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Norfolk Botanical Garden offers refuge for social distancing

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Posted at 3:55 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 20:08:37-04

NORFOLK, Va. — Getting out of the house without putting yourself at risk is a challenge nowadays, but your odds of social distancing are pretty good if you have 175 acres of green space to roam.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is staying open for as long as people can stay safe.

“I’m really proud and really glad that we’re able to be open at a time when people really, really need it,” says Marketing Communications Director Kelly Welsh.

Garden staff made adjustments, including closing all buildings and requesting online ticket purchases only.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is now open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Welsh says visitors come throughout the day, but they never have a problem with crowds.

“People are really taking [social distancing] seriously and they’re abiding by those rules, and we need their help to do that.”

Between the 16 miles of pathways is an opportunity for people to connect with nature while social distancing.

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Rich and Kathy Kutchen have lived in Hampton Roads for 40 years, and they decided to go to the garden for the first time on Thursday.

“We walk every day at home, so this is just a way to walk in a different place and just have much more beautiful scenery,” says Rich.

Now is the perfect time to get out and smell the blooming azaleas or let go of your worries while taking in the LEGO displays before they leave on June 7.

Six-year-old Josephine and her 5-year-old brother Frank came to admire the award-wining LEGO wildlife. Josephine was partial to the peacock, butterfly and hummingbird. Meanwhile, Frank liked all of them.

Their mom, Kate Johnson, says she “wanted to do something fun, so this was a good way to make the day memorable.”

Visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden website to learn more about their COVID-19 safety procedures.

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