MBG Wins National Design Award 
The Master Plan for McIntire Botanical Garden is among the top in the world, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, which recently honored the plan in their 2019 Professional Awards.
Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members.  Each year, the ASLA Professional Awards honor the best in landscape architecture in the general design, analysis and planning, communications, research and residential design categories from the United States and around the world. MBG won an Honor Award in the analysis and planning category.
In selecting McIntire Botanical Garden, the judges said, "The plan calls for the site to be sustainable and resilient, encouraging a new kind of civic engagement that demonstrates how landscape can influence both the ecological and cultural systems of a community."
"We are honored to have played a role in the development of the McIntire Botanical Garden Master Plan with an incredibly talented design team guided by Mikyoung Kim Design," said Eugene Ryang, Co-Founding Principal and Design Director, Waterstreet Studio, the Charlottesville-based landscape architects who collaborated on the design.  "Kudos to the thoughtful and dedicated MBG Board who have nurtured the idea of this Garden for many years and guided the vision for what it could be for our Community."
MBG President Joan Swanberg and Executive Director Jill Trischman-Marks will attend the ASLA Awards Ceremony in November, where the plans and design team will be officially recognized.
MBG is in good company.  Among the seven other honorees this year is a project focused on revitalizing the Great Wall in the Shanxi Province of China!  Click here to learn more about the award. 
Why Charlottesville Needs a Garden
By Jill Trischman-Marks, Executive Director
Article ImageIn my new role as the Executive Director of the McIntire Botanical Garden, I am often asked, "With the problems we have to fix, why does Charlottesville need a Garden?" Because gardens are places of wonder and comfort to me, I'm startled by this question.  But, it's timely and worthy of an answer.
Botanical gardens are no longer outdoor museums for sipping tea among pretty plants. The modern botanical garden is an active contributor to its host community, connecting residents of all ages with natural environments. Gardens offer schools the opportunity to develop curricula about subjects such as horticulture, conservation, sustainability and climate change. Others provide training in green-industry jobs for at-risk youth and challenged adults.
Botanical and other gardens are public assets.  Studies show that communities with public gardens are more resilient and socially cohesive.  Gardens serve as a neutral, safe meeting space for all backgrounds, ages and ethnicities.  In addition to contributing to sustainable community development, these gardens support the well-being of the residents and fortify local ecosystems, as well as the local economy.
The Schematic Plan for the McIntire Botanical Garden was driven by our community's input regarding their aspirations for the site. It focuses on enhancing the existing ecosystems while providing space for interactive learning. The plan features a variety of compelling spaces that support diverse programming to appeal to families with children, young adults and senior citizens.  It will be a place where visitors from all generations and backgrounds can put away their phones and come together to learn and explore.
The City of Charlottesville does not have a large outdoor community space that is not tied to commerce.  Once completed, McIntire Botanical Garden will fill that void.  It will meet the needs of morning joggers, children's playgroups, senior group outings, musical performances, relaxing strolls or springtime weddings.  It will provide a community retreat from the fast-paced digital world where everyone is welcome to come together, to learn and explore the natural beauty of the Piedmont area.
So not only does Charlottesville need a Garden, it needs this Garden.  
 Second Community Night Draws Crowds
Recently, McIntire Botanical Garden invited Charlottesville residents to our second annual Community Night. Nearly 200 supporters and interested residents crowded into CitySpace on October 10 to meet our new Executive Director Jill Trischman-Marks and view never-before seen illustrations of areas such as the Canopy Walk, Waterfall and Children's Garden. Members of our local design partners Waterstreet Studio were on hand to answer questions and talk guests through the new schematics, and Brian Daly, Director of Parks & Recreation shared his thoughts about the importance of the Garden to the Charlottesville area. 
Meet a Member of Our Board of Directors: A Q&A with Diego Anderson
Article ImageDiego Anderson has lived in the Charlottesville area for more than 20 years and served with various community non-profit organizations, including several board assignments.  He has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from South Carolina State, a master's in administration from Central Michigan University, and completed a master's in the management of information technology from the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce.  Diego brings strong business and operational experience and says he is honored to serve on the MBG Board.
Q) What do you love most about gardening?
I love spending time outside and seeing the peace and serenity of various plantings with all of the beauty that nature has to offer. It is also beautiful when seeing the sustainable results being yielded in our environment.
Q) Why did you get involved with McIntire Botanical Garden?
I enjoy being involved in community projects and consider MBG an exciting endeavor. When asked to join the Board nearly two years ago, I found it to be a project that would greatly benefit our region and provide a wonderful attraction to complement our beautiful areas. Fundamentally, it was also very encouraging to have an established designated location, conceptual design underway, and the support of very active people to make this Garden a reality. I believe in the values and purpose of the Garden and know it is doable.
Q) What do you hope to accomplish during your tenure on the board?
I hope to provide the support needed to help fulfill the mission and values for the Garden. This includes making significant progress toward getting the required infrastructure and resources to bring this into fruition while aligning with the overall vision.
Q) What should the public know about McIntire Botanical Garden?
The public should know that there is a great momentum surrounding the development of the botanical garden. We are very fortunate to have recently hired our first Executive Director, Jill Trischman-Marks, who brings a great vision and practical knowledge into that leadership role. We have an award-winning conceptual design with a dedicated board, staff, volunteers, and many supporters. However, we need community support, including more volunteers and contributors.
Q) What is your favorite flower/shrub?
I love the pretty colors that come from Azaleas.
Q) When not supporting the Garden, what are you doing?
I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and doing things outdoors. I am also active in my church and the community.
Getting Your Garden Ready for the Cold
Article Image
Now that the heat of the summer has finally left us, you may be breaking out the cold weather clothes to prepare for winter's chill.  Now is also a good time to get your gardens ready for winter, and the team at MBG have compiled several tips for some cold weather prep!
  • Examine plants for pests and disease, identify and treat appropriately.  An excellent resource is the 2019 Pest Management Guide (Publication 456-01) Home Grounds and Animals published by the Virginia Cooperative Extension and available HERE.
  • Dig tender summer bulbs for storage before the first killing frost.

