At a Glance
A nationally recognized botanical garden demonstrates ecological restoration and water quality improvement in their own backyard.
In both its programming and the stewardship of its own property, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden strives to "connect people through plants to improve communities." The Garden is doing just that in restoring a degraded stream on their 50-acre property. Runoff from surrounding development had transformed the stream into an eroded gully that offered little habitat or ecological function.
Biohabitats helped identify the restoration as an opportunity to use the site as a living laboratory for teaching visitors about stream restoration, water quality, and native Virginia plant species. After assessing the site, Biohabitats developed a concept which uses the existing stream channel to create a hyporheic stormwater treatment system. The concept also realigns and reduces the size of the channel to allow more frequent connection with the newly created floodplain, and includes a new garden featuring floodplain and wetland plants native to Virginia. Biohabitats helped the Garden pursue grant funding to advance the project. With funding secured from the Virginia Environmental Endowment, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Dominion Energy Foundation and a private donor, Biohabitats finalized the design, handled permitting and procured County approvals, and prepared construction documents. Biohabitats then assisted with contractor selection, plant selection, construction oversight, permitting, and post-construction monitoring.