Honoring the Life and Legacy of Virginia Havens

Two years ago, Judson Manor residents gathered across the street from their grand historic high-rise to celebrate the dedication and naming of the Virginia Havens Park. Thanks to the vision and efforts of Judson Manor resident Ginnie Havens, a once overlooked plot of city-owned land had been transformed into a welcoming oasis of leafy trees and flowering bushes. Complete with a meandering brick path, soothing water feature, and benches for lounging, the small “pocket park” offers an unexpected quiet reprieve from the comparative noise and bustle of University Circle.

On August 27, 2020, a group of Ginnie’s close friends and family returned to the park – this time to celebrate the life and many accomplishments of the park’s namesake. Ginnie, a lifelong learner, passionate volunteer, and community activist, passed away on April 19, 2020. She left behind a positive and lasting legacy of community improvement. A fund established with Judson Foundation will help to maintain and enhance the Virginia Havens Park and ensure it remains an enduring tribute to her lifetime of accomplishments.

“Hope Hungerford, Meredith Seikel, Ursula Korneitchouk, and I got together to remember Ginnie and think of a way to honor her memory,” explained Georgianna Roberts, whose friendship with Ginnie dates back to their early years as fierce tennis competitors and spans more than a couple decades. “We considered all she did to imagine a welcoming, beautiful park and then persevered to make it a reality. We decided that creating a fund with Judson Foundation to enhance and maintain this wonderful park, as well as other landscape and gardening projects around our building, would be the perfect way to recognize Ginnie’s contributions to our life here at Judson Manor.”

To date, more than $25,000 has been contributed in memory of Ginnie. In addition to announcing the fund at the August 27th celebration, 17 monarch butterflies grown on milkweed by Georgianna’s daughter, Ellen Roberts, were released in a touching tribute to Ginnie and her deep connection with nature.

If you would like to make a gift to the Virginia Havens Garden Fund visit: https://judsondonatenow.networkforgood.com/projects/110884-virginia-havens-garden-fund

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