Arboretum 25th Anniversary

2014 Calendar of Annual Events

Updated: June 13, 2014

  • Walk-Up Plant Sales at the Frances Plecker Ed Center and Private Greenhouse Shopping Appointments, available through October 2014. For details call (540) 568-3194.
  • Mid June through July, 2014,  Summer Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series, at noon, in the Pavilion, Wednesdays (unless otherwise noted and except July 4th week), free, no advance registration needed, enjoy lunch and a great topical lecture. Series lecture topics posted below:
    • June 18, 2014, Warm-Fuzzies, Small Mammals of the Arboretum, with JMU professor Andrea Pesce, Learn about important small mammals that call the arboretum home and about their natural role in their environment aerating and enriching soil and supporting raptor and small predators as food. Leave understanding that rodents aren't always pests in the garden!
    • June 25, 2014, It's a Frog's Life, with JMU professor Olie Hyman, Frogs are among the most interesting kinds of Arboretum creatures. Learn how their predatory and dietary habits help keep ecosystems in balance. Because frogs are early indicators of pollution they are important residents of the EJC Arboretum which supports clean Stormwater management for area waterways.
    • July 9, 2014, Taking Winning Pictures, with Lynn Whitmore, Arboretum Photo Contest Winner, Learn amazing aspects of hobby photography and see winning photos that showcase the beauty of the EJC Arboretum. After the lecture, hit the trails while hearing Lynn Whitmore's tales of a lazy bee and a greedy squirrel and take beautiful pictures under the guidance of an arboretum photo contest winner. Meets in the Frances Plecker Ed Center.
    • July 16, 2014, Monarchs and Milkweeds, with Gail Napora, Come to learn more about Monarchs than you think you already know! Gail Napora tells tales of a mighty migrator and myths of its migration. Learn to appreciate milkweed, its fragrant flower, its value to Monarchs, and more. Gail Napora is a published author of small books about butterflies and is a Master Naturalist.
    • July 23, 2014, Tree Problems and How to Help Trees, with Eddie Begoon, who supports the care of the trees of the arboretum and is an Arboretum Board member. Mr. Begoon teaches how anyone can help their own residential or commercial landscape trees.
    • July 30, 2014, American Chestnut Tree Restoration, with JMU professor Heather Griscom, Enjoy a talk about restoration efforts of a tree which was once considered among the grandest of the Eastern deciduous American forests' tree populations. After the lecture, take a short walk to places at the arboretum where Restoration American Chestnuts are planted to see the young trees which may once again beautify our forests.
  • July 12, 2014, Summer Full Moon Carriage Rides, 7-10:00 p.m. Saturday evening. Enjoy being drawn through the woodlands of the Arboretum by beautiful Belgium and Percheron teams of horses and an experienced coachman on a warm summer night in a romantic convertible carriage. Sorry, this event has been cancelled.
  • July 15, 16, and 17, 2014, Summer Children’s Art Workshop10:00-noon, Children will learn summer trees and flowers of the arboretum. The workshop offers education on plant I.D. and basic botanical drawing, materials included in a $35 fee.
  • August 12, 2014, Storytime in the Understory, 11a.m. to approximately 12:00 noon monthly program begins in June second Tuesdays, and continues through September 9. Children will develop an understanding of the importance of nature from children’s literature selections. Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chairs, and a brown bag picnic lunch for after Storytime.
  • August 29, 2014, Wine & Cheese In The Trees Lecture, 5:00-7:00 pm, Friday, at the Ernst Terrace, Chef demo at 5:30, Lecture at 6:00, learn about the Starr Hill Brewery from Crozet, Virginia, and beer making at this lecture and tasting event. Online Registration opens 30 days before event, Registration fee $15.
  • September, 2014, On-Line Bulbs Sale, date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, with pick up in the FPEC for orders placed online.
  • September 13, 2014, Monarch Migration Tagging Workshop, Saturday, 10 am - noon in the FPEC, with Linda Marchman, educator and butterfly farm owner. Enjoy a lecture and various activities, for children age seven to adults, along with tagging and releasing Monarch butterflies to start their seasonal migration. (Also available as a class field trip.) For more details, call (540) 568-3194.
