RICHMOND, Va. — Just as spring is getting warmed up, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was voted among the top four gardens in the nation. Now the rest of America is keen to what the locals already knew about the gorgeous, 50-acres of property in Richmond’s north side.
Lewis Ginter spokesperson Beth Monroe said the award was a “tremendous honor considering the other winners are among the nation’s most prestigious gardens.”
When compared to the other gardens, the more recently established Lewis Ginter has just a fraction of the acreage, member households, annual visitors, staff and operating budget of the larger gardens.
The other USA Today contest winners were Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, the New York Botanical Garden and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
It’s not the first time that Lewis Ginter has taken the crown in a USA Today contest. In 2014, they were nominated for USA Today’s “10Best Reader’s Choice” contest for Best Public Garden in North America.
Comparative stats shared by Lewis Ginter:
- Longwood Gardens, Founded in 1906, 1,077 acres, 350 FTE Staff, 64,000 member households, 1.3M annual visitors, $47.3M annual operating budget; 701 Volunteers
- New York Botanical Garden, Founded in 1891, 250 acres, 540 FTE Staff, 65,500 member households, 1.1M annual visitors, $68.5M annual operating budget; 1,520 Volunteers
- Missouri Botanical Garden, Founded in 1859, 2,491 acres, 393 FTE staff, 45,848 member households. 1.1M annual visitors, $41.5M annual operating budget, 2,148 Volunteers
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Founded in 1984, 82 acres, 72 FTE staff, 11,500 member households, 350k annual visitors, $6.3M annual operating budget, 640 active volunteers (25+ hours in 2015) with another 200+ contributing time