Monday, July 18, 2011

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens - James Madison University - Harrisonburg, VA

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a 125-acre urban botanical preserve located within the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the campus of James Madison University (JMU). It provides an ideal combination of naturalized botanical gardens (33 acres) and forest (92 acres), complementing each other and serving the purposes of research, teaching, and demonstration.

© 2011 Donna L. Watkins - Closeup of Thistle Bloom
This green space is home to a diverse ecosystem featuring native plants of the mid-Appalachians (woodland wildflowers, azaleas, and rhododendrons); a collection of non-native trees, shrubs, and bulbs (magnolias, Kousa dogwoods, hollies, daffodils, etc.); an Oak-Hickory Forest; a lowland swale; a shale barren; herb and rose gardens; a pond habitat; and a bog garden. An outdoor amphitheatre, terraced gardens, a Pavilion, a Monarch Way Station, and the Frances Plecker Education Center enhance the complex further.

The Arboretum is a haven in the middle of urban growth and development, a place where nature can be honored, appreciated, protected, and studied. It is a center for the conservation, enjoyment, and interpretation of plants and ecosystems of the Shenandoah Valley, and serves as an outdoor biology laboratory and environmental educational center with tours, lectures, seminars, workshops and other public programs.

The Arboretum's philosophy embodies an appreciation of nature as part of intellectual development. JMU faculty members, in disciplines ranging from the arts to physical education to the biological sciences, use the Arboretum as an outdoor classroom and laboratory for research and study. Students from nearby elementary and secondary schools visit the Arboretum and can enjoy educational tours, designed to progress both their science knowledge and interest in flora and fauna.

Information Source: JMU Website

View the photo album of this visit with my sweet husband and a previous first visit with a friend who now walks in God's Gardens.

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