Richmond Virginia skyline

City treks: Spiders explore Richmond

June 18, 2024


A young girl twirling in a rainbow dress and a harlequin Great Dane were among the sights at a June 13 Pride Month event at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden attended by about 20 University of Richmond community members. The Bonner Center for Civic Engagement sponsored the visit as part of its Summer in the City series.

Anna Creech, head of resource acquisition & delivery for Boatwright Memorial Library, was among the crowd. She enjoys attending the Bonner-sponsored events when her schedule allows. “I like that it connects us with the city more and provides an opportunity to get to know people from across campus,” she said.

UR staff members Jenika Simmons, Iria Jones, Chase Monroe, and Ellie McGlamery at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. “It was a well-planned event and gave me a way to meet other UR employees that normally I wouldn’t be able to,” said Simmons.

“We started the program about ten years ago, and it’s always been popular,” said Sasha Hollister, assistant director of community relationships and place-based engagement for the Bonner Center. “The excursions often fill up the day they are posted.”

Along with free admission, faculty, staff, and students receive boxed meals and transportation to the events. This year, the series includes Pride Month and Juneteenth celebrations as well as visits to two area nonprofits, Tablespoons Bakery and the Junior Achievement Finance Park.

“Juneteenth, A Freedom Celebration” with the Elegba Folklore Society took place on June 7 at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture. The UR community browsed the titles in a Black book expo and enjoyed author talks, live performances, and a marketplace.

On June 14, visitors toured Tablespoons Bakery in Westover Hills, a vocational culinary training program through the nonprofit Next Move Program that provides internship experiences and employment opportunities for young adults with developmental disabilities.

During a trip to the Junior Achievement Finance Park on June 20, visitors will learn about the organization’s capstone program for personal financial planning and career exploration for teens and young adults up to age 25. They will experience a new virtual simulation that allows students to explore careers.

“Summer in the City highlights wonderful Richmond destinations and community organizations,” Hollister said. “Our hope is that these excursions will be sparks for further community engagement or class connections.”