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Opinion/Letter: Land-lease approval would advance botanical garden

Opinion/Letter: Land-lease approval would advance botanical garden

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Land-lease approval would advance garden

As the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont president-elect, I look forward to progress when the Charlottesville City Council approves a land-lease agreement with BGP in a vote scheduled for Oct 4.

BGP became a city partner in 2015 with a memorandum of agreement on land designated for the botanical garden in McIntire Park East. Soon after, BGP hired a landscape architecture team to design the plan of the garden. I led the community-input efforts at locations including CitySpace and the 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 embraced 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 parking lot construction in McIntire Park East. Adjacent to BGP, the parking is needed before garden construction can begin.

To release the city from these financial obligations, BGP has negotiated the land-lease agreement. BGP will assume financial responsibility for much of the infrastructure and save the city money, and we can progress in growing our garden.

The growth of the garden depends on everyone’s support of the land lease on Oct. 4.

Diego Anderson

Albemarle County

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