Elm planted at UVA Lawn for Mary Hughes

The University of Virginia celebrated its founding Wednesday with a tree-planting ceremony to mark the career of retired landscape architect Mary Hughes. Hughes stepped down in January after serving in the position for over a quarter of a century. 

UVA Today reports that President Jim Ryan spoke at the event. 

“While at UVA, she expanded awareness of the landscape beyond the Academical Village, both developed and wild lands,” Ryan said. “She secured funding for a multiyear research project on the history of land-use and landscape design of the University Grounds, which resulted in summer internship opportunities for UVA landscape architecture students and enriched the cultural landscape curriculum.”

During her time as landscape architect, Hughes directed a study of local waterways and UVA stormwater system, which led to the creation of the Dell. Hughes also studied the history of enslaved workers and served on the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University, which resulted in the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers. 

A Jefferson Elm was planted outside of Pavilion III in Hughes’ honor. For a full list of memorial trees on Grounds, visit the Office of the Architect’s website.

Retired landscape architect Mary Hughes shovels soil around the base of a Jefferson Elm tree, planted on the Lawn in her honor. (Photos by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications) 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 16, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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