Jim Hassold from Glen Allen Nursery transformed the tree box on Monument Ave in front of the Ronald McDonald House. (Photos courtesy the Tree Box Love Challenge)
Page Bond Gallery and 3North Architects have teamed up to challenge Richmonders to improve the city’s tree boxes. During her daily commute around the city, gallery owner Bond noticed empty, dead and weed-filled tree boxes and tree wells by traffic lights and signs.
“Wouldn’t it be great if someone had a bit of time to fix that?” she thought. The Tree Box Love Challenge was born. The mission of the challenge is to build a community interested in making the city beautiful by sprucing up these small but important areas and making them sustainable.
“Just planting ivy or putting down new mulch would really make an impact,” she says. “…The city could look amazing.”
By participating in the Tree Box Love Challenge through Sept.15, Richmonders can enhance the city and possibly win up to $1,500 for their efforts. Participants can sign up online, print out the registration form and bring it to a participating garden stores (Colesville Nursery, Sneed’s Nursery, Strange’s Garden Centers, Southern States, The Greenhouse and The Great Big Greenhouse) for discounts on plants and supplies. Then, it’s up to participants to make a tree box their own. Finalists will be announced on Sept. 16.
Bond says she was inspired by the Venture Richmond planters downtown and the work of The Garden Clubs of Virginia. She has numerous friends involved in the garden club and the Tree Box Love Challenge is a way for her and others to honor the club’s hard work and dedication to the environment. Bond specifically wanted to honor her friend Rossie Fisher, who along with her husband Sandy Fisher, had one of the first organic farms in the Richmond area.
Bond hopes “the conversation about Tree Box Love will be, ‘let’s do this.'” She does not foresee this service project ending after the bike races. Instead, she anticipates “the tree box love growing — no pun intended.” Also, she hopes the grassroots effort will inspire other communities to embrace the same concept.
For details, visit The Tree Box Love Challenge or contact Page Bond at 359-3633.