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The Pavilion



The Pavilion package includes: 

Rental cost: $50 per two-hour block (includes)

  • Five Picnic Tables (Seating 25 - 30 guests)
  • Electrical Connections
  • Lighting & Ceiling Fans
  • Two Family restrooms are available at the pavilion
  • Additional chairs cost $1.50 each; additional tables cost $7.50 each

JMU Faculty may reserve the pavilion for class for free; please see visit JMU Class and Organizational Use page.

Pavilion Rental Request Form

The Lawn

The Lawn Package includes:

  • Up to 3 hours
  • Chair and table set-up


  • Seated Dining: 120
  • Standing: 250 

Cost: $995  

Ernst Tree Terrace

Ernst Tree Terrace Package includes:

  • Up to 3 hours
  • Chair and table set-up


  • Seated Dining: 75
  • Seated Theatre: 100
  • Standing: 120 

Cost: $395 

with Frances Plecker Education Center: $570


  • Seasonal Fountain
  • Pergola
  • Overlook pond and lower gardens
  • "Tucked away" privacy from busy areas


Title Fountain

Frances Plecker Education Center

Frances Plecker Education Center Package includes:

  • Up to 3 hours of use
  • Chair and table set-up


  • Seated Dining: 20 guests
  • Seated Theater: 50 guests
  • Standing: 50 guests 

Cost: $295


  • Indoor space
  • Intimate setting Kitchen access
  • Projector and Screen

Facility Rental image


Add- Ons

Add Frances Plecker Education Center to another package (excluding Pavilion): $175 (3 hours)

Additional Chairs: $1.50 each

Additional Tables: $7.50 each 

Additional Time (excluding Pavilion): $125 per hour

Staff Charge: $25 per hour when needed for extended hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Since our venue is outdoors and we do not have the capacity to house more than 40 guests inside the Frances Plecker Education Center, for groups larger than 40, we always recommend a good rain backup, due to unpredictable weather.


Recommended Back-up Locations

All food and drink must go through JMU Special Events & CateringNO outside vendors are permitted. 

Click here to Review our Facility Calendar for general availability. It is possible that a particular date is not available even if the calendar is showing open due to future planned but unpublished events or staff availability. We will confirm date availability with you once you submit your inquiry form. 

Yes! Any chairs or tables will be set up by arboretum staff ahead of time. Your reservation time includes your personal decorating and removal of personal items at the end of the event.

Any catered food (excluding wedding cake) must be contracted through JMU Catering. Personally prepared potluck food is permitted. 

Generally, we do not reserve the Frances Plecker Education Center during the week because it serves as office space, an information center, and a gift shop, and is open to the public. However, in winter months we can sometimes accommodate reservation requests. Give us a call. 

Parking in JMU Lot R5 is strongly encouraged. Click here for directions 

We have limited parking in two small parking lots, one lot at the Frances Plecker Education Center, 780 University Blvd, and another close to our Pavilion. 

Wheelchair and ADA-accessible parking with access to the lawn, the Frances Plecker Education Center, the Ernst Tree Terrace, and the Jurney Stage Garden is in the Frances Plecker Education Center lot, 780 University Blvd. 

The Arboretum, including the Frances Plecker Education Center parking lot and pond parking lot close at dusk daily.

  • With 10-day weather forecast and 10-day final guest count, final payment is due 7 calendar days before event. Discount(s) given at final payment
  • Users are advised for best event planning practice for outdoor events to secure alternative, back-up, inclement-weather facility. The arboretum is not responsible for damage to personal property or event preparedness expenses or loss due to severe inclement weather.
  • Reimbursement (less20% administrative cancellation fee for all cancellations) is payable with social security number of contract signer with cancellation notices.
  • Cancellations are accepted at 48-hours from event date only for severe inclement weather per N.O.A.A. forecast, when percentage predicted is not in event’s favor 50% or greater, or with 90 days’ notice from event date for non-weather cancellations. Notice in person or by e-mail is accepted. Or if reserving party selects to cancel for 90 day cancellations only, by US Mail, notice is not accepted on postmark but is accepted on arboretum in-office receipt date stamp. NO US MAIL CANCELLATIONS for 48-hour extreme inclement weather cancellations. Only contract signer may cancel by email, phone or in person at 48 hours cancellation
  • Non-reserved parking is allowed in designated spaces in north lot within grounds, south lot within grounds. Parking outside of designated area may result in citation. Availability varying depending on public visitor use and JMU classes in session or not in lot R-5 on University Blvd and Convo G lot on Driver Drive. Arboretum not responsible for JMU major events such as football games impact to parking availability. Contractee responsible to read parking policy on the Directions page found at the arboretum website. Users are responsible to check JMU website event calendar to monitor JMU events before signing contract and throughout planning period.
  • Food and Beverage consumption policy on grounds, in buildings, within arboretum facilities, for individuals or groups:
    • No walk-on canned, bottled, kegged, or otherwise contained alcohol or intoxicant may be carried onto premises
    • JMU full-service bartending may be contracted through JMU Catering for reserved events
    • No outside agency catering: All food and beverage catering and bartending service is required to be provided by JMU Special Events Catering 540-568-6637
  • Responsible Individual, and/or Group, either is or both together are, liable for any damage to Arboretum property
  • Liability Release (found on website) is required for corporate and business events. Weddings are exempted from submitting Liability Release
  • No physical alteration, amendment, or adjustment to property is allowed (I.e., no marking of trees, cutting botanicals, set-up of personal tents, no nailing/tacking signs,leaving tied ribbons on trees, etc. is allowed)
  • No fires of any sort, including smoking, lit candles, fires within portable grills, no fires are allowed on premises and grounds whatsoever. Extinguished cigarette butts may not be discarded on wood chip trails, on the forest floor, in trash receptacles or on lawns or in beds anywhere within grounds: Extinguish cigarettes before leaving cars and use car ash trays
  • Visitors must remain on wood-chip trail and, lawns. Traversing garden beds, forest floor, ponds and waterways, drain basins, is prohibited
  • Grounds including parking lots remain open to the public during reserved event times with signage posted at event site advising public of private restricted site use
  • Sporting activities such as football, soccer, Frisbee inevitably cause flower bed damage and are prohibited at the arboretum
  • Users must leave no evidence of event decorations, debris and trash at use site, and use waste receptacles provided or bear a $25/hour trash pickup fee per staff per each hour needed if arboretum staff must clean following the event
  • Dogs may be at weddings and must be under control, kept on trails, out of gardens, forests floor and out of waterways, and all leavings must be removed by owner/handler.
  • Users and guests must vacate premises and parking areas by dusk unless otherwise negotiated by contract for events

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