Upcoming Events at the Arboretum

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Guided Walks Presented by
Arboretum Director, Jan Sievers Mahon

At the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

Natural path through various flowers, plants, and trees

Tours meet at the Frances Plecker Education Center, unless otherwise indicated

Wildflower Walk with the Virginia Native Plant Society

Thursday, April 23, 2015, 10:00 am

Take a walk in the wildflowers with the Virginia Native Plant Society. Led by Michael Seth and starting at the Frances Plecker Education Center.

Tour Celebrating Historic Garden Week on Virginia Arbor Day

Friday, April 24, 2015, 1:00 pm

The EJC Arboretum celebrates with a tour on Virginia Arbor Day starting at the *FPEC. Arboretum grounds are open free to public, dawn to dusk. Tour 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 for Historic Garden Week events.

NOTE: Extreme or dangerous inclement weather may cancel or postpone arboretum events and programs. Please visit the arboretum website for details as needed.

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


Arbor Day Trees and Native Plant Sale

Friday & Saturday, April 17th & 18th, 2015, 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m. both days

At the Frances Plecker Education Center

Image of a Gnome home in a forest

For savvy gardeners wanting a garden filled with plants tailored by Mother Nature to be suited to regional climate and precipitation, the EJC Arboretum's Native Plant Sale is the right place to shop. Shop hard-to-find native plants, shrubs, and trees. See below or visit the arboretum website, jmu.edu/arboretum for a partial list of plants, shrubs and trees that will be offered at the sale. Plan your landscaping improvements, and then come to the EJC Arboretum Arbor Day Trees and Native Plant Sale!

City & County Public School Teachers with School ID receive a 10% discount and are invited to a special shopping session 3:00 to 4:30 pm on Friday!

Trees: Tulip poplar, black gum, dogwoods, redbuds, sugar maple, sweetbay magnolia, white fringetree.

Shrubs: Elderberry, sweet shrub, spice bush, summersweet, buttonbush, native azaleas, deciduous hollies, sweetspire, red and black chokeberrys, witch hazel, fothergilla.

Perennial Wildflowers: Wild columbine, wild ginger, milkweeds, hepatica, Virginia bluebells, wood poppy, foamflower, bloodroot, bellwort, Dutchman's breeches, dwarf larkspur, Jacob's ladder, and three different trilliums.

NOTE: Extreme or dangerous inclement weather may cancel or postpone arboretum events and programs. Please visit the arboretum website for details as needed.

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


Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes

Mondays, April 20th & May 18th, 2015, 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 Monday, February 16th, March 16th, April 20th, and May 18th 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.


Birds of the Arboretum

Take a Guided Bird Walk with Greg Moyers 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 8:00 a.m.

Meets at the Pavilion

Photo of a Magnolia Warbler by Greg Moyers

Enjoy a guided bird walk at the EJC Arboretum led by birding expert and photographer Greg Moyers, starting from the arboretum Pavilion.

NOTE: Online reservations for this event have been closed due to the tour group size being full. Thank you to all who will be joining us!


Annual Spring Notable Wildflowers Field Trip

Saturday, April 25th, 2015, 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Participants meet at Shenandoah Mountain

Photo collage of previous walks

The EJC Arboretum partners with area Master Naturalists for a spring field trip to experience first hand some of the incredible biodiversity of Shenandoah Mountain.

Two free guided walks sponsored by the Headwaters Master Naturalists are offered at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Please visit the Headwaters Master Naturalist website for FREE but required registration.

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


Mother's Day Carriage Rides

Sunday, May 10th, 2015, 1:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m.

Rides depart from the Frances Plecker Education Center

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 thru a woodland setting. Your Mother's Day celebration can make any mom's dreams come true.

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

  • Private carriages for any party size from one to six persons of any age at purchaser's choice are $65.
  • Adult rides by the individual seat in a carriage selling six seats are $12 per person. Children eight years and younger are $8. Infants 2 years and younger who ride on a lap are free.
  • Up to six individual seats are sold in each carriage.
  • 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.)

Monarchs Need Milkweed!

Monday, May 11th, 2015, noon—1:00 p.m.

At the Frances Plecker Education Center

Monarch butterfly on a flower

With Monarch Expert, Gail Napora

All are invited to enjoy the beauty of Monarch butterflies at the EJC Arboretum. Learn all about some of the most popular Lepidoptera. This program is the second in a series of three sessions.

Speaker and Monarch expert Gail Napora offers information about milkweed and its complex pollination, detailed information about caterpillar diet, impacts of pesticides, and facts about the components of and how-to create an ideal Monarch Waystation.

This perfect program for hobbyists to homeschoolers includes a walk to the arboretum Monarch Waystation. A Monarch butterfly release closes the program.

Then on June 8, the program closes with Monarchs Change Form, which will also include another Monarch release at the conclusion.

Click here to register for this free presentation.


Children's Spring Nature Art Camp

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, April, 27, 29, 30, 2015, 10:00 a.m.—noon each day

In the Frances Plecker Education Center

$35 fee, for children ages seven to twelve (Fee Includes sketch journal and pencil)

Children's Spring Nature Art Camp

With Jewel Yoder Hertzler,
Artist and Facilitator

These dates are for the spring-themed workshop in an ongoing series of seasonal workshops for children's art instruction that will allow young artists to produce their own botanical journal that they will treasure for a lifetime.

The three morning sessions will focus on spring season woodland wildflowers found within the arboretum, teaching plant identification and basic science skills alongside botanical drawing technique. Journal work begins with rubbings and tracings, and then moves into sketching subjects. Workshop members will feel they're becoming young "John Clayton botanical explorers," using their pencils to document their findings as did the famous eighteenth-century botanical explorer and illustrator.

This workshop will continue next into the summer session for children that will focus on the arboretum's trees and their unique leaf, bark, woody branch, and canopy formations. Hurry to register your child. Space is limited to 10 children, ages seven to fourteen, each session time. This spring three session workshop time is geared toward homeschool students. Parents are welcome to stay with their children during workshop sessions.

Click here to register your child or children for this camp.


Other Events Coming Soon in the New Year


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.