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Supporting wellness and purposeful living for 140 years

Originally founded in 1883 as The Richmond Home for Ladies and expanded as a Life Plan Community open to both men and women in 2001, Covenant Woods has evolved to become a well-respected, multifaceted organization. Today our 90-acre campus in the Richmond suburb of Mechanicsville, Virginia is home to more than 350 residents in independent living apartments and cottages as well as our assisted living, memory support, and skilled nursing neighborhoods.

In 2020, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) granted Covenant Woods its third consecutive five-year accreditation. Less than 10 percent of all Life Plan Communities (also known as continuing care retirement communities) are CARF-accredited, making this honor the gold standard in the senior living industry.

“Our 140-year mission to serve elders was – and still is – revolutionary. Our values continue to resonate with Virginians. We foster a community where residents, staff, volunteers, and community partners collaborate to support successful aging, engagement, fellowship, and purposeful living.”

— Thom Wright, Covenant Woods President and CEO

Inspired. Forward-looking. This is the history of Covenant Woods.

With roots reaching back 140 years, the history of Covenant Woods includes a series of groundbreaking decisions, events, expansions, and innovative additions that have created the modern Life Plan Community we are today.  

Covenant Woods timeline image 1883


A small group of representatives from Richmond’s Methodist and Presbyterian churches founded The Richmond Home for Ladies. They purchased a home on North 7th Street and, by the end of the year, seven ladies lived in the home.

Covenant Woods timeline image 1913


The Richmond Home for Ladies moved from its original location to 2620 Stuart Avenue in Richmond’s far west end. In 1914, 30 ladies moved in.

Covenant Woods timeline image 1987


The 25-member, all-male Board of Directors and the 48-member Board of Lady Managers consolidated into one 18-member group. The Board of Lady Managers became The Guild, which still serves today.

Covenant Woods timeline image 1997


Property on Lee-Davis Road in Mechanicsville was purchased to build a new community that would be named Covenant Woods.

Covenant Woods timeline image 1999


Groundbreaking on the new 22-acre campus took place on July 7, 1999.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2001


Thirty-six ladies, aged 73 to 104, move into The Manor at Covenant Woods. New residents, both male and female, were added. Eight standing committees were formed.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2002


Covenant Woods celebrated the first anniversary of its new name and new location by dedicating and installing a time capsule.
Woodworking and gardening interest groups began.
The campus choral group and a library were created.
Covenant Woods timeline image 2004


Residents’ Council committees for health and wellness; landscaping; and pond and trails became more active.
The first vegetable garden plots were created, later becoming The Williamsburg Garden.
Groundbreaking was held for The Manor Expansion.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2006


A fire delayed progress on The Manor expansion.
The community library opened in a new, dedicated location.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2007


Residents moved into the Manor expansion apartments, now called Manor West.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2008


By the time of Covenant Woods’ 125th Anniversary celebration, the community had 225 residents and the campus had grown to 70 acres.
Covenant Woods timeline image 2009


Additional property was purchased, bringing the campus to 75 acres.
The Board of Directors accepted the Resident Council president as a non-voting member.
The Jack and Elizabeth Taylor Art Gallery was dedicated.
The Irby Fountain Courtyard opened.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2011


Covenant Woods celebrated 10 years in Hanover County. At that time, the community included 104 apartments and 29 cottages.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2012


The Board announced plans for a $78M expansion to meet the changing needs of seniors who enjoy an active lifestyle. The expansion would add The Lodge and nearly double the size of Covenant Woods, adding 84 additional apartments and 22 new cottages.
Groundbreaking was held for The Lodge.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2014


The Lodge opened, and residents began moving in.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2015


Covenant Woods purchased an additional 10 acres, completing its ownership of land around the pond.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2016


Groundbreaking was held for Manor East (health care) expansion.
The Spring project began with Virginia Tech Landscape Architecture students.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2017


The campus farm was created with an initial area of 4,000 square feet.
Renovation of the cottages originally built in 2001 began with four new floor plans introduced.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2018


Manor East expansion was completed.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2022


The campus farm expanded to 10,000 square feet.
Covenant Woods awarded 2022 “Best of Virginia” title for central Virginia retirement communities by readers of Virginia Living.

Covenant Woods timeline image 2023


Farm-to-Table program and campus farm featured on PBS/VPM series “Virginia Home Grown”.
Covenant Woods awarded 2023 “Best of Virginia” title for central Virginia retirement communities by readers of Virginia Living.

Guided by our vision, mission, and values

Our Vision

Wellness through Purposeful Living.

Our Mission

To provide exceptional health care, quality of life, security, and comfort where all can thrive, in keeping with the benevolent vision of our founders of faith in 1883.

Our Core Values

Wholeness of Life.
Covenant Woods recognizes the life and inherent worth of each person and helps each individual to experience dignity and the greatest level of his or her emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, and vocational ability.

Covenant Woods recognizes the equality of all persons in its offering of services and opportunities for serving and strives to develop and balance societal resources to accomplish this value.

Quality of Service.
Covenant Woods seeks to deliver services of the highest quality possible by demonstrating competence, continuous improvement, innovation, and creativity.

Covenant Woods values and demonstrates honesty, integrity, fairness, and trustworthiness in all its relationships.

Stewardship of Resources.
Covenant Woods exercises stewardship of its financial resources, benevolent funds, and physical assets, assuring our commitment to provide for present and future residents.

Meet the Leadership Team

See the people who work every day to bring Covenant Woods’ vision to life for current residents and ensure its sound future for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Life Plan Community?

Life Plan Community is a modern term for what was formerly known as a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). The new term was adopted to better reflect the active, independent lifestyle and affirmative choices residents make when choosing this type of senior living for themselves.

Life Plan Communities offer independent living for adults age 62+ and a comprehensive range of healthcare services such as assisted living, memory support, and skilled nursing care, that are available to residents on a short- or long-term basis as needed. As a not-for-profit community, Covenant Woods’ Lifecare contract also provides guaranteed, priority access to on-site healthcare services for the life of the resident.

What are the benefits of choosing a not-for-profit community?

Not-for-profit communities such as Covenant Woods manage financial resources in accordance with their mission, and longstanding values are reflected in governance and management decisions. Benefits of a not-for-profit community include:

  • All profits are reinvested into the community for the benefit of current and future residents, not shareholders.
  • There is no profit motive to raise monthly fees.
  • Lower operating costs.
  • Direction by a dedicated, volunteer board of directors.
  • The organization may provide support to residents who outlive their financial resources or who face financial hardship through no fault of their own.

Will I have a voice in this community?

Covenant Woods gives residents the opportunity to join committees focused on different aspects of community life, and to participate on the community’s Resident Council, something only the best senior living communities offer.

A girl smiling


Covenant Woods offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. From assisting with activities or leading classes to serving as a dietary aide in Manor East, volunteers serve a vital role in our community.

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A career at Covenant Woods is more than just a job. It’s a fulfilling opportunity to make a difference in the life of each resident. Plus, it comes with some pretty great benefits.

Give from the heart


As a not-for-profit organization, we maintain the highest standards of stewardship. Your gift will not only benefit those who live on our campus but also seniors who live in our local community.