Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive Collaboration
August 30, 2016
The Ancarrow Wildflower Digital Archive builds on the Rice Rivers Center’s relationship with Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to support outreach and research to the community.
Newton H. Ancarrow, Richmond’s earliest environmental activist, battled to improve water quality of the James River in the late 1960s. Our founding river suffered from raw sewage and industrial waste and oil overflows that coated his boat ramp and the bottoms of his high quality speedboats after a heavy rain. He walked the banks of the James looking for sewage outflows and, on his journeys, documented over 400 species of wildflowers in what is now the James River Park System. The digital capture of his slide collection gives us a unique snapshot from the past to compare with the riparian flora of the present, a story of a crusade for clean water and conservation that still echoes today.