Dear Friends of the Arboretum,
Summer is a beautiful season to experience the Arboretum. The forest canopy is lush and green and is by far the coolest outdoor location in Harrisonburg on a hot day. Berries are ripening, flowers are exploding open in the sunny gardens, and visitors are finding the many places to explore and ways to enjoy the fullness of summer's bounty.
Thanks, to all of our devoted fans the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at JMU was once again voted the Best Place to Relax AND the Best Place to Propose! We hope that you agree.
Late spring floods (4 in one week and 5 in two weeks-yikes!), brought many people out with cameras in May and June to view the high water and the effects that such a force brings with it. As devastating as such flooding is to Arboretum staff, nature is totally resilient and does a better job adapting to the high water, that draws back down within 24 hours, than we humans do. The good news is that the stadium didn't flood so the storm detention services that the Arboretum provide for campus worked, there is a new layer of nutrient-rich sediment on the landscape beds, and we hadn't yet planted our annuals on the lawn so they were not impacted by the mess. Nevertheless, it is a huge endeavor to transform the sepia tone tinted landscape back to a full-color explosion of color, and the summer staff this year exhibited extreme patience and determination in repeating the process many times in two weeks. We give thanks for their efforts, and for your patience as we continue the cleaning and repair process throughout the summer in several areas!
A new endeavor this summer, funded by the Arboretum and the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, has commenced. All of the rhodies and azaleas growing here will be located with a GPS system and mapped using ARC-GIS so that we can be sure to identify all of the rhododendrons in the collection and know exactly where to find each plant on our inventory collection spreadsheet. JMU Biology and VA Tech forestry student, Brooke Thompson, has begun and will continue on the grounds for a month-late June through July-gathering data and transforming it into maps. Many thanks to the MAC-ARS members for their support of this project!
Arboretum Backpack Program
We're excited to introduce the Arboretum Backpack Program! This program lends out educational, themed backpacks for children at no charge. Each backpack explores a different topic and helps guide parents and children through a self-directed, educational experience during their visit to the Arboretum.
How it Works
1. Visit the Frances Plecker Education Center (FPEC) to sign out a backpack of your choice:
- Reptiles & Amphibians
- Exploring Trees
- Forest Mammals
- Macroinvertebrate Study
2. Leave a driver's license with us at the FPEC, to be picked up after the backpack is returned.
3. Enjoy the backpack's activities and adventure onward!
Summer Brown Bag Lunch Series
Bring your lunch, join us for a new guest speaker each week!
Wednesdays | 12 - 1 PM
6/27 | From Monticello to Your Backyard: Growing Your Own Historic Garden
Speaker, Sari Carp | Frances Plecker Education Center
7/11 | The Feltmaker's Journey, Passion and Process
Artist, Dabney Kirchman | Frances Plecker Education Center
7/18 | Edible Wilds
Speaker, Diana Woodall | Pavilion
7/25 | Bird Migration
Speaker, Diane Lepkowski | Frances Plecker Education Center
8/1 | Master Naturalists Info Session
Speaker, Sandy Greene | Pavilion
Storytime in the Understory
Tuesdays | July 10 & August 14 | 11 AM - 12 PM
Stories come to life for young children with animated readings on the second Tuesday of each month this summer, June through August. Young story enthusiasts will develop an understanding of the importance of nature and how healthy environments support health and variety in plant and animal life from children’s literature selections. Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs and a picnic lunch to enjoy after our Storytime.
On days when the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm Storytime is held at the Jurney Stage Garden! In the case of inclement weather, storytime comes indoors to the Frances Plecker Education Center. Free, registration required!.
The Big Bug Hunt
Tuesday July 10 | 12 PM - 1 PM
Insects don't bug US here at the EJC Arboretum! Come with us on a scavenger hunt to discover the fascinating insects that call the arboretum home! Learn about the different parts of an insect and how invertebrates, such as spiders and millipedes, are all different. Children of all ages will learn how to make friends with the bugs in their backyard while learning about all types of insects! After our bug hunt, create your own stick bug to take home! Free event , no registration required!
*Severe inclement weather cancels this program*
Created with images by Pexels - "english oak leaves tree"