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The original item was published from 4/4/2018 2:58:00 PM to 4/11/2018 3:28:05 PM.

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Hampton History Museum

Posted on: April 4, 2018

[ARCHIVED] WPA Original Gardeners: Norfolk Botanical Garden - Wednesday, April 18, noon-1 pm

SQUARE WPA Memorial Garden Sculpture, Breaking Ground 2009

The story of the gardeners remained hidden for over a half century. It was a group of community problem solvers from a Norfolk middle school interested in completing a community project who sparked the investigation into the history of the garden. It led to the garden being placed on the state and national historic registries, interest in creating a WPA Memorial theme Garden, international coverage and a publication. The story remained hidden by original gardeners because it was too painful to discuss outside of the family.

Norfolk Botanical Garden
It was 1938 and the Great Depression created chaos for the entire country. People lost jobs and families struggled to survive. The city of Norfolk received a Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant to provide employment, a revenue stream and a garden to rival others in the country. Today it is 175 acres of beauty with over 50 themed gardens and has received many accolades for over 70 years.

The author has served on many community non-profit board.  During her tenure on the Board of Directors of Norfolk Botanical Garden, the story of the original gardeners began to unfold.  Based on her interest in research, she began to explore more history of the Garden.

This program is free. Bring a bag lunch, we'll have free dessert for you.

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