Downtown’s Arts District to get a ‘botanical makeover’

Local volunteers will make 13 blocks of the Richmond Arts and Cultural District look a lot nicer.

The Richmond Arts and Cultural District will get a makeover later this month when volunteers transform 13 blocks by adding over 1,200 plants and 49 planters to beautify the area. It’s all part of the $100,000 RVA Arts District Beautification Plan, a collaboration between the City, Venture Richmond, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, and local businesses.

“This project supports our vision for a clean, safe, and beautiful Downtown,” said Jacqueline McClenney-Wallace, chair of Venture Richmond. “And it supports the Mayor’s efforts to further develop the Arts and Culture District.” Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden supplied the planting designs, which will use 526 bags of mulch and over 460 bags of soil.

Lucy Meade of Venture Richmond, who is spearheading the project, said: “The RVA Arts District Beautification Plan is literally a ‘botanical makeover’ of the Broad Street gateway and the 400 block of E. Grace Street.”

Sites within the beautification project include:

Broad Street

  • Block 1: enhancing the existing median on W. Broad Street from Belvidere to Henry Street by adding mulch and 130 perennials.
  • Blocks 2-5: adding 28 (3’ x 3’ x 3’) planters to the concrete medians on W. Broad Street from Henry to Adams streets. The planters will be filled with shrubs (thrillers), perennials (fillers) and a few annuals (spillers). A total of 218 plants.
  • Blocks 6-8: enhancing the existing narrow raised medians on Broad Street from Adams to 2nd streets, also known as the “Mohawks,” by adding 276 perennials.
  • Blocks 9-11: adding 21 (3’ x 3’ x 3’) planters to the concrete medians on E. Broad Street from 8th to 11th streets. The planters provide seasonal interest and will be filled with shrubs, perennials, and a few annuals. A total of 135 plants.

Grace Street

  • Block 12: enhancing the 13 raised tree wells on the 400 Block of E. Grace Street by removing the existing ivy and azaleas and replacing them with 100 shrubs, perennials, and mulch.

Broad Street Parking lot (4th – 5th Street)

  • Block 13: enhancing the existing CDA parking lot landscaping by filling in with 400 shrubs and perennials.

Several hundred volunteers from Capital One will execute the planting and installation on October 21st and 23rd.

Venture Richmond has hired The Kleane Kare Team and Snead Associates, both minority-owned companies, to oversee ongoing maintenance and watering.

photo by Paul Hammond

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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