The public is invited to enjoy afternoon tea and petit fours at the Community Arboretum at Virginia Western on Sunday, Oct. 6, from 2-4 p.m. Titled Autumn Afternoon, the festivity will serve as the inaugural offering of the Four Seasons at the Arboretum event series.
Organizers will speak about the history of the Community Arboretum, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Horticulture students at Virginia Western under the direction of Lee Hipp, former director of the department, led the charge in the 1980s to create a public garden for the community. It opened in 1993. For more information, visit: www.virginiawestern.edu/arboretum.
During the tea, supporters of the Community Arboretum will also provide an update on the campaign to raise funds to replace the garden’s weathered gazebo. Over the years, numerous weddings and musical performances have been staged at the structure, which quickly became a focal point of the space. Supporters are working to raise the $70,000 needed for a new gazebo by the beginning of 2020 by selling engraved pavers which will go on the floor of the gazebo and the ground around it.
Recently, an anonymous family pledged up to $25,000 in matching funds for the project. This means donors will be able to double their donations, ensuring the Arboretum serves the community for years to come.
Sponsorships will be sold for:
- $1,000 for an 8×8 paver (engraved paver will be placed under roof of gazebo. Includes certificate and small keepsake replica paver)
- $500 for a 4×8 paver (engraved paver will be placed under roof of gazebo. Includes certificate)
- $250 for a 4 x 8 paver (engraved paver will be placed under roof of gazebo)
- $150 for a 4 x 8 paver (engraved paver will be placed around the outside of the gazebo)
To support the gazebo restoration project, go to virginiawestern.edu/arboretum and click the “Give Now” button.
The tea will conclude with a walking history tour. October is an especially lovely time at the Arboretum, according to Clark BeCraft, horticulture program coordinator.
“The mature annual displays in early autumn, followed by the transition of Japanese maple, Dawn Redwood, Parrotia and Viburnum from green to yellows, oranges and reds provide weeks of spectacular colors to enjoy,” he said.