  • September 13, 2014, Fall Annual Remarkable Trees Tour, See Remarkable Trees in the region, traveling with the EJC Arboretum Director as guide. Visit the Lesesne State Forest a site where American Chestnut restoration research is ongoing. See hybrid and breeding orchards of chestnuts. Learn how forestry scientists are dealing with hypovirulence in American Chestnut surviving trees.
  • September 26 & 27, 2014, Fall Plant and Bulb Sale, Friday and Saturday 9 am - 3 pm held in the parking area near the FPEC parking lot, shop a huge inventory of Virginia Native wildflowers and cultivar perennials, shrubs and trees, and spring bulbs, at just the right time for fall planting.
  • October, 2014, Fall Children's Art Workshop, date to be announced on jmu.edu/arboretum, After School 4:00-6:00 pm in the FPEC, children will study and create botanical drawings of leaves, their forms and colors, and berries found within the arboretum, as well as plant I.D. $35 charge includes materials.
  • October 3, 2014, Private Greenhouse Close-out Shopping Appointments, Coincides with date of Fall Bulb Sale, Friday only, with an Arboretum Green House Manager. Call (540) 568-3194 to reserve a half-hour appointment to shop the growing season closeout plant, shrub, tree inventory at the arboretum greenhouse.
  • October 10 & 11, 2014, Fall Bulb Sale, Friday and Saturday, 9 am - 3 pm in the FPEC, and Saturday only Godwin Field morningtime to be announced, Godwin Field sale closes with the football game kickoff. Choose the JMU Colors Annual Bulb Collection of beautiful and rare bulbs, or buy from a selection of bulbs to plant in home or business landscapes.
  • October 12, 2014, Fall Color Carriage Rides,  Sunday 2 - 5 pm, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage through the autumn colors of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum.
  • October 18, 2014, Children's Harvest Festival, Saturday 1 - 5 pm, with dance exhibitions and lessons, crafts, singers, musical instrument performance and demonstrations, story time, trails tours, snacks, seed collecting trail activity and much more offered at this free fall children's festival. Horse drawn wagon rides are available for the whole family with ticket purchase.
  • October 22 & 29, 2014, Bonsai Workshop, noon - 1:00 each session, Arboretum Grounds Manager and Bonsai Master, Mike Hott, attend in the FPEC to create a “wee-tree” to enjoy at home or office. $40 fee covers all materials inclusive to create a Bonsai tree.
  • November-December, 2014, Festive Holiday Plants and Evergreens Decor on-line Sale, date to be announced.  Bring the beauty of fresh blooming holiday plants and the scent of evergreens into your home for the Holidays. The EJC Arboretum offers locally grown, high-quality plants. Visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum. Order pick up in the FPEC, 8:30-5:00 pm.
  • December 9 or 10, 2014Annual Festive Greens Workshop, date to be announced on jmu.edu/arboretum, Noon to 1:30 pm, Create a versatile holiday décor piece, a mantle topiary, that will beautify any holiday home or business with style and fragrance, under the guidance of a floral expert, Abby Long from Blakemore’s Florist. Fee varies depending on supplies ordered when registering. Register at jmu.edu/arboretum. Held in the FPEC.
  • December 13, 2014, Moonlight Holiday and Winter Commencement Carriage Rides1-8 pm, reserve to enjoy a horse drawn holiday carriage moonlight or daytime ride. Horse teams are harnessed in jingle bells for this festive Holiday celebration. For the cost of a movie ticket, create a holiday memory of a lifetime! Browse arboretum website, late fall for information when posted. Carriages leave the FPEC on a 20 minute schedule.
  • December week prior to Christmas, date to be announced, to the 31st, 2014, Winter Holiday, EJC Arboretum offices closed to reopen tentatively January 5, 2015
  • February 11, 2015, Terrarium Workshop, Wednesday, noon-1:30 pm, in the FPEC. (Actual date may vary and will post on the arboretum website a minimum of 30 days before the event.) Miniature landscape expert, Pam Shank, demonstrates and guides through the process of creating a terrarium. Create a wee world with different kinds of botanicals each year to use as home or business decor. Registration opens online 30 days in advance of the workshop.
