NORFOLK, VA– Norfolk Botanical Garden (NBG) launches its 75th Anniversary Celebration beginning January, 2013. It’s an exciting year for the Garden with several celebration events scheduled. More than seven decades ago when the Garden opened – Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President of the United States, Walt Disney’s Snow White was publicly released and gasoline was approximately 10 cents a gallon. The country was also struggling through an economic recession. During this time of uncertainty, the future of the Azalea Garden project would require great faith and perseverance.
On June 30, 1938, Representative Norman R. Hamilton announced a Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant project to create Norfolk Botanical Garden. A group of more than 200 African American women and 20 men were assigned to the project. The workers cleared dense vegetation and planted the first azaleas around what is now called Mirror Lake. In just one year, thousands of azaleas, rhododendrons, shrubs and trees were planted. Laborers were paid twenty-five cents an hour.
Thanks to the commitment of employees, volunteers and the community throughout the years, the Garden is presently an oasis of more than 40 themed gardens encompassing 155 beautiful acres and is the only WPA garden in existence today. It is a diverse garden with stunning plant collections that can be explored by tram, boat, or walking tours. 2013 is a time to celebrate the dedication of the WPA workers and the accomplishments of the Garden over the last 75 years! Come celebrate Norfolk Botanical Garden’s 75th Anniversary – 75 years and still growing!
The Norfolk Botanical Garden 75th Anniversary events include:
|NBG Photo Contest||January 1 – September 15|
|February Fun Month||$5.00 Guest admission. Ride bikes all day, every day.|
|Big Bike Bash||February 2|
|NBG Wedding Giveaway||Week of February 18 – Finalists announced on Hampton Roads Show|
|Bridal Open House||March 17 – Wedding Giveaway winner announced|
|WPA Heritage Celebration||April 6|
|Evening with Maya Angelou||May 2 at Chrysler Hall|
|Landscape Then and Now Exhibit||April – September|
|Eagles of Tidewater Workshop||April 20|
|Creation of NBG Glass Sculpture||April 24 by Craig M. Smith at Chrysler Museum|
|Glass Sculpture Exhibit||May 1 – August 18, Reflections of Nature by Craig M. Smith|
|Annual Plant Sale||May 10-12|
|Virginia Arts Festival Concert||May 19|
|Bressingham Gardens Tour||May 20-28, Trip to England – English Garden Tour for Passionate Gardeners|
|Butterfly House Opens||June 14|
|Hometown Hero’s Day||July 4 – Military Appreciation, complimentary military admission|
|Honey Bee Festival||August 17|
|75th Anniversary Gala||October 5 – An Evening Celebration in the Garden|
|Family Fitness with Fido||October 26 – Walk your dog through the Garden|
|Dominion Garden of Lights||Thanksgiving – December 31|
|Million Bulb Walk||November 23-27, 2013 and January 1-5, 2014|
For additional 75th Anniversary events, including the 2013 Plant Society Shows & Sales, visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden website at www.nbg75.org.
Press and Media inquiries–For a NBG Press & Media Kit visit the Garden’s Media Center at http://norfolkbotanicalgarden.org/75th-anniversary/press-and-media-kit/
This is the largest celebration in the Garden’s 75 year history!
About Norfolk Botanical Garden
Norfolk Botanical Garden represents more than 40 themed gardens including WOW- World of Wonders: A Children’s Adventure Garden. The Garden is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is recognized as a Virginia Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a Virginia Green attraction, and is managed by the Norfolk Botanical Garden Society supported by the City of Norfolk. Admission is $11 for Adults, $10 for seniors and military, $9 for ages 3-17, 2 and under are free. For more information, visit www.norfolkbotanicalgarden.org.
The 200 African American women and 20 men planted the first plants in the Garden and left a remarkable legacy for all of Hampton Roads and the nation. By 1941, the Garden displayed nearly five thousand azaleas, and seventy-five landscaped acres that were encompassed by five miles of walking trails.