grassy field with row of conifer trees behind

Programs, Workshops & Walks

A note about our programs

We hold most programs rain, snow, or shine, unless we notify you otherwise. If you cancel your registration seven days or more prior to the program date, we’ll refund your fee in full. If you cancel within seven days of the program date, we are unable to refund your fee. If the Foundation of the State Arboretum cancels a program for any reason, we will refund your fee in full. Programs open to children/youth require an adult to attend with them and the adult is responsible for their supervision for the duration of the program. Advance registration is required for all programs. Space is limited.

Pawpaws!

1:00-2:30 | Saturday, September 9th 

Register on Eventrbite. 

Ever tried a pawpaw? Learn about the natural history and folk value of this quirky Appalachian fruit, including Blandy's unique role in the history of pawpaw propagation. In the end, you'll have a chance to sample pawpaw fruits. Led by Blandy's Assistant Curator for the Native Plant Trail Jack Monsted.

What to expect: A short talk about pawpaws and the opportunity to sample pawpaw fruit. 

Who can come: This program is designed for adults and children aged 8 and up. No pets, please!

What to bring: Bring a full water bottle, dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. 

Where to meet: Meet in the Blandy library.

Registration required. Register on Eventrbite. 

 

Stargazing with the Shenandoah Astronomical Society

6:30 - 8:30 PM | Saturday, September 23rd

Register on Eventbrite.

After a short introduction in the library, Astronomical Society members will set up telescopes and guide us as we search the night sky for stars, planets, constellations, galaxies, and more! 

What to expect:  A short talk in the library followed by outdoor stargazing with telescopes.

Who can come: This program is designed for teen/adult audiences (although kids are welcome). No pets, please!

What to bring: We’ll be outdoors at night for around an hour observing the night sky. Dress in layers, and bring folding chairs and a flashlight if you wish.

Where to meet: Meet in the library at the Quarters building.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

 

Warbler Walk

8:00-10:00 AM | Friday, September 29th

Register on Eventbrite.

Late September/early October is close to the peak of fall songbird migration. Join Blandy Director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of southbound warblers, vireos, hawks, and more!

What to expect: We will walk about a mile over gently rolling terrain.

Who can come: Adults and children aged 12 and up. No pets, please!

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair from Blandy.

Where to meet: Meet at the flagpole at the front parking lot close to the “Arboretum Information” kiosk.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

 

Full Moon Walk

7:00-8:00 PM | Friday, September 29th

Register on Eventbrite.

Explore the arboretum at night on a guided nature walk. Who knows what we’ll discover?

What to expect: An outdoor nature walk. We will walk about a mile over gently rolling terrain.

Who can come: This program is suitable for all ages. No pets, please!

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Bring a flashlight if you wish.

Where to meet: Meet at the flagpole at the front parking lot close to the “Arboretum Information” kiosk.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Riparian Buffer Workshop for Landowners: Basics and Funding Opportunities

6:30-8:00 PM | Wednesday, October 11th 

Register on Eventbrite.

Join the Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District, the VA Department of Forestry, and the Piedmont Environmental Council for a workshop on riparian forest buffers. Learn about the importance of these buffers as a tool to improve water quality in our local watersheds and explore sources of funding for implementing buffers on your property. 

This event is informal and designed for landowners to learn from each other’s experiences and engage with the presenters. Residential and rural landowners with a water resource of any size on their property (e.g., a river, stream, pond, wetland, etc.) are encouraged to attend. We hope attendees will come away with a greater understanding of how they can contribute to water quality improvements on their land AND go home with a native tree or shrub to plant! Photo credit- William I. Spinrard, Jr.

What to expect: An indoor talk.

Who can come: This program is designed for adult audiences. No pets, please!

Where to meet: Meet in the Blandy library.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

 

Spooky Arboretum Night Hike 

6:30-7:30 | Friday, October 13th 

Register on Eventbrite.

Find out all about bugs, bats, and things that go “bump” in the night as you explore the arboretum with a naturalist. Family-friendly!

What to expect: An outdoor nature walk. We will walk about a mile over gently rolling terrain.

Who can come: This program is suitable for all ages. Minors must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Bring a flashlight if you wish.

Where to meet: Meet at the flagpole at the front parking lot close to the “Arboretum Information” kiosk.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Native American Food and Customs

12:30-2:00 PM | Sunday, October 15th

Register on Eventbrite.

Find out all about edible native plants and their connections to indigenous cuisine! After a short walk to scout for edible plants “in the wild,” we’ll enjoy a light luncheon of indigenous foods. Note: Featured dishes may vary based on what is seasonally abundant/available. If dietary restrictions or allergies are a concern, please reach out to public program coordinator Ariel Firebaugh (alf7f@virginia) as soon as possible.  

Program leaders:

Katherine Hutson- A resident of Scrabble, WV Katherine is a descendant of Cherokee and Lenape/Shawnee peoples of Appalachia. She lives on 17 mostly wooded acres in Berkeley County where she harvests wild foods from her forest and uses them as ingredients for indigenous cooking.

Clay Morris is a restoration ecologist with interests in ethnoecology and ethnogastronomy. An avid forager, he works to reintroduce wild foods and indigenous foodways into the modern culinary experience. Clay is a resident of Clarke County. Incidentally, he was a graduate of Blandy's REU class of 2001. 

What to expect: A short (less than 1 mile) nature walk and a light luncheon. 

Who can come: All ages! No pets, please!

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. 

Where to meet: Meet at the Blandy library in the Quarters building.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Photo credit- David Spender,  "Amazing Maize", CC-BY-2.0

Native Owls and Their Pellets

2:00-3:00 PM | Sunday, October 22nd 

Register on Eventbrite. 

Family-friendly! Find out all about native owls with Dr. Belinda Burwell from Wildlife Veterinary Care! After a short talk about native owls (featuring live owls!), participants will dissect a regurgitated owl pellet to see what small animals the owls eat.

What to expect: An indoor talk and owl pellet dissection!

Who can come: This program is family-friendly. Minors must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No pets, please!

Where to meet: Meet in the Blandy library.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite. 

Winter Migrants Bird Walk

8:00-10:00 | Friday, October 20th

Register on Eventbrite.

Around this time of year, birds from northern forests fly south in search of overwintering grounds. Join Blandy Director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of juncos, sparrows, finches, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and more!

What to expect: We will walk about a mile over gently rolling terrain.

Who can come: Adults and children aged 12 and up. No pets, please!

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair from Blandy.

Where to meet: Meet at the flagpole at the front parking lot close to the “Arboretum Information” kiosk.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

 

AROUND THE WORLD IN TEN TREES

2:00-3:30 PM | Friday, November 3rd

Register on Eventbrite.

Got the travel bug? Here’s your chance to see spectacular trees from around the world without leaving Virginia! Find out about the ecology and cultural significance of trees from Asia, Europe, North Africa, and across North America as you explore the arboretum with a naturalist. Depending on how fast we walk, we’ll see somewhere between eight and ten trees.

What to expect: We will walk about a mile over gently rolling terrain.

Who can come: This program is designed for adults and children aged 8 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a full water bottle.

Where to meet: Meet at the flagpole at the front parking lot close to the “Arboretum Information” kiosk.

Free, but registration is required. Register on Eventbrite.

Use of Wild Plants by Enslaved People

7:00-8:30 PM | Friday, November 10th 

Between the summers of 2015 and 2019 archaeological excavations occurred at Belle Grove's enslaved quarters, also known as Quarter Site B. During that time the archaeologists identified a cellar hole from a burned down log cabin that contained hundreds of artifacts and burned plant remains. This presentation will focus on the analysis of the plant remains recovered from the cellar hole and use the data to consider the diet of the enslaved individuals who lived there and the ways these plants represent how enslaved individuals engaged the local economy as producers and consumers.

Linda Seminario studied both Anthropology and Archaeology for her undergraduate degree at Boston University and graduated with a double major in 2019. She has recently received her master's degree in Historical Archaeology at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research focuses on archaeobotanical analysis, Black Studies, and public archaeology. 

What to expect: An indoor talk.

Who can come: This program is designed for adult audiences. No pets, please!

Where to meet: Meet in the Blandy library.

Free, but registration appreciated. Registration link coming soon.

Snow Bird Walk

8:00-10:00 AM | Friday, December 1st

Register on Eventbrite.

Our winter residents have come home to roost! Join Blandy director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, Northern Harriers, and others. 

What to expect: We will walk about a mile over gently rolling terrain.

Who can come: Adults and children aged 12 and up. No pets, please!

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes and dress for the weather. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair from Blandy.

Where to meet: Meet at the flagpole at the front parking lot close to the “Arboretum Information” kiosk.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.