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The Grove

Situated beneath 150-year-old oak trees on a quiet hilltop in McIntire Park East, The Grove is a community gathering place that invites rest and reflection. The stone terrace provides a place to admire the oak canopy, view Brown's Mountain, and watch people playing on the lawn.

With inscriptions to past and future community leaders, this monument to community leadership was envisioned and built by a group of private citizens in partnership with the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and the City of Charlottesville.

Visitors to The Grove may park in the Skate Park parking lot at the corner of McIntire Park Drive and Rugby Avenue. The Grove is a 5-10 minute walk from the parking area. Cross the pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, then turn left on the paved walkway leading away from the Skate Park.

The Grove Terrace

The Leaders

The Grove honors recipients of the Chamber's annual business leadership award, first established in 1975 to recognize outstanding citizen contributions to our Greater Charlottesville communities.

Tracey Greene - 2023
Kara Chandeysson - 2022
Liza Borches - 2020
Juandiego Wade - 2019
Joyce Robbins - 2018
Kurt Krueger - 2017
William J. Kehoe - 2016
Dr. Marcus L. Martin - 2015
Cathy S. Train - 2014
Cole Hendrix - 2013
Mike Gaffney - 2012
Martin V. Burks III - 2011
Alvin Clements - 2010
John T. Casteen, III - 2009
Dan & Lou Jordan - 2008
Harold Wright - 2007

Grace Carpenter - 2006
Joseph Teague, Sr. - 2005
E. Marshal Pryor, III - 2004
Leonard Sandridge - 2003
William L. Howard - 2002
James S. Kennan - 2001
Paul H. Wood - 2000
Richard & Julia Nunley - 1999
Mary Ann Elwood - 1998
Dr. George & Ann Spence - 1997
Laurence Richardson - 1996
Guy Agnor - 1995
The Jessup Family - 1994
Nancy O'Brien - 1993
Darden Towe - 1992
Mr. & Mrs. James Murray - 1991

Elizabeth B. Gleason - 1990
Drewary J. Brown - 1989
John B. Rogan - 1988
Hovey S. Dabney - 1987
Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr. - 1986
Francis Fife - 1985
Bernard J. Haggerty - 1984
George C. Palmer III - 1983
James E. Bowen - 1982
Junius R. Fishburne - 1981
Laurence Brunton - 1980
Mary Victoria Craw - 1979
Lionel S. Key - 1978
Randolph H. Perry - 1977
Joel M. Cochran - 1976
Mitch Van Yahres - 1975

Mitchell "Mitch" Van Yahres - 1975

As a dedicated arborist and politician, Mitch tended trees for a living and people for a lifetime. His service to the community included eight years on City Council, where he was instrumental in creating the Downtown Mall, and 25 years in the House of Delegates, where he worked to right wrongs and promote equal opportunity, including establishing Charlottesville's first Public Defenders Office.

Mary Victoria Craw - 1979

For 50 years Vicki was widely respected for her quiet philanthropy and support of numerous community initiatives, including the establishment of the first public housing foundation, cofounder of Charlottesville's branch of Planned Parenthood and FOCUS, a women's resource center. With her love of nature, she was also instrumental in the preservation of the Ivy Creek Natural Area.

Drewary Brown - 1989

Among Virginia's most important Civil Rights leaders, Drewary, with his unique personality, built bridges between blacks and whites, poor and affluent across many generations. During the late 60s and early 70s, Brown became job training director for MACAA, helped found Cnetral Virginia Opportunities Industrialization Center to train the unemployed, and led the local NAACP chapter. After his death in 1998, the then-new West Main Street Bridge was named in his honor and a program was started to honor citizens like him who had crossed racial and economic divides to build a better community.

James "Jim" Brady and Jean "Bunny" Brundred Murray - 1991

Jim served in the House of Delegates for eight years, where he established the Rivanna as the first Wild and Scenic River in Virginia and created Piedmont Virginia Community College.He also volunteered until the age of 80 for many community organizations like OAR, MACAA, and CASA. Bunny served on many organizations, including Hospice of the Piedmont, the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Environmental Defense Fund. Her legacy consists of her values, industry, humor, and - cherished beyond measure - her eight sons. When reflecting on her time on earth, Bunny concluded that it was "a wonder." The community agreed that Bunny was a wonder, too.

Purpose of The Grove

1. Promote Community Leadership

  • Honor past civic leaders
  • In the future, annually honor other community leaders, including students, and community organizations that promote civic engagement.

2. Preserve the Hilltop's Landmark Oak Trees

  • Prolong their lifespan through careful maintenance
  • Plant more native oaks

3. Enliven the Park

  • Provide a tree-lined path to the stone terrace in The Grove that the entire community can enjoy.
  • Approved by City Council, The Grove will enhance the 2015 McIntire East Park Plan.

Steering Committee

Martin Burks III, Vin Cibberilli, Shana Clarke, Elizabeth Cromwell, Jim Haden, Cole Hendrix, Dan Jordan, Ella Jordan, Chris Murray, Marshall Pryor, Leonard Sandridge, Rocky Taylor, Mike Van Yahres, Peggy Van Yahres, Juandiego Wade, Roxanne White

For more information, contact Peggy Van Yahres, 434.953.6636 or

The Grove at McIntire Park East
The Grove at McIntire Park East