2010-2011 Annual Report

Notable Accomplishments

  • EagletsThe Garden was added to the Southern Living Plant Collection website
  • Increased online donations 275%, with donation revenue at $108,863 – significantly impacted by the eagle cam
  • Received a Chase Community Giving award – $125,000 for the Without Boundaries, Wild Eagle Encounters education program
  • Began acquiring cuttings for developing a comprehensive collection of McDonald hybrid azaleas
  • Hybrid Azalea - DreamsicleBegan work with the National Arboretum to acquire a collection of the best original Glenn Dale hybrid azaleas
  • Planted 4,500 daffodil bulbs in Flowering Arboretum turf areas
  • Acquired a Bobcat mini-loader with funding from Norfolk Botanical Garden Foundation
  • Sold 4,130 new or renewing memberships at the information desk
  • Created a Video of Thanks that was mailed to major donors
  • Reorganized boat and tram program/staff resulting in $25,000 budget savings and exceeded the $38,000 income goal by $4,067
  • Students from Little Creek Elementary SchoolPartnered with Little Creek Elementary School to provide a specialized 6 month program to help 20 targeted students pass science Standards of Learning
  • Created and implemented a new Garden Patron donor program to upgrade members and to secure ongoing donations

Vital Statistics

Total Attendance 277,221 Income for 2010-2011
Children’s program attendance 22,751
Number of children’s programs 826
Lifelong learning program attendance 5,362
Number of lifelong learning programs 590
Total memberships 8,193 Expenses for 2010-2011
Volunteers 1,200
Volunteer hours 27,442
Total functions requiring setup 956
Plants added to the permanent landsdcape (does not include bulbs, pansies and annuals) 7,800


Horticulture & Maintenance

  • Platanthera cristataSunken gardenObservation deck in the boat basinMade Picnic Area parking lot improvements
  • Implemented Garden-wide azalea renovations
  • Mapped all benches in the garden
  • Began partnership with Old Dominion University for orchid propagation and preservation
  • Prepared and planted new beds in the Sunken Garden
  • Implemented a successful Butterfly House re-opening for the season
  • Installed an African succulent display on the Education terrace
  • Planted 80 new roses (Black Magic, Bolero, Cinnamon Twist, Henry Fonda, Salsa, Walking on Sunshine, Angel Face and Gold Medal)
  • Reshaped a Conifer Garden path and installed granite stone steps
  • Began Reflection Garden installation with granite compass points, cobblestone edging, seat wall, irrigation and pool
  • Installed vertical granite support stones and bell in the Japanese Garden
  • Installed two new arbors and pathways around fountains in the Rose Garden
  • Prepared more than 3,500 cuttings in fall 2010 for summer 2011 Garden use and the plant sale
  • Produced 5,300 pansy pots (6″ pot with 3 plugs = 15,900 plugs)
  • Assisted Spence Marine in boathouse removal
  • Built new barn in WOW
  • Painted and installed trellises on the Administration auditorium wall in the Sunken Garden
  • Constructed new boat basin observation deck
  • Constructed new butterfly chrysalis display structure in Butterfly House
  • Acquired new 300 gallon pesticide skid sprayer

Education & Communication

  • Dried hydrangea wreath classSummer camp fun - smelling flowersEnchanted Storybook Forest 2010 exhibit attendance: 76,252
  • Completed three major visitor experience reviews and reports with consultant, Roger Birkel, including an IMLS grant submission for guest services
  • Successfully opened Get Lost! Be aMAZEd 2011 summer exhibit and Butterfly House
  • Lifelong learning programs exceeded budget goal by $12,546
  • Partnered with ForKids to select campers to attend 8 sessions/summer of NatureKids Camp
  • Summer Camp 2010 had record attendance and $72,210 income
  • Published annual report online
  • The website had 784,348 visits, a 113% increase over previous year
  • Added select gift shop items for online sales
  • Increased volunteer partnerships with outside agencies by 100%
  • Launched Facebook, YouTube and Twitter programs and encouraged growth of social media presence

Visitor Services

  • Bridal portrait by Justin HankinsDancing at grapevineWedding reception in Baker Hall - photo by Echard WheelerCollected over $454,098 in admissions and other fees
  • Over 20 plant societies meet here regularly and the following held their annual shows and sales at the Garden: Garden Club of Virginia (72nd Rose Show), Camellia Society (spring and summer shows), Tidewater Daylily Society, African Violet Society, Rhododendron Society and Virginia Bonsai Society
  • Baker Hall improvements included new display stands for maps and brochures
  • Contracted Orapax as the new Café partner
  • Coordinated the following events: March Into Summer, Opening Day of Butterfly House and Summer Maze Exhibit, Garden of Lights, five regattas, Mother’s Day Plant Sale and Grapevine Wine Social
  • Hosted 113 weddings
  • Hosted our 3rd Annual Bridal Open House
  • Added the Hilton Norfolk Airport Catering to our Exclusive Catering List
  • Hosted familiarization tours for 120 tour planners in conjunction with Norfolk Convention and Visitor Bureau
  • Created the “Special Events Manual” which serves as a guide to major events and outlines the process of booking/executing each event
  • Set up and broke down 956 events including, education programs, Garden meetings, rentals, special events and weddings
  • Conducted a thorough inventory of event/rental equipment and started a replacement program for old and worn out equipment

Donor Relations

  • Filming at the WPA memorialMajor membership milestone: over 8,000 members have joined and over $500,000 in revenue
  • Staff and board members hosted 52 potential donors through private lunch tours and after hours donor events at the Garden
  • Secured funding for a WPA Garden history vignette hosted by John Quarstein to air on WHRO for two years beginning June 2011
  • Garden of Lights:
    • Secured a new three-year corporate partner with Dominion
    • Secured a new sponsor for Monday Military Appreciation Nights with USAA doubling military family attendance
    • Food Lion sponsored for the sixth year in a row
  • Secured an exclusive summer exhibit sponsor with Capital Group Companies
  • Summer camp fun - learning about flowersCreated a new partnership with Bon Secours to help launch a first time garden walk highlighting our Healthier You programs in June 2011
  • Cultivated and secured pledges from area Garden Clubs to help construct the new Reflection Garden.
  • Created a new first time event Million Bulb Walk during the Garden of Lights preview weekend with a new sponsor Williams Mullen
  • Received a grant from The Virginian Pilot to host 12 homeless ForKids children at the NatureKids summer camp
  • Four new Evergreen Society members joined this year
  • Created and mailed the Garden’s first planned giving letter/postcard to members
  • Created two surveys to improve retention of lapsed members and email addresses of those who unsubscribed from Garden e-newsletters