A woodland utopia takes shape in the heart of Charlottesville

Renowned landscape architect Mikyoung Kim—who designed the Chicago Botanic Garden and won a Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in 2018—is working closely with Charlottesville officials and a local nonprofit to transform the northwest corner of the city’s McIntire Park into a 15-acre botanical oasis known as the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont. The site is currently under development, but will eventually feature an extravagantly windowed visitor education center and amphitheater surrounded by elaborate terraces, water features, walking paths, meandering streams, a meditation garden, wetland area, woodlands, and more. Educational opportunities will cover topics like health and wellness, gardening, wildlife viewing, and sustainable living. 

“This is going to be a community asset that’s open to the public year-round and will be a place for everyone to learn, play, explore, relax, and gather,” says Jill Trischman-Marks, the garden’s executive director. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in 2026. PiedmontGarden.org


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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