NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Norfolk Botanical Garden held its 15th annual Works Progress Administration (WPA) Garden Heritage Celebration on Sunday.

The celebration pays homage to the 220 African American women and men who first planted the garden 85 years ago.

International horticulturist and author Abra Lee received the NBG Groundbreaker award. The ward honors individuals, groups and organizations that display groundbreaking leadership and service.

This year, the President’s Council on Inclusion and Diversity committee created a scholarship, funded in part by Truist. The scholarship was awarded to underrepresented minority students in the green industry or related fields.

“The Norfolk Botanical Gardens holds a special place that enriches the quality of life for residents of Norfolk and beyond. As the garden continues to evolve and grow, it’s important to recognize the labor of the African American women and men whose hard work for the WPA created the initial Azalea Garden that grew into the botanical garden we know today,” said Thomas Ransom, Virginia regional president for Truist.