In Richmond, Black-owned company begins to ‘revitalize’ Robert E. Lee monument site

(Looks like they have succeeded in transforming a beautiful public work of art into a nice, progressive vacant lot. At least plant some turnips – DD)

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(Virginian Pilot) The symbolism of the moment and the task ahead of him is not lost on Earl Gary.

“I think it’s very unique, the odds of me getting in a position like this,” Gary said. “I’m really grateful to be given this opportunity to perform with all of the history that comes with it.”

Gary’s YME Landscape, a Black-owned Richmond company, has been chosen to revitalize the circle on Monument and North Allen avenues where the Robert E. Lee statue once stood. His company’s involvement in the project marks another symbol in the lessening of the city’s Confederate presence with a Black crew working to reimagine the space once inhabited by the general.

The controversial bronze statue was taken down in 2021, after activists called for its removal in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The empty pedestal was leveled in February 2022. The statue was transferred to the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia.

YME and the Department of Public Works recently began site work at the circle. The plan calls for the grounds of the former monument to be spruced up with 6,000 plants and 28 trees.

“I’ve been doing landscaping for a long time, but I don’t think I had too many jobs…

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