Dear Friends of the Arboretum,
The woodlands are alive with the lush verdancy of summer. Everywhere you look there are curtains of green here hanging from sky to forest floor! On a steamy, tropical day, leave your phone behind, and come walk the trails and find relief from the heat. Look for the open sunny areas that have pockets-a-plenty of color and bloom near the pond, herb garden, and education center.
This past year has come with its challenges; staff losses in the middle of a hiring freeze, fewer volunteers coming out, overpopulating ducks wreaking havoc with our pond habitat, to name a few, but also many wonderful outcomes and initiatives. The volunteers we did have weekly really stepped up in a big way:
THANK YOU, to the Forest Stewards, for giving us your time, hard work and your weekly reliability! We couldn’t have done what we accomplished this spring without you. Hurray for helping get us through a challenging spring!
Due to COVID times we’ve reached more people with online programming than we did when we were hosting in-person classes and workshops. Our new offering of a Grab-N-Go online plant sale has been a big hit and provides customers another way to shop without being on-site.
Our herb garden has had an influx of attention, programming and volunteers this past year thanks to Jen Tullo and her commitment to helping us improve this space and to bring the community along with her efforts. You are invited to come out and be a part of the caring for this garden, Mondays, 8AM-10AM. Learn about the medicinal value of the plants there, and participate in harvest days.
Summer Photo Gallery
Become a Volunteer
Have you ever strolled through the arboretum and wondered how the gardens are planted and maintained? Oftentimes the answer is “volunteers”, and you could join them! With 125 acres and dozens of plantings to care for, the Arboretum’s full and part-time horticulture staff have their hands full, and general garden volunteers are invaluable in helping to plant, water, mulch and weed.
If you have a specific skill or interest, there are some special projects that might suit you.
If you’d like to focus on a specific garden area, we are looking for a new caretaker for the Shale Barren Garden. Virginia shale barrens are home to a unique group of plants that can take the severe conditions found in these sites. Our replicated shale bank requires focused attention to establish new additions and keep other species at bay. There is also a special team of volunteers working to restore and improve the Herb Garden. They generally meet on Monday mornings but additional members can help any day.
Floral Arrangements - If you like to cut and arrange flowers, we need at least one more volunteer to make arrangements for the Education Center and sometimes for special events.
Our growing team of Forest Stewards work together to help us tackle larger projects like invasive species removal (a year-round task), underbrush clearing, trail repair, pond planting and many other tasks that arise.
Educators & Tour Guides – We hope to resume children's programs once restrictions ease further, so if you have an interest in helping with these events in the future, let us know and we will keep you informed.
Our volunteers come from all walks of life and have all levels of experience – from students to retirees, from novices who want to learn to master gardeners and master naturalists, from avid home gardeners and birders to teachers and nature lovers. Whether you want to expand your horizons or have a passion that you want to share, you can find a place here.
Volunteer Benefits: Upon completion of their first 25 hours, new volunteers get a free Volunteer T-Shirt and one-year membership in the Friends of the Arboretum. Membership is automatically renewed as long as at least 25 hours per year of volunteer service is maintained. Member benefits include plant sale discounts and invitations to member-only events & pre-sales.
To become an EJC Arboretum Volunteer, you must be at least 18 years of age and attend a brief Volunteer Orientation. Sign up on our website or contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Janis Traas at 540-568-3194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Talk with Valentina DiMilo
Wednesday, June 30 | 12 PM - 1 PM
Meet at the Frances Plecker Education Center
Valentina DiMilo is an artist who divides her passion for art between working in oil, pastel, and watercolor. Each of these techniques allow her to express herself in unique ways. Valentina currently resides in Linden, Virginia where she works as an artist in oil, pastel and watercolor, expressing herself mostly using landscapes and portraits. She enjoys traveling both locally and around the world with her easel and puts whatever charming atmospheres she observes onto canvas or paper.
Her collection of paintings and sketches include the Shenandoah Valley, the Western United States, and even further into Europe and New Zealand.
Tuesday Evenings | July 13 & Aug 17 | 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
$20 Per Session
Join Sound Healer and Yoga & Meditation Teacher Connie Magee for an etheric journey in the woods. Trees provide healing medicine for the soul, and the otherworldly tones of two large gongs and chimes provide a magical soundscape that dances within the sounds of nature. Find a comfortable spot on your yoga mat or lawn chair, settle into a guided mind-body meditation, and drift away. You'll notice the birds and woodland creatures connecting to the vibrations, and you will deeply relax and tune in simultaneously.
Meet at the Arboretum Pavilion
Pilates & Barre Fusion - 7 Week Series
Thursdays, July 8 - August 19 | 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
This class combines the mind/body connection and deep core focus of Pilates with the muscle toning intensity of barre in order to strengthen the entire body. Each class will be different and may sometimes include tabata, HIIT, and other cardio styles along with traditional fitness movements. Options are offered for all fitness levels.