In the News

April 2022 Quarterly Update



Building public landscapes.
Enriching the community.

April 2022

Spring has sprung!

If you are shaking off the winter blues and lacing up your shoes to get out and enjoy the weather, NOW is the time to take a walk on the Low Line.  Our spring ephemerals are making their debut.  Signs of new life are popping up as the days lengthen and the ground warms.  Capital Trees has been springing into action with projects including a collaboration to celebrate public spaces and upcoming service and learning opportunities.


Save The Date!
Olmsted’s Birthday Celebration
April 26th, 5pm

April 26, 2022, marks the 200th birthday of Frederick Law Olmsted — author, journalist, public official, urban planner, and founder of American landscape architecture. Olmsted and his successor firms designed thousands of landscape projects across the country. His democratic vision of public parks and their capacity to bring communities together is more important than ever. (Olmsted 200)

Join with other parks advocates on Tuesday, April 26, 2022, at 5 pm to mark Olmsted’s bicentennial birthday at the Byrd Park Roundhouse. We will commemorate the founding role of Olmsted in creating parks for all people, celebrate the Richmond community’s robust green space resources, and advocate for continued investment in access for all. Our keynote speaker will be Chris Frelke, Director of Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities.

In addition, a selection of exhibit panels on the life and legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted  will be on display at The Robins Nature Center at Maymont from Saturday, April 23, 2022 through May 31, 2022. The Robins Nature Center is open Friday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.

Leading the community in this celebration are The City of Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities; Capital Trees; the Maymont Foundation; and the Monroe Park Conservancy.

RSVP here.


Our Latest Community Engagement

As we complete the 3rd quarter of our fiscal year, we are excited to report our community engagement program continues to grow and thrive. Volunteers logged 299 hours in the garden this quarter. On a blustery February morning, we hosted our ‘spring’ community workday with 41 volunteers in attendance helping to spruce up parts of Great Shiplock Park and the Low Line Gardens. Wednesday maintenance volunteers continue their weekly work under the guidance of our landscape consultant, Mary Petres.  Our total volunteer hours for this fiscal year are 714.  We are so grateful for the contributions that volunteers make to our sustainable management of public landscapes.

Lisa Trapp (Program and Outreach Manager) is launching a new Garden Guides program.  Volunteer guides will be stationed at key step off points throughout the Low Line Gardens to offer information to trail users on what’s growing in the gardens during this season and Capital Trees’ work.  You will find the Garden Guides stationed in the garden during Historic Garden Week on Tuesday, April 26, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm.

Please contact Lisa Trapp for more information on volunteer opportunties.


We’re Making Progress on Our Strategic Plan

In the fall of 2021, Capital Trees initiated a strategic plan facilitated by OneEighty.  The first phase of the plan included engagement with community stakeholders including donors, business leaders, city staff, greening non profits, and board members to hear their perception of Capital Trees and the needs for public landscapes in the City of Richmond.  In early March, the board gathered for a day-long retreat at the YWCA to begin setting strategic goals for the future and clarifying key terms.  Capital Trees hopes to wrap up the strategic plan by the close of the fiscal year with an update at our annual meeting in June.  We are grateful for the donor-advised gift from the Robins Foundation that makes this process possible.  We would also like to express our thanks to all members of the community who participated in our public engagement and for the leadership of OneEighty in this process.  Thank you to the YWCA for providing a state of the art space for our board to meet for its retreat.


A Peek at Our In-Progress Projects

Great Shiplock Park:  Capital Trees will continue to refresh key areas of Great Shiplock Park this spring.  GSP was completed in 2013 and due to the lifecycle of plants and normal wear and tear of public landscapes, we are working to update key areas.  In the fall of 2021, we focused our efforts on entrance plantings.  This spring we will be focusing on refreshing the median and the rain garden.  Pictured above is the rain garden recently cleared of plant material to make way for native plants.  We will be installing a pollinator bed around the rain garden.  Stay tuned for progress on our work.

Public Landscape Blog:  In April, we will be launching a blog focusing on sustainably managing public landscapes.  We will continue familiar posts like our featured plant.  The blog will expand to include featured pollinators, what we have learned in managing public landscapes, posts on sustainable management theory and practice, and posts on the value of public landscapes.  We hope to spark interest and conversation about the best ways to sustainably care for public landscapes to ensure they remain transformative spaces for plants, willdlife, and people well into the future.  Look for emails to subscribe to our blog.


Upcoming Events

Celebrate the power of public landscapes on Tuesday April 26!  As part of Garden Club of Virginia Historic Garden Week, Garden Guides will be stationed along the Low Line from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm to answer questions about the gardens and point out key seasonal features.  Join us later that day at the Round House at Byrd Park for a celebration of public landscapes at 5 pm.

Virginia Capital Trail Foundation’s Cap2Cap ride will take place May 6 & 7, 2022.  It’s not too early to REGISTER or VOLUNTEER for this great event that supports the Virginia Capital Trail.

Next Capital Trees community workday is June 4. Look for more information on social media or at HandsOnRVA. Our tentative community workday schedule for the remainder of 2022 is June 4, August 20, and October 22.


The End of the Fiscal Year is Approaching

Your support makes our work to build, manage, and advocate for more public landscapes possible.  Our fiscal year ends on June 30, if you have not made your annual gift, please consider giving before June 30.  These contributions support the work described in this update including the costs to refresh key areas of Great Shiplock Park this spring.

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Capital Trees
200 South Third Street
Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23219

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