Boosted by multi-million dollar endowment, ownership of the 45-acre Winkler Botanical Preserve (5400 Roanoke Avenue) was signed over to NOVA Parks on Thursday (September 15).
Mayor Justin Wilson was joined by members of City Council, interim Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt, City Manager Jim Parajon and city staff for the deed signing ceremony.
“This is a beautiful property,” Wilson said. “The fact that we are making this handoff happen here tonight, and in bringing NOVA Parks as the custodian of this property for the next generation is so exciting.”
The Winkler Botanical Preserve was created in 1979 by environmentalist Catherine Winkler Herman, who established it as a natural space for generations to enjoy in perpetuity.
The Winkler Organization gave NOVA Parks a $1 million check for capital needs at the deed-signing event, and will give a $3 million operating endowment for educational programs and other improvements.
“The steadfastness of the Winkler’s generosity over generations and their ability to see beyond the horizon is both humbling as it is inspiring,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, chair of the NOVA Parks board of directors.
Randall Kell, president of the board of the Winkler Botanical Preserve for 30 years, said that the deal with NOVA Parks is a “match made in heaven.”
“How wonderful it is to have such an experiences, successful organization such as NOVA Parks, which shares so many of the values, goals, aspirations and ambitions that the Preserve has had for more than 50 years, step up to lead the Preserve for future generations.”
Kay-Wyatt said that the Preserve will be a valuable educational resource for Alexandria students.
“When you have an opportunity and a gift like this for children to come outside of that traditional classroom and to experience nature’s classroom, it is a gift to us all as educators,” Kay-Wyatt said.
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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).
ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.
This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.
If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!
In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!
We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.
Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!
This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA