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Norfolk Botanical Garden celebrates 15th annual Works Progress Administration Garden Heritage

The event honors the 220 African Americans who created the garden. It also recognized four Groundbreakers for their contributions to the community.

NORFOLK, Va. — Norfolk Botanical Garden held its 15th Works Progress Administration (WPA) Garden Heritage celebration on Sunday. 

The annual celebration honors the 220 African American women and men who worked hard to create the garden 85 years ago. 

13NewsNow anchor Nicole Livas was the mistress of ceremonies. The event featured a reading of the 74 known worker names, including a new addition this year.

This year's keynote speaker was Abra Lee, a storyteller and horticulturist. She's also author of the forthcoming book "Conquer The Soil: Black America and the Untold Stories of Our Country's Gardeners, Farmers, and Growers." NBG honored her as one of this year's Groundbreakers.

Three others also received that honor, including Becky Livas, a vocalist, educator and the first African-American female newscaster in Hampton Roads. She's also Nicole's mother. 

Dr. Rex Ellis, Founding Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian Museum and Thomas Ransom, Virginia Regional President of TRUIST were also honored. 


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