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Ginter Park Weekly Gazette –

Saturday, August 13, 2022

In this edition

  • Neighborhood News – Gracie Award Nominations; Busy Fall Schedule; Beautification;  Volunteer and Board Positions

  • City News – City Re-Zoning Public Input Meetings

Happy Saturday!  If your morning reading today included the NYT, you might have enjoyed the article about savoring this ripest part of summer, before the lomging for sweater and jeans weather and changing leaves sets in. Are you savoring the longest days with evenings outdoors sipping wine with friends; taking the family to the beach to riggle your toes in the sand; visits to farmers markets to bring home the freshest tomatoes, peaches, melons and berries; giving yourself permission to spend the hottest days indoors with a good summer read; smiling at every Sunflower that you see?  Savor it, because busy fall will soon be here! 

Catch the Annual Carytown Watermelon Festival tomorrow, August 14, a highlight of summer in Richmond.  Here’s the link for details!



Seeking Nominations for 2022 “Gracie” Award

At the centennial of the Ginter Park Residents Association, founded in 1909, the Grace Arents Benefactor Award was created in honor of Lewis Ginter’s niece, Grace Evelyn Arents. Grace (1848-June 20, 1926) was an heiress, an activist and philanthropist who made remarkable contributions to the Ginter Park neighborhood and to Richmond. The “Gracie” has been awarded annually to an individual or group who have made a significant contribution to the neighborhood or the Association.

Grace was generous with her $20 million inheritance, and donated 3421 Hawthorne Avenue to the community as the first town hall, then as a school, and later as a community center. She donated her home, Bloemendaal House, and the surrounding property to the City of Richmond, which resulted in the creation of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.  In the biography by the Library of Virginia, the writer notes that Grace “supported so many charities and institutions in Richmond by the time of her death that the author of her front-page obituary in the Richmond News Leader wrote that it would be impossible to list all of the libraries, recreational centers, schools, churches, hospitals, and similar institutions that she had aided.”  For additional information about Grace’s contributions to our community, visit the links as the conclusion of this article.

Since no award was given in 2020, the 2021 Board gave one for that year and another for 2021 at the Holiday Open House on December 11, 2021. For exceptional service under extraordinary circumstances during the pandemic, the 2020 Gracie was given to teachers and staffs of Ginter Park schools and the 2021 award to the First Responders we so depend upon.

Eligibility for the Award

  • The nominee must reside within the Association Area.
  • The nominee may not be a current GPRA Board Member.
  • The nominee may not be a previous winner.
  • The nominee should have made a substantial contribution to the neighborhood or to the Association through volunteerism.

To submit a nomination

  • Submit your nomination in writing with a description of the contribution made by the nominee, some biographical information about the nominee, and your contact information to
  • The full GPRA Board reviews nominations and selects the winner by vote.
  • Deadline for submissions is September 10, 5:00 pm
  • There will be an awards ceremony; stay tuned for future announcements.

Busy Fall Schedule Follows Relaxing Summer

The Fall months are beautiful in our community, and an active schedule will resume-schools back in session, GPRA Board, committees and volunteers will swing into action. Don’t miss a thing-check out the Event Calendar on our website for details.

Photo by Fred Golod, UPSem

September 13, 7:00 pm. GPRA Board Meeting, Ginter Place Club Room, 1350 Westwood Avenue, open to the public, Agenda will include discussion of draft of Bylaws revisions. If you have a topic that you would like to discuss with the Board, please contact

September 15, 6:30-8:30 pm, Membership Meeting, UPSem Early Hall, 3401 Brook Road. Agenda includes City Emergency Communications presentation and Candidates Forum. Light refreshments. See the Event Calendar on our website for details.

