Meet world-renowned birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist Drew Lanham; learn from master gardeners and naturalists; tour the gardens and grounds, and more!
Montpelier will commemorate Arbor Day - an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care - with free activities all day.
The Gardens and Grounds
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., guests can visit with master gardeners and naturalists at some of Montpelier’s oldest trees to learn about their cultural history and environmental significance. In honor of James Madison’s 1818 Address to the Agricultural Society of Albemarle, explore the ways in which his ideas remain relevant 200 years later. Help Madison’s vision survive into the next century by planting a free tree seedling in your ecosystem. Mr. Madison will be at home, and at 11 a.m. he will recite relevant excerpts from his 1818 Address on the Rear Colonnade.
At 10:30 a.m., take the Historic Landscape Tour and peel back 250 years of landscaping, one layer at a time, to learn how the grounds of Montpelier became a trove of champion trees and unique plantings, cultivated with great care and attention over generations of preservation.
Tour the 200-year-old Annie duPont Formal Garden, designed by Madison and restored by the duPonts. Delve into the design of the garden and the role of plants through the past two centuries. Tours will be offered at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
Drew Lanham Talk and Book Signing
J. Drew Lanham, world-renowned birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, as well as in several anthologies, will discuss how understanding the natural environment can help people connect to important cultural conversations, and how places like Montpelier and Lanham’s family land in rural South Carolina can instigate new ways to engage topics like environmental stewardship and community engagement. The talk begins at 2 p.m. in the Grand Salon at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center. A book signing for The Home Place: Memoirs of A Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature, will follow the talk.
Space is limited!
What is Arbor Day?
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, Arbor Day reflects a hope for the future. The trees planted on Arbor Day show a concern for future generations. The simple act of planting a tree represents a belief that the tree will grow and, some day, provide wood products, wildlife habitat, erosion control, shelter from the wind and sun, beauty, and inspiration for ourselves and our children.