FOSA Committees


The Foundation of the State Arboretum has nine working committees, made up of both board members and other individuals with interest and expertise in specific areas. These committees are the backbone of the Foundation, meeting regularly to move FOSA’s mission forward.

The Arboretum Collections Committee’s mission is to support the work of the Arboretum staff in developing plant collections for scientific research and public education and enjoyment; interpreting these collections to teach about the environmental sciences and the plant ecology of the northern Shenandoah Valley; and preserving the cultural landscape of Blandy Experimental Farm as shaped by forces of water, geology, climate, and human agency.

The Development and Membership Committee’s mission is to support Blandy Experimental Farm and the use of the State Arboretum’s recreational, educational, and other enrichment assets and resources by the community, students, and visitors. The committee works to improve the benefits of Arboretum membership by reviewing fees charged for all levels of giving and by identifying the services and values members will receive, both tangible and intangible. An ad hoc subcommittee under the Development and Membership Committee is the Information/Visitor Center Subcommittee, which is tasked with developing a center to welcome and educate visitors about the mission of Blandy and the Arboretum and the ongoing programs and scientific research.

The Education Committee’s mission is to provide support to the director of the preK-12 Education Program at the State Arboretum of Virginia with the goal of advancing these programs. Near-term objectives include clearing succession plots, supporting intern programs, and encouraging visits by elected officials to see the impact that Blandy Experimental Farm makes in their districts.

The Equestrian Committee’s purpose is to oversee maintenance of the equestrian trails at Blandy Experimental Farm and the use of related donations. Objectives include overseeing and coordinating the continued maintenance of the bridle trails and trail signage, reviewing the trail brochure, considering appropriate uses of dedicated funds, and encouraging contact from various equestrian alliances, clubs, and organizations, as well as actively serving as a liaison among the Foundation of the State Arboretum, Blandy Experimental Farm, and the local equine community, such as the Clarke County Equine Alliance.

The Events Committee is responsible for all phases of major fundraising events held at Blandy Experimental Farm and the State Arboretum. These include advertising, marketing, vendor coordination, event site set-up and take-down, parking, money collection, and accounting. All of these activities require the enlistment and management of numerous volunteers and Blandy employees. Currently, subcommittees work on major annual events, including Garden Fair, typically held Mother’s Day weekend. Another subcommittee, the Event Site Preparation Committee, works in advance of major events to ensure Blandy and the Arboretum are prepared logistically to accommodate thousands of visitors.

The Finance Committee is responsible for financial oversight of the Foundation of the State Arboretum. Major functions include review and approval of budgets and financial plans, financial statement updates and annual audited financial statements and the annual Form 990. The committee also is responsible for ensuring appropriate internal controls and accountability policies are in place.

The Government Relations Committee works cooperatively and collaboratively with the University of Virginia and its Blandy Experimental Farm component to establish positive government relations with state and local government in furtherance of and support for the mission of UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm, the State Arboretum of Virginia, and the Foundation of the State Arboretum.

The Nominating Committee monitors and facilitates the healthy development and operation of the Foundation of the State Arboretum’s Board of Directors. The Committee seeks and reviews candidates for Board membership, looking for diverse strengths that will contribute to the mission of the Foundation. It nominates appropriate candidates for election by the membership at the Annual Meeting. The Committee also identifies and nominates officers for election by the Board. The Committee works with the Board, staff, and other appropriate committees to identify candidates for involvement in the organization and develop cultivation strategies to strengthen relationships with these individuals.

The Public Programs Committee’s mission is to assist the Blandy Director of Scientific Engagement in the development and implementation of public programs related to FOSA's and Blandy's education and outreach objectives. The Committee expects to meet twice yearly to discuss ideas for future programs and to determine if there are resources or other forms of assistance which can be provided by FOSA to support public programs at Blandy and local institutions.