  • February 13 & 14, 2015, Valentine's Day Horse Drawn Carriage Rides, Friday and Saturday, 5-8 pm.  (Actual date may vary and will post on the arboretum website a minimum of 30 days before the event.) Romantic horse drawn carriages leave from the FPEC  by moonlight, advance reservations recommended. Walk up rides may be available day of. Call to reserve.
  • February 24, 2015, Frances Litten Invitational Dinner Tuesday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Festival Conference Center, Ballroom B. By invitation only, the 9th annual Frances A. Litten Invitational Dinner is a gathering of colleagues and friends of founding arboretum board member and educator, Frances A. Litten.
  • February 24, 2015, Frances Litten Botanical Lecture, Tuesday, 7:00-8:30 pm, Festival Conference Center, Ballroom A.  The 9th annual lecture offered free to the public, held in the Festival Conference Center on the campus of James Madison University. The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. and will once again give the public practical tips and information about many exciting and innovative uses of common plants in landscape designs and home gardening. Book and arboretum products sales after the lecture 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • March, 2015St. Patrick's live Highland Pipes Free Public Concert,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and a picnic dinner for a free public live performance of Highland Pipes.
  • March, 2015, St. Patrick's Day Dinner Lecture,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, in the FPEC offered on St. Patrick's Day annually, 6:00-9:00 pm. Enjoy fine genuine Irish cuisine and brew.
  • March, 2015, Spring Children's Art Workshop,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, in the Frances Plecker Education Center, (FPEC). The Tues, Wed, and Thurs workshop offers children’s education on plant identification as well as basic botanical drawing, all materials included in a $35 cover charge. Advance online registration needed.
  • March, 2015, Birding Workshop,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, noon-1:30 pm In the FPEC, in partnership with the Rockingham Bird Club. An avifauna notable and photographer of Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley avian species Diane Lepkowski, lectures on songbirds to raptors, giving an annual spring lecture and forum discussion in the *FPEC, noon to 1:30 pm, This workshop partners with guided birding trail walks in April or May.
  • April, 2015, Wildflower Walks,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, at 10:00 am, Arboretum Exploration Series Tours with the Arboretum Director, enjoying over 50 varieties on exhibit at the EJC Arboretum. Walks meet at the Pavilion. No advance registration.
  • April, 2015, Guided Bird Walk,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 8:00 a.m., in the Pavilion. Led by a birding expert, Greg Moyer, in partnership with the Rockingham Bird Club.
  • April, 2015A Latte' Jive, Alzheimer’s Benefit 5K Run and Concert,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 1:00-3:00 p.m., Sigma Kappa and Tau Kappa Epsilon cosponsor an annual 5k benefit for the Central and Western Virginia Chapter of the American Alzheimer’s Association, on the arboretum grounds, “A Walk You’ll Remember!” with live music at the 5k conclusion, and runners cool down and enjoy coffee, decaf, tea, and water served free compliments JMU Catering.
  • April, 2015Monarchs and Math Workshop, date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 10:00 am - 11:00 am in the FPEC. In this workshop for older elementary school age children and their parents to retirees, learn how math matrixes help scientists study the migratory populations of Monarch butterflies. Popular beliefs among scientists regarding Monarch populations are challenged with math!
  • April, 2015Easter Egg Hunt,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 11:00 am. Egg hunt will start in the Pavilion, for young children with the Theta Nu Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta, Saturday, pre-registration required. Cost is $5 per child.
  • April, 2015, Arbor Day Trees and Native Plant Sale,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 9:00 am -3:00 pm in the parking lot of the *FPEC. In the prime time of spring, the Arboretum offers a wide selection of wildflowers, contrasting foliage plants like native ferns, with unusual shrubs and trees that can make home and business landscaping ecofriendly and lovely! To honor those who educate youth, all city and county public school teachers receive 15% off tree purchases presenting a school ID!
  • April, 2015, Easter Sunrise Service,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 10:00 am to noon, at the arboretum on the main lawn. JMU RISE hosts the annual inter-denominational Easter Sunrise Worship Service.
