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2023: A Gift that Keeps Giving

Captions are below the slideshow. Click the arrow (>) on the right side of the photo to progress to the next slide.

January: Connect

Nature’s delights should be every child’s birthright. Our 3-season preschool programs connected more than 400 children to the natural world in 2023, commencing relationships that keep growing for years (see December's photo & caption).

February: Protect

A new project helped hundreds of children transform concern about sea turtles and other ocean life into action. As part of our Ocean Protectors program, elementary students across our County signed 421 anti-littering pledges to keep our streams pollution free.

March: Step Up

Our 3rd Annual Backyard Compost Challenge enrolled 103 families (with a waitlist). Over 10 weeks, these champs diverted two tons of food waste from the landfill, with 98% reporting they plan to continue their new composting habit.

April: Root

This spring hundreds of 4th graders (plus a few 3rd graders, pictured) worked together to pot up 400 bare root native tree seedlings for our nursery. The children will meet “their” trees again in middle school during hands-on community restoration projects. Here, the kids interview one of their young trees about its ambitions.

May: Tend

With help from Ann and David Grizzle and 2023 Garden Appeal supporters, Boxerwood staff and volunteers transformed the front of the Lodge with a new native plant installation. Watch 'em grow!

June: Delight

Summer camps took place at Boxerwood, Buena Vista, and Lake Robertson for kids ages 4 to 14. Donors and school partnerships ensured many kids otherwise unable to participate were part of the fun — about 70% of the 300 children served.

July: Dream

Spectacles Art camps brought youth and adults together to dream, scheme, create puppets, and write songs for October's outdoor theatre performance, A Wild Notion.

August: Relax

Music in the Garden drew friends and family to Boxerwood all summer long. In total, we hosted 7 concerts attended by more than 1,200 community members.

September: Discover

During a 3-day, 2-night program on the Chesapeake Bay, a busload of Rockbridge 7th graders discovered how we’re all connected, from the mountains to the sea. Now in its 20+ year, this annual program has introduced hundreds of Rockbridge youth to the wonders and responsibilities of being earth citizens.

October: Gather

These days, how do each of us find paths toward meaning and health? The multi-species, multi-material, larger-than-life Spectacle invited us to dream and imagine and feel our wildness — to step forward for one another and the Earth.

November: Investigate

For one of this year's many Boxerwood river-based programs, we posed a question: How does the water quality of Woods Creek compare to the Maury? LDMS 6th graders joined us at Jordans Point with test-tubes, boots, and nets to get the answer.

December: Plant

The goal of Boxerwood’s school programs is to raise a local generation of youth who have the knowledge, skills, and motivations to care for the Earth, our home. Year by year, we keep planting, keep tending. Thank you to Colton and Tristin (pictured) who planted this native tree (and many others) as part of a farm restoration project.

Thank you to the hundreds of other young people making the magic happen, and for all Boxerwood's friends, donors, and partners who help carry this hopeful work forward. May the new year bring more light for the way.


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