Upcoming Events at the Arboretum

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Mother's Day Carriage Rides

Sunday, May 8, 2016, 1:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m.

Rides depart from the Frances Plecker Education Center and continue through a woodland setting!

A mother and her family enjoying a carriage ride

For about the cost of a movie, give a special lady, Mom, the memory of a lifetime.

Create a Mother's Day celebration that goes beyond ordinary to surprising, even exceptional. In a luxurious vis-à-vis carriage she'll be drawn by beautiful horses and an experienced coachman. Your Mother's Day celebration can make any mom's dreams come true.

For event-related questions, phone (540) 568-3194.

  • Private carriages that seat up to four adults are $75. The private carriage rate will be sold to all group sizes of four adults. Group sizes of four always buy the $75 carriage.
  • Only group sizes of three, two, or one person can buy by the seat. The per person ticket price is $18 adults, and $12 for kids ten years of age and younger. Infants that ride on an adult lap who are under two years of age are free.
  • The maximum group size per carriage is four for adult riders. Adult riders are anyone eleven years of age or older.
  • The maximum group size per carriage for families is five people IF children are ten years old or younger. For children eleven years and older, adult per person policy stands enforce.
  • Paid reservations are made by phone using any major credit card, or walk-in weekdays, business hours, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, at the Frances Plecker Education Center with cash or check.
  • Walk-up rides days of events might be available but are not guaranteed. Call ahead for walk-up riders. (540) 568-3194.
  • Please arrive at the Frances Plecker Ed Center 10 minutes ahead of your scheduled ride time. Rides leave on an exact 20 minute schedule. There is no guarantee that late arrivals can or will be re-seated on a later ride, and a late arriving party's ride may be forfeit.
  • Each carriage ride is approximately one mile in length and completes a circuit through the arboretum forest on a graveled, unlit route.
  • Moderate inclement weather: carriage roofs go up! Dress for weather forecast! Extreme inclement weather: postponement may be posted on arboretum website, day of. In inclement weather, check the website for an announcement on the day of, www.jmu.edu/arboretum. If no cancellation posts on website by 10:00 am day of, rides proceed.
  • Tickets are transferable! Credit, cash, check carriage ride ticket purchases are non-refundable. Rides support the EJC Arboretum.
  • A negotiable minimum $15 additional charge for private carriages only that are requested after the close of the event's scheduled rides may be negotiated at carriage driver's discretion. (No individual seat rides are sold after close of event schedule.)


Advanced Flower Painting in Acrylic Wash Advanced Flower Painting in Acrylic Wash

Advanced Flower Painting in Acrylic Wash

In the Frances Plecker Education Center

With Artist in Residence

 Lynda Chandler

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

May 9—12 and 16—19, 2016, $200 for eight sessions, 1:00-4:00 pm each day

Bring art supplies from previous sesssions with Lynda Chandler to each class. Watercolor paper, (300#, hot press, Arches brand) can be purchased from the instructor.

Prerequisite: Must have taken beginning acrylic wash workshop(s) previously with Lynda Chandler.

Paint the beautiful flowers of the EJC Arboretum and Botanical Garden in this eight-day workshop. This study is a continuation of a series of workshops in Acrylic Wash by artist Lynda Chandler. Skills in applying thin washes in layers, preserving white areas for highlights, and shading will be covered.

Enjoy an opportunity to learn from a botanical artist who has received the tribute of being commissioned by major educational agencies, and whose work is published. This workshop is for experienced students who have taken prior classes in acrylic wash with Artist in Residence Lynda Chandler. $200 fee for eight classes of three-hours each.

Click here to register online.


Wine and Cheese on the Ernst Terrace

Maple Syrup – Sweet or Superfood?

Featuring: Back Creek Farms

Friday, May 13, 2016, reception at 5:00 pm, demonstration by the Executive Pastry Sous Chef at 5:30 pm, guest speaker at 6:00 pm

Stock photo of wine and various artisan cheeses

Cost: $20 per person - includes two alcoholic beverages of choice per guest other than JMU students. Featuring tastings of the following:

  • grilled maple glazed pork tenderloin
  • charred maple asparagus
  • warm maple bacon potato salad.

Speaker: Valerie and Pat Lowry from Back Creek Farms in Highland, VA, speak on maple syrup production and the history of maple sugaring in the Allegheny Highlands.

RSVP: Online pre-registration is needed by 5:00 pm May 10. Click here to register.


Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes

Monday, May 16th, 2016, Noon—1:00 p.m.

In the Frances Plecker Education Center

Image of a Gnome home in a forest

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum invites you and your children to come hear a story about fairies and build your very own fairy house or gnome home!

Join us in the Frances Plecker Education Center, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Mondays, April 11th and May 16th for indoor story time followed by an outdoor activity.

Bring your brown bag lunch to enjoy during the story.

For event-related questions, phone (540) 568-3194.


Spring Celebration Plant Sale

Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:00 am—3:00 pm

At the Frances Plecker Education Center

Image of the walking path surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers

Opening at 9:00 a.m. and closing at 3:00 p.m. both days, shop from a wide selection of plants, shrubs and trees to make any home or business landscape eco-friendly and lovely.

Saturday, May 21, noon, enjoy a free Monarch butterfly release accompanied by a live harpist performance.


Arboretum Explorer Camp

for Budding Nature Enthusiasts!

Monday—Friday, June 20—24, 2016
 8:00 am—noon for ages 5—7, 1:00 pm—5:00 pm for ages 8—10

in the Frances Plecker Education Center. $125 per child

promotional banner for kids' explorer camp

The Arboretum Explorer Camp at the EJC Arboretum is a summer program designed to encourage a love of the outdoors, foster environmental stewardship and inspire future scientists. Campers will catch bugs, learn about reptiles, investigate the pond, make crafts and go on daily nature walks. Cost per child is $125 for the week.

Click here to register for this exciting and educational camp.


Participate in this month's Photo of the Month Contest!

Click here for contest rules and entry information.


Other Events Coming Soon

April 25, 2016, Walk Up Plant Sales Shop from a limited selection of perennials plants in bloom, shrubs and trees at the Frances Plecker Education Center, weekdays, during normal business hours.

April 25, 2016, 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 to schedule an appointment.

June 6, 8, and 10, 2016, Nature–Themed Greeting Cards – One day workshops, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 1:00—4:00 pm in the Frances Plecker Education Center. Attend one or attend all. Each session is $30. All materials are included for one day workshops creating greeting cards at each session with Artist in Residence, Lynda Chandler. Online Registration opens 30 days before event.

June 9, 2016, Flying Flowers: Butterflies and Moths in the Garden, with Gail Napora, Thursday, noon—1:00 pm in the Frances Plecker Education Center, Free. Starts in the FPEC then goes outdoors to the Monarch Waystation Garden. Registration opens online 30 days before the program date.

June 13, and July 11, 2016, Big Bug Hunt, Mondays, noon—1:00 pm in the Frances Plecker Education Center, Free. Come with us on a scavenger hunt for the fascinating insects that call the arboretum home! Learn about the different parts of an insect and how other invertebrates, such as spiders and millipedes are different. Children of all ages will discover how to make their backyards bug friendly while learning about all types of invertebrates. After the Big Bug Hunt, create your own stick bug to take home! This educational children's program is free!

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

 Edith J. Carrier 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.