Creation of a New Nature Trail

From the Desk of Bennett O. Dowling, 577 Organic Landscape Horticulturist

In the winter of 2020/2021, 577 properties and horticulture staff set out to create a new landscape running from the wood kiln to the orchard. A major goal of the new trail was to create a key pathway for the new StoryWalk® trail. This effort required the clearing of dense thickets of fallen trees, invasive shrubs, and debris.

Over the next few years, we have installed countless native shrubs, grasses, perennials, and understory trees to act as a key habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife.

Now, in 2023, this new landscape links key areas of the park in a beautiful and ecologically inspired way. It’s amazing what vision, elbow grease, and proper plant selection can do!

Thanks to donations, grants, and volunteer efforts, this area is now a space pleasing to humans and animals alike.

We invite you to come out for a visit and enjoy the trail and August’s StoryWalk® book ~ If You Love Honey: Nature’s Connections by Martha Sullivan.

Bees make honey, but did you know that the entire process depends on the lives of dandelions, mushrooms, oak trees, and even blue jays? If you love honey, you better love all of them, too!

This beautifully illustrated book builds on “if you love honey,” and introduces young readers to all the living things that help make honey production possible. Perfect for kids who always wonder, “how do bees make honey?” and parents, teachers, and librarians looking for honeybee books for children and springtime books for kids.

Click HERE to learn more about the StoryWalk® trail and plan your visit.

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Music in the Gardens ~ Saturday, June 8

Music in the Gardens ~ Saturday, June 8

TSA String Quartet will be playing classical tunes from 11am to 1pm, followed by the enchanting harp music of Rebecca Swett from 2pm to 3pm. And as a special treat, Swanky Scoops will be there with delicious ice cream! Plus, select areas of Virginia’s House will be open for tours and activities from 11am to 3pm.

Join us for Music in the Gardens on Saturday, July 13, from 11am to 3pm. Events are free, family-friendly, and rain or shine.