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Partnership with Norfolk Botanical Garden Announced

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News Release | July 21, 2017

Greer Envrionmental Sciences CenterThe Greer Environmental Sciences Center, scheduled for completion this summer, has many stunning features, but the beauty of the building doesn’t stop with the structure itself.  Virginia Wesleyan President Scott Miller recently announced a new partnership with Norfolk Botanical Garden that will help maintain the unique landscape of gardens and plants that surround the building within its 145,000-square-foot site area.

On the exterior of Greer Environmental Sciences Center, visitors will find a series of teaching gardens created with native plants inspired by the ecosystems of the Eastern Shore, two upland meadow gardens, three wetland gardens, and nearly 60 different plant species, including trees, shrubs, groundcover, ferns, perennials and aquatic plants.

As part of this new relationship with NBG, a Director of Living Landscapes, employed by Norfolk Botanical Garden, will be appointed to work with Virginia Wesleyan staff, faculty and students to provide guidance and proper care of all living landscapes and campus horticultural initiatives, particularly the area surrounding the Greer Environmental Sciences Center. While much of that landscape is intended to be low maintenance, special attention will be required to monitor establishment and progression.

The partnership is intended to be of a scholarly nature, as both organizations pursue jointly the development of research, educational and outreach programs in the botanical sciences. Cooperative activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Virginia Wesleyan faculty may conduct research at Norfolk Botanical Garden in association with NBG staff.
  • Faculty may carry out teaching activities and field trips at Norfolk Botanical Garden.
  • Norfolk Botanical Garden staff may be speakers in Virginia Wesleyan classes.
  • Students may carry out educational and advocacy internships with the support of Virginia Wesleyan faculty and Norfolk Botanical Garden staff.
  • Students may carry out sea-level rise research and environmental monitoring research in the waterways surrounding Norfolk Botanical Garden.
  • Virginia Wesleyan undergraduate students may conduct research at Norfolk Botanical Garden under the supervision of VWU faculty and NBG staff.

A dedication ceremony for the Greer Environmental Sciences Center will be held on Founders Day, September 7, 2017.