Pavilion V on the UVA Lawn

Secrets of the Arboretum: State Arboretum of Virginia and Blandy Experimental Farm – Lectures and Tours

Date & Time

October 6, 2021 @ 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM EDT


State Arboretum of Virginia and UVA Blandy Experimental Farm
400 Blandy Farm Lane
Boyce, VA 22620


Spend the morning learning about the secrets of the State Arboretum of Virginia. Started in the 1930s, the Arboretum occupies 172 acres of Blandy Farm and contains over 5,000 woody trees and shrubs from around the world. Since the mid-1980s, Blandy Experimental Farm has served as a research field station for UVA’s Environmental Sciences Department.

On this former part of the Tuleyries estate, we will explore the history of this antebellum estate and those enslaved on the property. Arborists will highlight some of the rare and unusual trees and shrubs in the collection. The assistant curator of native plants will guide guests along the Virginia Native Plant Trail. Participants will learn about the K12 program with the director of education as she describes her National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) funded watershed program for middle schoolers.

If you enjoy being surrounded by beautiful foliage and are curious about the history of this vibrant botanical and research community, register for this program at the State Arboretum and Blandy Experimental Farm.

Understanding that the pandemic is still a concern, the event occurs outside with tents available for lunch. This program will take place rain or shine. Masks are required at all times unless eating or drinking.

The event is $25. Space is limited. Registrations required.

Bottles of water will be available. Lunch will be provided.


David Carr (moderator)

Research Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, A&S; Director, Blandy Experimental Farm

Carr’s research is question-driven and has included both animals and plants. Over the past several years, his research has focused on the effects of inbreeding on the interactions between plants and their antagonists (herbivores and pathogens) and their mutualists (pollinators). In addressing these problems, he has conducted experiments in the field as well as the greenhouse, and this approach has relied extensively on the techniques of quantitative genetics. A second focal area of this research has been the ecology and genetics of non-native plant species.

Antonio Austin

Ph.D. student, Howard University

In the summer of 2021, Austin worked as a history intern at Blandy, where he researched the history of enslaved people of the antebellum Tuleyries estate. An expert in genealogical and archival research, Antonio is pursuing a Ph.D. in history from Howard University.

Robin Couch Cardillo

Director, Foundation of the State Arboretum (FOSA)

Couch Cardillo works with the FOSA board, volunteers, and others to raise funds for Blandy Experimental Farm and the State Arboretum of Virginia through private donations, grants, membership, events, and programming.

Ariel Firebaugh

Director of Scientific Engagement, Blandy Experimental Farm

Firebaugh oversees science outreach and public programming at Blandy Experimental Farm. She earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Sciences at UVA in 2017, where she studied firefly ecology.

Candace Lutzow-Felling

Director of Education, Blandy Experimental Farm

Lutzow-Felling is a scientist, science outreach specialist, and educator. She melds her experiences to create and administer environmental science education programs for preK-12 students, professional development programs for teachers, and science communication programs for students and professional scientists.

Jared Manzo

Arboretum Assistant, Blandy Experimental Farm and State Arboretum of Virginia

Manzo is a certified arborist and has been caring for the trees in the Arboretum and Blandy’s historic stone walls since 2018. He holds an M.S. degree in Forestry from West Virginia University.

Jack Monsted

Assistant Curator, Blandy Experimental Farm

Monsted curates the 35-acre Native Plant Trail at Blandy. He earned a M.Sc. from Ohio University’s Plant Biology department in 2018 and specializes in plant community ecology and ecological restoration.

Christine Schmidt

Arborist, Blandy Experimental Farm

Schmidt has been at Blandy for eight years and has been the Arborist since 2018. She has a B.S. in Biology from St Lawrence University and an M.S. in Plant Pathology from Virginia Tech. In her free time, believe it or not, Chris loves to garden.


9:30 am                                                Check-In

9:45 am – 10:00 am                        Introductions and Background on Arboretum and Blandy

10:00 am – 10:30 am                      1st Station: Quarters

10:30 am – 11:00 am                      2nd Station: Arboretum

11:00 am – 11:30 am                     3rd Station: Native Plant Trail

11:30 am – 12:00 pm                      4th Station: Cemetery

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm                        Regroup at Quarters for Lunch and Q&A (under tents outside of the Quarters)

1:00 pm                                                Program Ends

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation Policy

Participants may cancel their registration for this One-Day UVA program by emailing Susan Lynch at  Susan will send an email notification confirming your cancellation.

Refund Policy

If Lifetime Learning (via Susan) receives your cancellation email before midnight on September 23, 2021, you will receive a refund of 50% of your registration fee.

If Lifetime Learning (via Susan) receives your cancellation email after midnight on September 24, 2021, no refund will be issued.

Weather Conditions

This event will occur rain or shine.

Age Requirement

We welcome participants 18 years or older to this program.

Participant Physical Abilities

This program requires extensive walking (approximately 1.2 miles) to visit each area of the gardens and Arboretum. We suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen. Masks are required at all times unless eating or drinking.

Hotel Information

Hotel’s Near the Arboretum and Blandy Experimental Farm: