Virginia War Memorial Foundation Partners with VHB for Public Green Space Revitalization

New landscape enhances visitor experience and the Memorial’s mission.

May 27, 2024

The Virginia War Memorial at sunset that showcases the view of the Richmond skyline.

As the Nation’s leading State War Memorial, the Virginia War Memorial sits on a picturesque five-acre property in Richmond, Virginia, boasting stunning views of the James River and the downtown city skyline. The site serves as an ideal gathering spot for groups to honor the State's rich military history, while also providing an intimate space for reflection, education, and commemoration.

VHB partnered with the Virginia War Memorial to enhance its public green space on the Memorial’s campus and help select plant material best suited for the location through a preliminary study and renovation plan for the public green space initiative. The new outdoor space will enhance the visitor experience, promote environmental sustainability, and encourage connectivity to nearby attractions, such as Historic Tredegar and the river trail system. When complete in 2025, visitors will benefit from inviting museum entrances and shaded areas that will provide respite in the summer months and allow for longer visits. 

To underscore the themes of reflection and meditation, VHB worked with Frank Robinson, President Emeritus of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, to select plantings that subtly evoke memories and emotions through a carefully considered plant palette.

“Throughout the design process, we held a deep reverence for the significance of this project and its tribute to the Virginians who have bravely served our nation, both in life and in memory,” stated Phillip Merrit, PLA, VHB Landscape Architect. “We are honored to have contributed to this endeavor through a diverse landscape design that incorporates Virginia natives and culturally traditional plants that will stand as a living homage to the veterans we commemorate.”  

The thorough design process has involved close coordination with the Virginia War Memorial Foundation design committee, with VHB providing the necessary oversight to shepherd the project through the Virginia Art and Architecture Review Board approval process.

With the project on track to be completed in 2025, the Virginia War Memorial Foundation recently received the Garden Club of Virginia’s prestigious Common Wealth Award. The award grants the Foundation $20,000 to support the implementation of the ambitious landscaping plans and leads the way for their Capstone Challenge Campaign with a $1 million fundraising goal.

VHB’s approach to landscape architecture is rooted in collaboration, context-sensitivity, placemaking and connecting people. To learn more, contact Dave Gerstenmaier.

View of amphitheater and new landscape plantings after installation. Close up of the new plantings surrounding the amphitheater stage. New plantings installed at the C. Kenneth Wright Pavilion.