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The Nature Foundation announces a very generous gift.

The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen Receives $1 Million Donation to its Endowment Fund

WINTERGREEN, JANUARY 7, 2020 – The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen is delighted to announce a $1 million donation to our endowment fund, $500,000 of which is a challenge match. We wish to extend our deep gratitude and heartfelt thanks to Mary Beth Smyth and the Smyth Foundation for their generous donation. Mary Beth and her late husband, Gordon, have been longstanding supporters of the Nature Foundation’s mission, helping us preserve the natural heritage of the Wintergreen community as well as that of Nelson County and the central Blue Ridge Mountains. This is a significant gift that will help insure the protection of unique and rare ecosystems and will promote education of both adults and students from the surrounding region. The gift celebrates the Foundation’s 25-year legacy of environmental stewardship and nationally recognized work to better understand nature by research, and to protect nature by education, thereby challenging those who follow us to implement and enhance that vision.

We urge Wintergreen residents, guests, and all those who benefit from the Foundation’s work to help us meet the challenge grant portion of this generous donation.

For more information about how to help us meet this challenge, please telephone 434-325-8169 or view the Endowment Fund Case Statement.


Save the date: The 29th Annual Sara Ott Memorial Golf Classic will take place on Friday, September 9.

We need your help. We need volunteer hike leaders for our Saturday morning hikes. Are you a hiker but never led a hike? No worries, we will train you. On Saturday, June 4 from 1pm to 4pm, Kathie and Doug will train new hike leaders at Trillium House. Call 434-326-8169 to register. Questions? Email Kathie Driscoll.

Plant Volunteers Needed! The propagation trays in the plant room in Trillium House are full of little green shoots that will turn into plants to enhance the environment here at Wintergreen. The Native Plant Program volunteers have been very busy and the results are growing already. If you are interested, come and join us on Tuesday mornings and start learning all about the native plants that grow in this area. Learn more

Save the Date! This year’s Spring Wildflower Symposium will kick off Friday, May 13 with Director Doug Coleman’s introduction of the speakers, this year’s theme, followed by a weekend of knowledge and fun. Saturday will be a day loaded with walks and talks. The event will end with a Sunday morning exploratory. Stay tuned for presenter line up and schedule of events.

Bear Wise. We recently came across a website dedicated to helping people live responsibly with black bears. Given our love of our furry neighbors at Wintergreen, we think the articles are well worth your time. Take a look.

March Astronomy Tidbits: What’s in the Night Skies? Steve Layman of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society shares upcoming celestial events with Kathie Driscoll of The Nature Foundation. Website references: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov. For citizen science: https:www.theglobeatnight.org, https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/videos/whats-up-march-2022

The Nine Minute Naturalist. Each February, I spend a couple days amongst other caretakers of Virginia forests at the annual Virginia Forest Health Professionals Conference. Each conference is a time to learn what is happening in the forests from NOVA to the southwest tip of Virginia. It was clear that 2021 canbe considered the year of the newcomer. This Nine Minute Naturalist will cover the three new diseases and pests now calling the Commonwealth of Virginia home. Follow this link to read Newcomers to Virginia.

January Astronomy Tidbits: What’s in the Night Skies? Steve Layman of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society shares upcoming celestial events with Kathie Driscoll of The Nature Foundation. Website references: https://www.jwst.nasa.gov. For citizen science: https:www.theglobeatnight.org, https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/whats-up-february-2022

January Astronomy Tidbits: What’s in the Night Skies? Steve Layman of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society shares upcoming celestial events with Kathie Driscoll of The Nature Foundation. Website references: www.jwst.nasa.gov, https://heavens-above.com/main.aspx

A Message From TNFW Director, Doug Coleman: Winter Lecture Series session #1 will be virtual. As we carefully watch evolving health issues, we feel it safer to have the first session of our Winter Lecture Series in a virtual format. With the current realization that weather may also be a factor, that has also played into our decision. This also means you need not brave the cold temperatures or snow drifts. We suggest you attend in your best pair of bedroom slippers, pour a beverage and enjoy this event from the comfort of your home. We hope those who signed up will join us virtually to enjoy a very informative gathering of state and nationally known scientists and educators. Come to find out what goes on behind the scenes with the Foundations research partnerships. We may not be in person but the quality of the event will be the same. We look forward to having you.

Holiday Family Fun at TNFW. All programs start at the Trillium House. Follow this link for more information.

The Nature Foundation 2021 Gift Guide. Last year Santa was busy here at The Nature Foundation. He’s back at it this year! We’ve got tons of new merchandise just in time for the holidays. It’s hard to pick our favorites, but we’ve highlighted a few hereHere’s more good news. We will be offering free delivery to your Wintergreen or Stoney Creek homes. If you prefer, we can ship your purchase. Free Shipping for orders over $100 and just $5.99 for all others. Learn more

November/December Astronomy Tidbits. Steve Layman of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society shares upcoming celestial activities with Kathie Driscoll of The Nature Foundation. Website references: www.stellarium.org

Owner’s Orientation (Saturday, November 6 at 2pm). Want to learn more about The Nature Foundation? How about which hiking trail has a waterfall, or what you should plant and why? Attend our Owner’s Orientation and have your questions answered. This event is free and will be held in the Skyline Pavilion. Please register by Wednesday, November 3.

October Astronomy Tidbits. On The Nature Foundation’s YouTube page, Steve Layman of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society shares October’s celestial activities. The summer constellations wane and fall stars brighten the night skies. How exciting it is to see autumn meteor showers as the temperatures dip to autumn levels. So keep looking up!

