RICHMOND, Va. -- Eighty nine of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's 107 staff members will lose their jobs after the garden closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The staff reduction will happen in stages.
"It is with a heavy heart that Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden announces a reduction in force (RIF) as a result of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The decision ensures the nonprofit Garden will be here to reopen as soon as conditions allow in Virginia and the United States," a spokesperson for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden posted online. "Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has always been an extremely resourceful organization with more than 65% of its annual operating budget coming from earned income. Since the Garden’s closure on March 15, these income streams have dropped to zero. A draw from the Garden’s endowment provides financial stability, but only for limited operations while the Garden is closed."
Staff members who keep their jobs and maintain the garden until it can reopen will work at a reduced pay rate.
"Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is resolute," the garden spokesperson's statement continued. "It’s always been the people that have made this Garden outstanding. We know there are many special relationships among our staff, volunteers, members and partners. We recognize the passion and efforts so many have put into the Garden, and we honor the work by ensuring the Garden can reopen."