Friday morning volunteers at The Quarry Gardens get expert guidance and education from Devin Floyd, of the Center for Urban Habitats. Our volunteers include friends and neighbors, Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners—and now, Nelson County High School students.
In the featured photo, Devin is helping Zoe Evans (left) and Ava Garrison identify some of the nearly 100 plant species to be found in our Visitor Center’s demonstration garden. Zoe and Ava are rising seniors at NCHS. Zoe’s Quarry Gardens internship is part of a senior capstone project for the Blue Ridge Virtual Governors School that will culminate in the establishment of an Environmental Club for NCHS students in the fall.
With a focus on Natural Plant Community design and Restoration Ecology, the informal weekly work session topics include species identification and selection, vegetation management, the interrelationships of geology+plants+animals, and cultural landscape history.
Volunteers are invited to join the group any Friday for all or part of the morning session. For details and to RSVP, contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
In early June, the natural amphitheater of The Quarry Gardens once again provided for an immersive exploration of natural acoustics by the Victory Hall Opera Company of Charlottesville. In four sold-out evening performances, the eclectic program featured the music of composers ranging from Mozart to Puccini to Carly Simon—plus a new work, echo chamber(s), written specifically for the location by Simone Baron.
The cast included Miriam Gordon-Stewart, soprano; Jorell Williams, baritone; Will Holshouser, accordian; Kelly Peterson Perel, oboe; Karlyn Viña, percussion; and Brenda Patterson, mezzo-soprano. The artists performed from points around the perimeter of the two quarry pools; audiences followed the program by walking the quarry-side trail. VHO Director of Music Patterson described the program as a meditative journey, an occasion to fine-tune ears not just to the human voice, but also the voices of the birds, the frogs, the insects, and the rustling trees.
The featured photo of Gordon-Stewart and Williams on the water with quarry dog Skyla Thieblot (Photo by Gina Proulx) was posted on Opera America’s Instagram. (Skya thought she was going fishing.)