Audubon Arboretum, within Jim Barnett Park in Winchester, Virginia began in 1999 and 2000 with an agreement between the Winchester Parks and Recreation Department (WPRD), and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society (NSVAS), to establish and maintain a portion of park property along Pleasant Valley Road for the expressed purpose of protecting a green area that would be a peaceful location where people could appreciate and reflect on nature in general and specifically learn about trees, plants, and shrubs. Today, almost 20 years later and with help from many individuals and businesses, we have over 100 trees planted representing more than 40 species. Our earliest plantings have grown to become beautiful specimens. The 2 Bald Cypress are nearly 30 feet tall. The Red Maple, donated in memory of past Audubon members, has survived severe drought, freezing temperatures, and even some hurricanes. And the Tulip Trees are excellent representations of not only beauty but also of important natural resources. The Oaks are producing acorns, the Crab Apple, Cherries, and Viburnum, when in bloom, add to the Spring flowering, and the Hollies, Magnolias, White Pine, and Arborvitae give us color all year long. All of these trees and plantings quietly contribute to our community in many often forgotten ways.
Currently, NSVAS and WPRD are working with the Winchester Host Lions Club to develop a sensory trail within the Arboretum where tree descriptions will be in braille. And, a Pollination Garden will be planted soon that will add color, assist our insect friends in the important work they do, and provide opportunities for education and learning.
If you would like to plant a tree in memory of a loved one, make a donation, or help out with any of our many conservation projects, please call me at (540)303-3983.
Jim L. Smith, NSVAS