In an unanimous vote, the Charlottesville City Council passed a resolution granting the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont (BGP) a long-term land lease to the approximate 11.5 acre parcel in the Northeast corner of McIntire Park on which it currently sits.
The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont (BGP), formerly McIntire Botanical Garden, was established in 2008 and became a partner of the City of Charlottesville in 2015 when a memo of agreement (MOA) was signed to establish a botanical garden in McIntire Park East.
The Master Plan for McIntire Park East required the City to fund infrastructure adjacent to the botanical garden, such as the parking lot and utilities, before Garden construction could begin. However, there is no funding to accomplish these building activities in the current CIP budget for the next five years.
Adoption of the ordinance places the Garden in a position to begin a capital campaign to fund its construction, without the need to wait for the city to fund the required infrastructure improvements. It is the Garden’s intent to complete the next two design phases: site work and begin to install the Children’s Garden within the next three to five years.
“We are grateful to Mayor Walker and the members of the City Council for agreeing to this resolution,” Jill Trischman-Marks, BGP Executive Director. “The land lease agreement gives the Garden autonomy over our timeline and ability to make progress. By assuming the financial obligations for these infrastructure improvements, we will be free to move forward to build this exciting and valuable resource for the region, while saving the City money.”
The lease has been granted for a term of 40 years, the maximum term allowed by state law. As a non-profit, BGP will pay the City a rent of $1 per year.
“Particularly over the last several years, Botanical Garden of the Piedmont has gained tremendous momentum in the community,” said President-Elect, BGP Board of Directors Diego Anderson. “Our potential donors want the assuredness of a long-term land lease. This lease will give them confidence that we can use their philanthropy as a building block for other gifts to build the Garden.”
About The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont
Created in 2013 through a public private partnership with the City of Charlottesville, Virginia, The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont, formerly known as McIntire Botanical Garden, is a 501(c)3 organization that is building an urban oasis and community resource for all residents of and visitors to Greater Central Virginia. The Garden will be an admission-free neighborhood hub and a discovery center, celebrating the flora of Central Virginia and offering learning and entertainment opportunities for ALL. Occupying an 11.5-acre space in the northeastern section of McIntire Park, The Botanical Garden of the Piedmont is currently in the design phase, under the direction of the award-winning landscape architects Mikyoung Kim Design and Waterstreet Studio. For more information, please visit www.piedmontgarden.org.