Richmond’s Canal Walk gets botanical makeover

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RICHMOND, Va. -- The city's Canal Walk is getting a fresh new look thanks to Venture Richmond and volunteers.

On Wednesday, close to 50 volunteers could be seen sweeping, cleaning and planting the 1,200 plants that will  make up the new Botanical Garden.

"We're all really really excited about it. The Canal Walk is just a center piece for Richmond and now its going to be a botanical garden, instead of just a commercial landscape area and so we are just really excited about raising the bar for plantings in downtown,"  Lucy Meade,  the Director of Marketing and Development for Venture Richmond, said.

Venture Richmond partnered with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, HandsOn RVA and Altra on national volunteer planting day to make this all happen. ValleyCrest helped with prepping the area and will mulch after the planting is done. Kinfolks Community and students from Mosby Court, planted the first bed of flowers last week, and will return to plant more.

Phase one of the planting should be done by 3 p.m. Wednesday, and organizers hope to have the garden completed by September.

"Doing this before 2015, the big Road Cycling World Championship, is a good deadline; we are sprucing it up for the event," said Meade.

The Canal Walk is 16 years old and has served as an economic engine for more than $450 million of investment.  The Canal Cruise operation has been breaking attendance records year after year, attracting both locals and visitors to the riverfront.