The Mission of Boxerwood
To educate and inspire people of all ages to become successful stewards of the Earth.
. To develop and administer year-round activities, presentations, exhibits and special events designed to encourage a closer relationship with one's self and nature; create an awareness of the beauty, diversity, complexity, fragility, and interdependance of nature's systems; and teach skills and behaviors needed to be effective stewards of the Earth.
. To demonstrate environmental stewardship in the care and use of our land in order to preserve and maintain the various natural communities, habitats and the woodland garden.
We are both a Nature Center & a Woodland Garden
The woodlands, wetlands, meadow, and pioneer forest form a nature center focused on environmental education. Our staff has developed a full range of experience-based programs for students, teachers, and the community, both on site and off. We currently serve Pre-K through 7th grade in Buena Vista, Lexington, and Rockridge County. Being in the delicate Chesapeake Bay watershed, many of our programs concern watershed protection. Boxerwood also conducts summer programs and special events that highlight our unique site.
You may wish to explore on your own. Examine our rain gardens, take a look at NEWTS (our on-site waste treatment facility), take a walk down our Birding trail, wash your hands in water heated in our new solar hot water heating structure, or use our self guided maps to explore the entire garden and all its facets.
Boxerwood has a mature collection of rare and native trees and shrubs located throughout the Gardens . We have over 2,000 cultivars and 4,000 native trees and shrubs with significant collections of Dwarf Conifers, Magnolias, Dogwoods, Rhododendrons & Azaleas, and Japanese Maples. Our garden continues to evolve. Beauty, whimsy, decay and renewal, whimsy, food for wildlife, -- all have their place here. Before you come, take a "virtual walk."
The Boxerwood Education Association
The Boxerwood Education Association (BEA) is the non-profit organization founded in 2000 which oversees the operation and activities of the Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Gardens. The BEA includes an active Board of Trustees, paid staff members, Friends of Boxerwood, and dedicated volunteers. Read our current financial report.
Praise for our Programs
Washington & Lee's ODK - James Leyburn Award for community service, Spring 2013.
Rockbridge Area Conservation Council Annual Sustainability Award “in recognition and honor of leadership in environmental sustainability for creating educational programs, woodland gardens and a nature center inspiring people of all ages toward becoming responsible stewards of the Earth.
Letter from State Legislators, EarthArt Festival: BEA’s “continuum of rigorous and relevant learning through place-based environmental education ...”
Virginia Environmental Stewardship Award - "winner in the Educational Category - for outstanding contributions in the protection and enhancement of Virginia's natural resources..."
Rockbridge Area Conservation Council Land Use Award "in recognition and appreciation of [Boxerwood's] vision and tireless efforts in the research, design, funding, and construction of N.E.W.T.S, [a] wastewater treatment system based on natural biological processes and for the inspirational incorporation of that design into Boxerwood's teaching mission creating a community model of innovative and affordable techniques for enhancing water quality and practicing responsible environmental stewardship"
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Valley Regional Office: “an amazing job planning educational field days consistent with the Virginia Standards of Learning, that are incredibly well organized and coordinated.”
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) BWET competetive grant recipient