Duron Chavis

Beautiful RVA

As Manager of Community Engagement at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Duron coordinates innovative and dynamic initiatives around the topics of urban agriculture and food security in a culturally relevant way. Duron administrates the Ginter Urban Gardener program, a 12-week, neighborhood-centric community greening training and cultivates collaboration and partnership for the creation and sustainability of public greenspaces through Beautiful RVA, a cross-sector, multi-disciplinary social movement dedicated to creating a more beautiful Richmond Region.

Duron started his career in community advocacy as first a volunteer and later as an employee of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of VA.. In 2003 he founded the highly acclaimed Happily Natural Day festival as a grassroots effort to supplement the summer jazz concert that was held annually at the institution. The festival is a weekend-long experience focuses on cultural identity for people of African Ancestry, holistic health, wellness and social change. In 2009 Duron launched the Richmond Noir Market, a Saturday pop-up farmer’s market targeting low-income communities located in what the USDA has designated as food deserts in Richmond, VA. In 2012 he developed McDonough Community Garden; and began transforming green spaces throughout the Richmond Region into urban gardens, farms, orchards, and vineyards.