  •  April, 2015, Campus Cookies Easter Egg Hunt for JMU students,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 1-4:00 pm, Sunday. Sponsored by the Office of Residence Life, JAC card required, JMU students with JAC cards search for hidden Easter eggs holding valuable coupons and discounts to area merchants and a free cookie from Campus Cookies!
  • April to October, 2015, Walk-Up Plant Sale Beginning in mid-April, and projected to continue until the first hard frost in the region which will be about mid-October. Shop from a selection usually currently in bloom natives, exotics and cultivars perennials, shrubs, and trees at the *FPEC
  • April to October, 2015, Private Greenhouse Shopping by Appointment Beginning in mid-April, and projected to continue until the first hard frost in the region which will be about mid-October. Shop from the entire greenhouse inventory of natives, exotics and cultivars perennials, shrubs, and trees, by advance appointment only, with $50 minimum purchase required. Call (540) 568-3194, or visit the arboretum website to schedule the appointment.
  • April, 2015, Earth Day Wildflower Walk,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 10:00 am FPEC, The Director leads a walk highlighting the environmental benefits the arboretum provides its community.
  • April, 2015Virginia Arbor Day Public School Gift Tree Planting Ceremony,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, Smithland Elementary school students, faculty, staff and parents gather for an Arbor Day observation and ceremony, to plant a tree at their school and learn about the value of greening Harrisonburg’s public school campuses, as the EJC Arboretum grows into its community. 2014, A new public school hosts this event each year. (Schools can apply to be selected for a tree planting ceremony by emailing the Education Coordinator on the arboretum website Contact Us page.)
  • April, 2015, Arbor Day in Virginia event is the Virginia Native Trees Tour,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, with the Arboretum Director, at 1:00 pm meets at the *FPEC
  • April, 2015, Wildflower Walk with The Virginia Native Plant Society,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 10:00 am. VNPS docent tour guide and wildflower aficionado, starting at the Pavilion.
  • April, 2015Tour Celebrating Historic Garden Week,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 1:00 pm, the EJC Arboretum celebrates with a tour starting at the *FPEC. Arboretum grounds are open free to public, dawn to dusk. Tours will be led by Jan Sievers Mahon, Arboretum Director and will focus on the arboretum’s bulb collection, wildflowers and flowering shrubs and trees. Tours will start at the Frances Plecker Education Center. Preregistration is not needed
  • May, 2015, Annual Spring Notable Wildflowers Field Trip,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead,10:00 am and 1:00 pm, each spring to a new wild regional location, dress for an expedition to view wildflower species in their natural setting with a Virginia Native Plant Society Member, Arboretum Board Member, or Arboretum Director or as guide. Register in advance. Participants meet at destination. For details call (540) 568-3194.
  • May, 2015, Mother's Day Carriage Rides date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, by twilight 6:30-9:30 pm Saturday evening, and 1-4 pm Sunday afternoon, in the Arboretum. Carriages leave from the FPEC. Give a special mom a memorable celebration by a carriage ride through the natural beauty of the Arboretum; costs vary per person for adults and children, and per private carriage, phone for cost and to reserve (540)568-3194 or email.
  • May, 2014, Wine and Cheese in the Trees Lecture, date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 5:00 -7:00 pm, Friday, Arrival at 5:00 Demo at 5:30 and Lecture at 6:00. Online Registration opens 30 days before event, Registration fee $15.
  • May, 2015, Spring Celebration Plant Sale, date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 9-3pm Friday & Saturday. Wide selection of plants, shrubs and trees to make any home or business landscape ecofriendly and lovely, with Saturday educational activities that may include a lecture, demonstrations, ask-an-expert, raffles, live music, and a butterfly release.
  • June, 2015, Father's Day Solstice Celebration,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 7:00-10:00 pm, Saturday, during the season when daylight lingers longest, enjoy a special dinner and wine event with live music and dancing on the Saturday evening before Father's Day. Dance with the 60s, 70s and 80s classic rock and popular music performed by Standing Room Only (see them on Facebook). View the dinner menu and make online reservations on the arboretum events page beginning May 19, 2014.

* "FPEC" Frances Plecker Education Center, found on the grounds of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum,

780 University Blvd., Harrisonburg, VA 22807, 540-568-3194