A Joint Project of the Kanawha Garden Club, the Municipal Beautification Commission and the Public Grounds Department of the City of Charleston.

Revitalization Plans: In 2011,  Mr. Forren presented a design plan which featured and emphasized West Virginia native plants.  It is our hope that the park could become a learning destination for gardening enthusiasts and students, and a destination for those interested in seeing a collection of native West Virginia plants.  A sampling of proposed plants includes:  Red Sunset Maple (Acer rubrum 'Red Sunset), Serviceberry (Amelanchier), native Fern collection, Redbud tree (Cercis Canadensis), Flowering Dogwood, Sweetbay Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana), White Bleeding Heart, Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel, Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), and Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica).  In addition, even though non-native, a Hellebore garden will be a special feature in the park.  Understanding limited city maintenance funds, effort has been made in developing the planting plan to minimize maintenance in the park. 

Phase I work began in Fall 2011 and was completed in Spring 2012 and encompassed the area bounded by Lee and Capitol Streets.  Tasks for this section included massive tree pruning, removal of two trees, cleaning/re-staining benches, removing and replacing existing bushes, designing a new, large annual bed at the corner entrance, assessing existing lighting, obtaining trash can liners, and replanting the cement border of the Park with new plantings.   All the tree work and planting was done by the Public Grounds Department under the direction of Harley "Junior" Goodwin, and paid for as part of their annual budget.   Costs for Phase I are valued at approximately $37,000. Kanawha Garden Club donated approximately $14,000 toward the completion of Phase I. 

Phase II was begun in May, 2012 and completed in Spring 2013 and includes the area around the entrance to the old JCPenney Building (currently the home of WVDHHR offices).  This area required extensive tree removal and replacement, removal of overgrown ivy beds, completion of bench & table refurbishing, and installation of the newly-designed perennial beds of native plants.   Public Grounds completed all tree work and actual planting as their in kind contribution to Phase II.   Costs for Phase II were approximately $58,000.   

Phase III was completed in 2014 and addressed the gazebo area and the Summers Street entrance.  Tasks included pruning of all trees, installing new perennials to existing beds, gazebo improvements, creating two new annual beds at the Summers Street entrance, and lamp globe replacement.   Trimming the trees back from the existing pole lamps resulted in the "brightening" of the Park.  Existing lamp globes were cleaned, light poles refurbished and electrical connections upgraded.   All tree pruning and planting was again completed as an in kind contribution by Public Grounds.  Costs for Phase III were approximately $50,900. 

Phase IV was completed in 2017with the installation of a pair of bronze plaques.  One plaque includes a detailed history of Davis Park.  A second, smaller plaque, placed along the Capitol Street entrance walkway, lists donor names.  Large, lighted grapevine balls were donated by an individual and placed in the gazebo during the holiday season.  An improved irrigation system as well as additional plantings are being considered.

Conclusion:  The major projects in the Davis Park Revitalization project were completed in Summer 2014.  KGC is especially pleased to note that 36% of project costs are from in-kind goods and services. KGC successfully raised all necessary project funds and experienced substantial savings on plant material.  As a result, a healthy maintenance fund is available which allows KGC to continue to monitor and contribute to the enhancement and maintenance of Davis Park.  Upgrade plans include adding an irrigation system and exploring the addition of a water feature in the park.




This project won a GCA Zone VII Civic Improvement Award in the fall of 2013. 


Donations to the Davis Park renovation should be made payable to Kanawha Garden Club and mailed to Kanawha Garden Club, c/o One Burkewood Place, Charleston, WV  25314, The Kanawha Garden Club is a 501(c)3 organization. An acknowledgement of your gift will be provided with indication, if applicable, that no goods or services are provided in consideration of your gift. Please consult your tax advisor as to the deductibility of your gift.

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