September 19, 6:30 to 8:00 pm, Fall Line Trail Public Meeting, Linwood Holton Cafeteria. Event page:

Message from GPRA Beautification Team

The Beautification Team, battling heat and humidity to try to keep up with weeding and watering the 21 landscaped beds that GPRA maintains, is planning for autumn.  Every fall, the Team organzies workdays to weed, feed, trim up and mulch the landscaped beds on Brook Road and on Chamberlayne within our Association Area. There is an annual budget, much of which pays for mulch, since the city no longer provides free mulch. The Team also attends to and replants as needed the container garden at Ginter Park Elementary School, which provides color and good cheer for students, staff and parents.

This is a dedicated, hard-working, spirited team, led by Daniel Lawrence and Steve Welton. Here are their needs for fall:

  • Volunteers to weed, design, plant, mulch urban garden landscaped beds; contact to volunteer;
  • Plant donations – Daylillies, Irises, Hellebores, spring bulbs. Most islands are full sun, and plants must be drought tolerant when established and low-maintenance.
  • Sponsorships – unable to volunteer for the physical labor, but wish to donate funds or garden center gift cards to sponsor a specific bed or materials? Contact  

Reminders from the Beautification and tree Team

Fall is the ideal time to plant shrubs and trees, so begin plannng now. Research, speak to knowledgeable neighbors and nursery/garden center staff. Consider natives. Consider reducing the square footage of your lawn in favor of ecologically-friendly plantings. Future editions of the Newsletter and Weekly Gazette will highlight some tree and shrub species to consider. Here are some resources:

Invasive Plants in Northern Virginia

Pocahontas Native Plant Society, Virginia

Right-click on the following photo for the NYT article, Yes, You Can Do Better Than the Great American Lawn

Richmond Tree Stewards-this website is rich with resources about trees-selection, planting, pruning, watering. Explore!

Thank you to our Team, for enhancing the beauty of our neighborhood! We also thank the neighbors on West and East Seminary, who beautify and maintain the traffic diverter islands!  #prideofplace

It Takes a Village…

New Teams, and Volunteers Needed! 

The GPRA Board is motivated to fulfill our mission and objectives to be useful to our community. We are pleased that several neighbors have recently stepped up to volunteer, so watch for a full announcement soon about our Public Safety and Traffic Committees! If you have an interest in joining either team, contact

We would like to form a new Environment/Infrastructure Committee, which would be responsible for interactions with city departments about codes, sidewalks, alleys, lighting, streets, green spaces, and neighborhood identification signage. Interested?  Contact

We are in need of a Social Committee to plan social gatherings throughout the year, and we are in need of an Event/Fundraising Committee to develop special and fundrasiing events for GPRA.  Contact

Please contact John Marriner, Chair of the District Reps, to volunteer to be a District Rep or Block Captain. These volunteers are the communication network for our neighborhood! Dio you know who your District Rep is?  Go to About tab on the website Menu, select Board and Committees, view the District Reps, their contact information and the Association Area Map.

To explore Board positions, contact Dr. Norma Murdoch-Kitt, Chair of the Nominating Committee.

City Re-Zoning – Public Input Meetings

Just one year after revising City Air BnB regulations, the City is re-evaluating them. The 2020 rules require short term rental or Air BnB owners to reside in their unit or in a home on the property for 185 days of the year.  STR units have no limit on the number of rental days per year.

In addition, there is consideration for new rules allowing residential property owners to build and rent out a second home or an above-garage apartment on their lot.  Under the new Richmond 300 Plan, Accessory Dwelling Units, which may be second homes or rental apartments, will be allowed by right with “some regulations” in all residential zones. Ginter Park and Laburnum Park, within our Association Area, have been predominantly single family residential zoning. Advocates of the changes state that allowing ADUs by right will increase affordable housing opportunities and increase density in areas targeted for more development.

Finally, eliminating parking requirements is on the list of recondsiderations.

Telephone Town Halls, Tuesday, August 16, 6:00 pm, and Wednesday, August 17 at noon, Register at

Please review the article, do your research, attend a city meeting, and send your comments to

GPRA Board Asks, What Social Activities and Events Would You Like to See GPRA Organize This Fall?  

Email your ideas to

Photo by Fred Golod