Want to hang out? Volunteer opportunity on September 17. Do you want to enjoy a day outside? Whether you are a golfer or not, please keep reading. The annual Sara Ott Memorial Golf Classic benefits The Nature Foundation, and the event takes place at the Stoney Creek Golf Course. It is a great way to spend the day outside with friends all the while supporting a valuable and unique asset that helps define our community. We are in need of volunteers to help at the “special event holes”:

  • Hole-In-One/Closest-To-The-Pin
  • Pro-Drive

Both volunteer assignments are fun and provide the opportunity to see and speak with the players. You do not need to be a golfer to volunteer for these assignments. Also, no one works alone. You will always have a partner or two. Volunteer yourself or get together with a friend and we will be happy to place you on an assignment together. If interested please email Barbara Tinsley at tinsleyb44@gmail.com or Marilyn Duncan at mgd.on.fire@gmail.com and join our team of volunteers. Thank you.

Exploring Wintergreen’s ski slopes. Join Josh Palumbo on Wednesday, August 18 (9am) as we explore what summer looks like on the Wintergreen ski slopes. Late summer wildflowers are abundant and often an afterthought. The full sun environment on the ski slopes provides a wonderful environment for dazzling displays of late summer wildflowers. For more information and to register follow this link.

Don’t miss this upcoming featured event! Join us on Friday, August 6 (5:30pm) for an evening of suspense and intrigue as Morgan Armstrong introduces his new novel, A Serving of Revenge. As an attorney, prosecutor, trial attorney, and general district court judge, Armstrong draws from his varied experiences, as he serves up a five-star local fictional murder mystery at this picnic style event. It is a BYOB, snacks, blanket or chairs for this outdoor event at the Trillium House parking lot. The suspense will be thrilling! Rain date set for August 13. For more information and to register, please follow this link.

Special Event Alert! Join us on Friday, July 16 (7pm) for In Search of Space Shuttle Challenger. The search for the wreckage of the Space Shuttle Challenger will be discussed from the perspective of a member of the search team. Jim Holloway was in command of a US Navy Deep Submergence submarine which spent over two months involved in the search. This event will be held at Tuckahoe Clubhouse in Stoney Creek. For more information and to register, please call 434-325-8169, or follow this link. ***Update: This event has sold out.***.

A special event: Living with Black Bears in Virginia. TNFW hosts Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Regional Wildlife Manager, Matthew Overstreet on Saturday, July 24 at 1pm. Overstreet will provide important information about local black bears, including their biology and behavior and how bears and humans can live harmoniously together. This important event is free to all Wintergreen homeowners. Space is limited so please register in advance.

Act now to receive a discount. If you’d like to play in the Sara Ott Memorial Golf Classic, sign up by Thursday, July 1 to receive a discount on your registration. You don’t need to have your team finalized or even have a team at all to register. If you’re new to Wintergreen, this event is a fun way to meet people, get outside and support a worthwhile cause. You can register online or email Liz at specialevents@tnfw.org for more information.

Presenting Our Nature Scavenger HuntTake this opportunity to learn about the nature around you and what The Nature Foundation does. We’re excited to have you play along, adults and children alike. We will drop two clues a week for four weeks. You have a chance to win a prize for each clue and there’s a grand prize if you complete the entire scavenger hunt. You’ll need to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram or be signed up for our emails to get the clues. Send your answers to specialevents@tnfw.org or post them in the comments on Facebook and Instagram. At Wintergreen, we’re surrounded by nature everywhere we look. We have spectacular views, rock formations, and stunning wildflowers just starting to bloom. Let’s go outside and see what we can find. HINT – some clues can be found on the trails The Nature Foundation maintains!

We are opening to the public! We planned for this moment almost since that fateful day over a year ago when we decided to close our doors for what we thought would be a few weeks. We have missed each and every one of you, our members and volunteers. We look forward to meeting all the new owners in the community and welcoming new members into Trillium House.

On Saturday, May 15th we will open our doors to the public. Things may look a little different since the last time you’ve been in. We’ll require masks in the building at all times, and we’ll follow social distancing guidelines, so there may be times we ask you to wait on the porch while we help another guest. We will have the Children’s Area closed off to keep everyone safe, but the same knowledgeable staff and volunteers will be there to give you trail advice, welcome you back, and answer your questions. Don’t judge us if we jump up and down or break in to tears the first time we see you. We’ve missed you, and we are so absolutely over the moon to welcome you back inside.

Our Online Gift Shoppe. We are pleased to offer items from our Shoppe for purchase online. While we are not ready to open our doors, we will offer contactless front porch pickup on Tuesdays and Fridays. In order to take advantage of this, your order must be placed before 5pm the day before you want to pick it up. We will call you at the number listed to let you know your items are ready. Contactless mountain and valley delivery is available upon request.The items listed online are but a small sampling of what we have to offer. If you’re looking for something specific, please email Liz at specialevents@tnfw.org.

From the Director. The Nature Foundation’s important work and most programs continue despite being unable to open the lobby of the Trillium House to you. Some programs are virtual and others are live as we learn to live with the new normal and social distancing. Read Doug’s entire update here.

Nature Foundation Events. TNFW events are subject to change or cancellation due to COVID-19 related issues. Please check our emails, Event Registration page, or Facebook page for updates.

TNFW emails. If you receive emails from The Nature Foundation and suspect you missed an email, please remember to check your spam/junk folder.