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.

Nature Journaling for Ages 8+: Make Creative Connections!

10:30-12:00  Saturday, February 24th

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

In the event of inclement weather, registrants will have the option to attend another nature journaling program in this series or receive a refund.

Get your creative juices flowing on a brisk winter day! In this family-friendly program, you'll use your senses to describe nature in a unique “I Spy”  game. Next, you'll learn how to write a nature poem through simply observing and wondering about the natural environment. You'll leave with your very own nature journal, including prompts to keep you journaling all winter long. 

Not an artist? No worries! Nature journaling is all about making observations and connecting with the natural world around us. No artistic skills necessary!

This program is one of three nature journaling programs offered this winter. Feel free to sign up for as few or as many as you like!

What to expect: We’ll spend part of this program outside, then come inside to warm up. All materials provided.

Who can come: This program is designed for participants ages 8+, but all ages welcome. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult caregiver for the duration of the program. No pets, please!

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

Where to meet: Meet at the Blandy library at the Quarters building. Signs will direct you from the information kiosk in front parking lot to the library.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

FOSA Member/UVA Alumni- $5.00

Non-member- $8.00

Wilding Your Land: Resources to Help You Manage Your Land Sustainably

1:00-3:00 PM Thursday, February 29th

Inclement weather date: 1:00-3:00 PM Friday, March 1st

Register on Eventbrite.

Join us for a pre-recorded talk by British conservationist Isabella Tree about her 2023 bestseller The Book of Wilding. After the talk, you’ll learn about state and federal funding opportunities to help you manage your land sustainably from Allyson Ponn and Dana Gochenour (Lord Fairfax Soil and Water Conservation District) and Brent Barriteau (Natural Resources  Conservation Service).

What to expect: An indoor program and discussion.

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

Where to meet: Meet in the Blandy library.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Rediscovering the History of Pawpaw Research at Blandy

Virtual program. Free, but registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

7:00-8:00 PM Thursday, March 14th

Pawpaw fruits are local and tasty, but you won’t find them for purchase at your local mega mart. For over a hundred years, a small but determined group of horticulturists have worked to develop pawpaw varieties with more commercially-viable fruit. Blandy has a surprising connection to early 20th century pawpaw cultivation pioneers, and exciting efforts are underway to uncover the remains of the old pawpaw orchard in the back woodlot. Learn more in this virtual talk!

What to expect: A Zoom program. Expect to receive an invitation within a few days of the talk via the email you use to register for the program on Eventbrite.

Who can come: This program is designed for adults.

Free, but registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Eclipse Ecology: How Wildlife Respond to Solar Eclipses

10:30-11:30 AM Sunday, March 24th

Register on Eventbrite.

Much of North America will experience a solar eclipse on Monday, April 8th. As eclipse chasers seek out primo viewing spots along the path of totality from Mexico through Maine, here in northern Virginia, we’ll have a chance to see around 90% of the sun obscured by the moon’s shadow (weather permitting)! But how will wildlife respond to the unusual changes in light and temperature that take place during the eclipse? Will bats come out and birds return to their roosts? Find out in this talk overviewing current scientific research! You’ll leave with 2024 solar eclipse glasses and ideas about how you can observe changes in the natural world during the upcoming eclipse.

What to expect: An interactive indoor talk.
Who can come: This program is designed for adults and children aged 8+. No pets, please!
Where to meet: Meet in the Blandy library.

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Image: NASA, 2017 Total Solar Ecplise-ISS Transit

 

EARLY MIGRANTS BIRD WALK

8:00-10:00 AM  Friday, March 29th

Register on Eventbite.

Join Blandy Director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr to hunt for tree swallows, eastern phoebes, migrating waterfowl, and more!

What to expect: An outdoor program. We will walk around 1.5 miles over lawn and gravel paths with gently rolling terrain.

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

What to bring: Dress for the weather! Wear comfortable walking shoes that can withstand a bit of morning dew from the grass. 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 Eventbite.

Around the World in Ten Trees

2:00-3:30 PM Friday, April 12th

Register on Eventbrite.

Got the travel bug? Here’s your chance to see unique trees form around the world without leaving the Clarke County! 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 eight to 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. No pets, please!

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 required. Register on Eventbrite.

Spring Wildflower Walk

1:00-2:30 Saturday, April 20th

Register on Eventbrite.

Discover Virginia’s spring wildflowers! Tour the woodland section of the

Native Plant Trail with Blandy’s Assistant Curator Jack Monsted. Scout for trillium, bluebells, and other “spring beauties” as you learn all about the natural history of these fascinating flowers.

What to expect: We will walk ~0.5 miles over lawn and mulch paths, with frequent stops to observe flowers.  

Who can come: Adults and children aged 8 and up. No pets, please!

What to bring: Wear comfortable walking shoes, dress for the weather, and bring a full water bottle. If you’d like, bring materials to take notes and a favorite wildflower field guide or smartphone identification app (e.g., iNaturalist).

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

Registration required. Register on Eventbrite.

Neotropical Migrants Bird Walk

8:00-10:00 Friday, April 26th

Register on Eventbrite.

Spring (migration) has sprung! Join Blandy Director and birding enthusiast Dr. Dave Carr in search of early breeding warblers (e.g., Pine, Yellow, Palm, and Yellow-rumped) and other neotropical migrants.

What to expect: We will walk ~1.5 miles over lawn and gravel paths with gently rolling terrain.

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

What to bring: Dress for the weather. Wear comfortable walking shoes that can withstand a bit of early morning dew on the grass. 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.