olive, oriental bittersweet and porcelain berry vine.  Over two days, as the before and after photos show, the mulcher made great progress, clearing nearly four acres and beginning to open the habitat.
Like a radical haircut, however, it may look worse before it looks better, but this is an important and necessary step for habitat improvement.  Keep your eyes peeled for more changes to come!
MBG Is Taking Root Thanks to Donor Support
In April, McIntire Botanical Garden requested the community's help in matching a generous $25,000 gift from a devoted supporter.
To our delight, a record 300-plus members of the community responded to our spring appeal with gifts that have enabled MBG to meet that challenge - four times over.
Our momentum is continuing to build.  Additional highlights include: 
Article Image
  • McIntire Botanical Garden was the recipient of a grant from the Bama Works Fund of Dave Matthews Band at the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.  The award is being used for site management.  See "The Battle of the Invasives" for more details. 
  • We now have 138 volunteers who have contributed more than 11,500 hours of service. 
  • A community night hosted by SariSand Tile and Construntion in June raised over $8,000. 
  • Overall support to the Annual Campaign has increased by an average of 135% each year over the last two years. 
Increased engagement from the community means that MBG is moving closer to establishing this important public garden space.  It will serve as a dynamic community hub where residents, families and visitors can enjoy the healthful benefits of recreation and hands-on-learning surrounded by the tranquility and beauty of Piedmont flora. 
Please consider making a gift today to McIntire Botanical Garden and join your neighbors in establishing this compelling new community resource that will benefit our region for generations to come!

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