Upcoming Events at the Arboretum

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Wine and Cheese on the Ernst Terrace

Friday, May 22, 2015, Reception starts at 5:00 pm

On the Ernst Terrace at the Frances Plecker Education Center

Featuring Silverback Distillery from Afton, VA

$15 per person - includes two beverages of your choice (wines or Silverback Distillery cocktails).

Image of a Gnome home in a forest

Featuring Madison Basil Lemonade with Beringei Vodka, Madison Sours with Blackback Whiskey and Gin and Tonic with Strange Monkey Gin. Paired with bourbon apple tarts and gourmet Virginia and imported cheeses, artisan breads and infused olive oils.

Speaker Christine Riggleman from Silverback Distillery in Afton, VA, speaks on sustainable liquor distilling and the use of geothermal technologies for spirits production.


Botanical Illustration in Graphite Pencil

With Artist in Residence Lynda Chandler

B.S. Agriculture, University of Florida, Major:Ornamental Horticulture/Minor: Scientific Illustration

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Friday, June 1st, 3rd, 5th, 8th, & 10th, 2015, 1:30pm—4:30pm

$125 Workshop Fee (Supplies additional, see below.) In the Frances Plecker Education Center

Participants working on their drawings

Botanical Illustration in Graphite Pencil...

...is a five-session art workshop for adults who want to learn to capture the details of a plant to enjoy long after seeing it in real time in its real world.

This workshop teaches basics of plant morphology and how to create realistic pencil drawings of plants. Students will learn plant structure, and how the various structures of plants work. The workshop includes walks out onto the 125 acre grounds of the EJC Arboretum to observe wildflowers in their habitat.


Sketch of the life cycle of a flower

Commissioned by Florida College

Enjoy a workshop with a botanical artist who has received the tribute of being commissioned by major educational agencies, and whose work is published.

Plants will be selected to be taken indoors and used for drawing exercises including drawing branches, leaves, flowers and fruit for pleasure, for new artists, or to expand any experienced student's skill level.

Click this link to download the supply list. (PDF)

Click this link to view workshop syllabus. (PDF)

Click here to register online for this event.


Monarchs Change Form!

With Monarch Expert Gail Napora

Monday, June 8th, 2015, Noon—1:00pm. In the Frances Plecker Education Center

Participants working on their drawings

All are invited to enjoy the beauty of Monarch butterflies at the EJC Arboretum. Register online at the arboretum website and learn all about some of the most popular Lepidoptera. This program is the third and final session that concludes with another Monarch release.

Speaker and Monarch expert, Gail Napora presents a talk and video on the Monarch lifecycle and on broods of the Monarch. Attendees are then led to the arboretum's Monarch Waystation to review waystation plants that in June may be showing mature development and blooms, and possibly eggs and caterpillars of Monarchs and other butterflies. This educational program is for hobbyists to homeschoolers.

Click here to register online for this event.


Storytime in the Understory

Tuesdays, June 9th, July 14th, August 11th, and September 8th, 2015,
11:00am—Noon (approximately). In the Frances Plecker Education Center

Participants working on their drawings

Stories come to life for young children with animated readings. Young story enthusiasts will develop an understanding of the importance of natural waterways and how streams and wetlands 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 for after Storytime. On days when the sun is shining and the temperatures are warm Storytime is outside at the Jurney Stage Garden! Inclement weather~ Storytime comes indoors to the Frances Plecker Ed Center.

After story time, for young reading enthusiasts with energy left to burn, enjoy another learning adventure, an audio tree tour with any hand-held device with access to the internet going to the Arboretum''s self-guided-tour.

For more information, or to learn of events and programs available at the EJC Arboretum for children, call (540) 568-3194, workweek days, business hours, or visit the Arboretum's Calendar of Events. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Pinterest and see all the arboretum social media online at our website.


Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink

With Artist in Residence Lynda Chandler

B.S. Agriculture, University of Florida, Major:Ornamental Horticulture/Minor: Scientific Illustration

Mondays, Wednesdays, & Friday, June 15th, 17th, 19th, 22nd & 24th, 2015, 1:30pm—4:30pm

$125 Workshop Fee (Supplies additional, see below.) In the Frances Plecker Education Center

Participants working on their drawings

Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink

The Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink workshop is the second workshop in a series of three: graphite pencil precedes, and acrylic wash follows. Adult art students, beginner to experienced, can enjoy taking one or all to learn botanical illustration.

Pen and Ink students learn how to produce different strokes and create tone by using stipple and line. Students need to also purchase an art supply package or shop from a supply list found on the arboretum website event posting. Enjoy a workshop with a botanical artist who has received the tribute of being commissioned by major educational agencies and whose work is published.

Click this link to download the supply list. (PDF)

Click this link to view workshop syllabus. (PDF)

Click here to register online for this event.


2015 Summer Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series

Wednesdays, noon, in the Pavilion, free, no advance registration, enjoy a brown bag lunch that you bring with you and an informative, interactive presentation. Attend one or all!

Fisheye perspective of a starry sky and nebula

June 24, Dark Skies

Dr. Shanil Virani, JMU Physics Professor and Director of the John C. Wells Planetarium at JMU will discuss light pollution -- the overuse and miss use of artificial light at night that takes a tremendous environmental toll and erases the stars from our skies. Attend to learn responsible lighting that ensures safety and security without polluting our nights. Join the arboretum for a lecture that celebrates nighttime dark skies.

Chicken and goat roaming in a backyard

July 8, Backyard Chickens and Dairy Goats

Marie Rothwell, 4-H Extension Agent, Augusta County, shares about making room in backyards for more than flowers. Learn about urban chickens and milking goats, their space and housing needs, myths about backyard husbandry, breeds, feed and more for both chickens and dairy goats, both that will be at the talk for children to enjoy petting!

Chicken and goat roaming in a backyard

July 15, Stream Restoration

Brian Wagner, Principal Biologist with Ecosystem Services shares about the environmental restoration project at the arboretum, returning the arboretum's central waterway to a natural, winding flow and floodplain. Come to learn about the environmental benefits to the arboretum, the JMU campus, and beyond.

Logo of The Flora of Virginia

July 22, Flora of Virginia App

Bland Crowder and Marion Lobstein, with the Flora of Virginia Project, will describe the Flora App now in development for smart phones, tablets, and computers and the new learning modules being designed for adults who want to learn to use the Flora to identify plants.

Close-up of a firefly

July 29, Fireflies, Sustaining Nature's Lights

Dr. James McNeil from the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, shares how development, light pollution, and the way we garden affects this wonderful native insect's sustainable population. Support fireflies! Plan to be with firefly lovers at this lecture!

Close-up of a firefly

August 5, Going Batty for Bats

Dr. Katrina Gobetz, Mammalogy Professor at JMU shares about the flying animals that help with insect control and sometimes pollination. Learn about Virginia bat species experiencing population decline and how to help.


Other Events Coming Soon in the New Year

  • April 20 to October 15, 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 20 to October 15, 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.

  • July 20, 22, & 24, 2015,  Summer Children's Art Workshop. 10:00 am—noon, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Children will learn summer trees and flowers of the arboretum. The workshop offers education on plant I.D. and basic botanical drawing.

  • July 31, 2015, Summer Blue Moon Carriage Rides, 7-10:00 p.m. Friday 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.


Interested in seeing more of what's coming up next? Please check our Annual Calendar of Events.

 EJC Arboretum Events and Programs are Virginia Green.

Promotional photographs are taken by staff of arboretum events.
Written requests to the Web manager to remove a photograph will be honored.