McIntire Botanical Garden

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The McIntire Botanical Garden is a non-profit organization that is seeking to build a botanical garden in the eastern half of McIntire Park. [1]

After years of negotiations, the group entered into a memorandum of agreement with the city of Charlottesville in late September 2015. [2]

In May 2018, the group selected Boston-based Mikyoung Kim Design and Charlottesville-based Waterstreet Studios to create a design for the park. [3] [4] Initial designs were unveiled to the public in December 2018. [5]

The group is currently fundraising to turn the conceptual plans into construction documents. [6]


Board of Directors

  • Linda Seaman, President
  • Joan Swanberg, President-elect
  • Jill Tirschman-Marks, Vice President
  • Virginia Daugherty, Secretary
  • Sandy Wilcox, Treasurer
  • Dorothy Tompkins, Past President
  • Carolyn Achenbach
  • Diego Anderson
  • Deborah Bell Burks
  • Carol Carter
  • Ted Coates
  • Jude Garzolini
  • Julia Green
  • Cindy Hamady
  • Katy McCune
  • Consi Palmer
  • Rodney Shirley [8]

Former Board Members

Planning Process

The nonprofit group was founded in 2008 to advocate for a botanical garden within the city limits. At the time, the future of a McIntire Park transformed by what would become the John Warner Parkway was undetermined, and the group lobbied for the western half to become a garden that would preserve the area's natural beauty. [9] To get there, the group had to convince City Council to consider removing the golf course. As the roadway neared completion, the city's parks and recreation department began a master planning process to determine what would happen next.

Initial concept for the park envisioned using the entire western half of the park

In October 2011, the group showed a preliminary concept designed by landscape architect Kennon Williams that envisioned using the entire western half of the park and included the existing wading pool. [10]

City Council adopted a master plan for the eastern side of the park on September 3, 2012 after an extensive planning process which included the cessation of the golf course by the end of 2016. While the plan called for a botanical garden or natural area in the northern section, it did not initially specify that McIntire Botanical Garden would be involved. At that meeting, City Councilor Dave Norris indicated the group should be selected as the official partner. [11]

Draft Memorandum of Understanding

On January 27th, 2015 city parks staff drafted a memorandum of understanding which would guide the formal relationship between McIntire Botanical Garden and the City of Charlottesville. The agreement was signed in September 2015.

File:MBG DRAFT MOU - MCINTIRE PARK January 2015.pdf

Other botanical garden proposals

Charlottesville Botanical Garden was a competing non-profit organization with similar goals. At a McIntire Botanical Garden meeting held Aug. 28 2008, Lonnie Murray, a representative of that group, said he would be willing to merge the two groups. [12]


  1. Web. City makes botanical garden partnership official, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, September 16, 2013, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  2. Web. Memorandum of Agreement between McIntire Botanical Garden and City of Charlottesville, McIntire Botanical Garden an the City of Charlottesville, September 29, 2015, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  3. Web. Boston and Charlottesville firms to design McIntire Botanical Garden, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 3, 2018, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  4. Web. McIntire Botanical Garden Selects Landscape Architects for Garden's Design, McIntire Botanical Garden, Press Release, WVIR NBC29, May 3, 2018, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  5. Web. Plans for McIntire Botanical Garden Released, Staff Reports, News Article, WVIR NBC29, December 17, 2018, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  6. Web. [1], Nolan Stout, Daily Progress, World Media Enterprises, February 17, 2019, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  7. Web. McIntire Botanical Garden seeks community support, Nolan Stout, News Article, Daily Progress
  8. Web. Officers, Board, Volunteers, McIntire Botanical Garden, retrieved April 18, 2014.
  9. Web. Botanical garden supporters see future in McIntire Park, Sean Tubbs, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 29, 2009, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  10. Web. City’s central park seen as home for botanical garden, Brian Wheeler, News Article, Charlottesville Tomorrow, October 22, 2011, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  11. Web. Golf to leave McIntire sooner; Recreational fields still at issue, Sean Tubbs, News Article, September 4, 2012, retrieved May 20, 2019.
  12. Web. Botanical garden supporters see future in McIntire Park, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, August 29, 2009, retrieved February 9, 2015.

External links