  • Plant spring flowering bulbs as per instructions.

  • Grass mowing can continue as long as the grass is growing.  Fall is a good time to core aerate lawns and spread 1/2 inch of organically composted manure over the surface.  Rake to evenly distribute.

  • Re-mulch planting beds to maintain 2-3 inches of cover.

  • Clean drains and gutters of leaves.

  • Leaf removal should be carried out throughout the fall.  Don't allow raked leaves from lawns to stay in piles because this will prevent aeration and deteriorate the lawn.

  • Seasonal color changes can be extended using containers and pots.

  • Continue maintenance on all beds, including weeding.

  • Unless a plant is dormant, if it is dry, continue watering into the winter. This is particularly important for all newly installed plants (under two growing seasons), as well as more established plants that may be showing signs of stress due to lack of water.
The Early Bird... is in the Garden
Article ImageThe fall is a wonderful time to view migrating birds and those that call McIntire Botanical Garden home.  Join us at the Garden this fall on several morning walks lead by Joanne Bricker and Doug Rogers, former President of Monticello Bird Club, who will share their knowledge with participants.
Dates are October 29 and November 9 at 8:00 - 9:30 am
All interest levels are welcome.  The hike is light to moderate on uneven ground, so we recommend sturdy shoes.
Walks are limited to 20 participants and are subject to the weather.
Registration is required.  CLICK HERE
Volunteer Spotlight:  Tom Wild 
McIntire Botanical Garden is blessed to have a cadre of engaged and enthusiastic volunteers who have driven our progress since the Garden was just the seed of an idea.  As of today, we have 147 volunteers who support our Marketing and Development Committees, help remove invasive plants and trash from the Garden and help at events.  Meet Tom.  He is one of our volunteers. 
Q) What inspired you to volunteer with MBG?
Volunteering in the Garden is an extension of some of my other activities.  I volunteer at Ivy Creek Natural Area and with Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards (C.A.T.S.) and I see the Garden as another opportunity for people to support and learn about nature.
Q) How did you get involved?
I knew the area, and fellow Tree Steward, Donna Vinal and I have been leading tree walks through the site for a few years.  It has been fun exploring the site and seeing the rich variety of tree species.
Q) What have you done on the site?
I've led educational tree identification walks and have also taught participants about some of the many invasive plants of which we all should be aware. I've also participated in some of the volunteer days when we have cut trails and cleaned up litter.
Q) What is your favorite thing about volunteering for the Garden?
Teaching! I love connecting people to the natural environment and that can start with simply being able to recognize and name a few trees. It's also great to see the area change. The clearing work that has taken place in the past few months has made it easier to envision what the Garden will be like and has revealed some great trees that were hidden behind all those invasives.
HELP WANTED.... Volunteers are always needed!
Would you like to get your hands dirty?  We have a number of volunteer openings and would love to have you join us.  Check our website for more information.
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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Address postal inquiries to:
Botanical Garden of the Piedmont
PO Box 6224
Charlottesville, VA 22906