Opinion / Letter: Approval of a land lease would move the botanical garden forward | Letters
Land lease approval would move the garden forward
As president-elect of the Piedmont Botanical Garden, I look forward to moving forward when Charlottesville City Council approves a land lease agreement with BGP in a vote scheduled for October 4.
BGP became a partner of the city in 2015 with a memorandum of understanding on designated land for the McIntire East Park Botanical Garden. Soon after, BGP hired a team of landscape architects to design the garden plan. I have led community contribution efforts in places such as CitySpace and Jefferson School and through an online survey.
The community responded by telling us that BGP should be a place to bring all people together in a welcoming and convenient natural space to help heal our community.
This mission was fully assumed by BGP. The resulting plan won a national award from the American Society of Landscape Architects.
The city does not have the funding to complete improvements such as a picnic shelter and construction of a parking lot in McIntire East Park. Adjacent to BGP, parking is required before construction of the garden can begin.
To free the city from these financial obligations, BGP negotiated the land lease. BGP will take financial responsibility for much of the infrastructure and save the city money, and we can move forward in growing our garden.