Checkout free pass to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden at VCU Libraries

August 14, 2023

Students who need a break from city life or their studies have a new opportunity at VCU: A free visit to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

The 50-acre Garden, one of the nation’s top public gardens, offers exhibits and special events and more than a dozen themed gardens including a Childrens’ Garden, Rose Garden, Asian Valley and Cherry Tree Walk. 

The Garden has made four free passes available to VCU students. The passes can be checked out for one week and are available at the information desk at Cabell Library. Students are welcome to check out up to four passes at a time. Each pass admits one person and can be used for general admission during normal operating hours. Please note: passes cannot be used for special ticketed events like Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights.

These passes have been donated in honor of Shawn Soares. The VCU student died in a pedestrian accident in spring 2023. Soares was a member of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Board of Associates and a garden volunteer. The Garden’s Board of Associates is providing the passes to honor his memory.  

At VCU Libraries, the Garden passes are being promoted as part of the ongoing StudyWell initiative, which provides programs that encourage wellness and wellbeing as essential to student success.

This collaboration with The Garden continues varied connections. Several years ago, The Garden partnered with VCU Libraries in creating a digital collection of botanical photographs shot along the banks of the James River. The Ancarrrow Wildflower Digital Archive is online while the collection remains housed at the Library of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Looking back further,  the first location for the VCU Library was in the carriage house of The Ginter House. The historic 1892 house at 901 W. Franklin St. was the residence of Lewis Ginter. It houses the VCU Provost’s office today. 


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