November 10 2017

Walking in the Rain


Bruce Gatling-Austin

Yesterday's tree walk program was accompanied by cool temperatures and a continuous mist of rain. We also spotted some very cold but wet insects like this katydid.

September 11 2017

Annual meeting with Movie 2017

Annual Meeting 2017

Join us this Friday for the ICF Annual Meeting and a Movie !

Come at 7pm on Friday, September 15 for:

  • see the Movie: "RiverWebs," a true story about life, data, science, and streams
  • eat gourmet popcorn
  • meet our new board members
  • raise money in a t-shirt and tote bag raffle
  • receive free native plant seeds to members

July 31 2017

Nametags for volunteers

nametags for volunteers

Bruce Gatling-Austin

There are new nametags for all school guides and barn docents! Located on the back of the door under the stairs. Guides are on the first three red ribbons. Docents on the bottom two ribbons. Hope this makes field trips and barn hours better.

July 13 2017

Tree Stewards Training Class

Pine Tree

Tony Russell

Do you want to learn more about tree identification and tree care?

Registration is now open for the popular Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards training class.   Classes will be held on twelve Tuesday mornings from September 5 to November 21 at Ivy Creek Natural Area in Charlottesville.  Classes are taught by certified arborists, foresters, tree and forestry experts, tree stewards, and others. Tuition is $125.00 and includes all books and materials.  Registration will remain open until August 30, 2017. 

For a complete schedule of classes and to register, go to   

If you have questions about the class, please send a message to:

June 13 2017

Can you hear Voices?


Ivy Creek Foundation and Rivanna Master Naturalists are offering two "train-the-trainers" workshops on the Monarch Teacher Network's popular "Voices from the Land" program.  The info on the workshops is up on our website at  The first weekend is coming up soon!  You can choose between June 24-25 and July 21-22. There are links for registration, as well as a flier you can download that describes it in more detail.

April 21 2017

Gearing up for Earth Day

Earth Day poster 2

We have a ton of energy and a dozen activities going on at Ivy Creek Natural Area for Earth Day tomorrow!

Early birds can join in a bird walk led by David Hogg or a photography walk led by Victoria Dye at 7:30 am.  (Rain cancels the photography walk, but not the bird walk!)

Kids can explore nature in a variety of ways throughout the day--outdoors with the Little Naturalists and the Tree Stewards and indoors with the Rivanna Master Naturalists.

Invasive plants get their due with a volunteer work session to remove them starting at 9:00 am.  Not sure what to look for or how to handle invasives on your own property?  Then check out Blue Ridge PRISM's demonstration and table in the afternoon!

Of course you'll want to replace those nasty invasives with something closer to home.  Join in the Time Bank's plant swap in the barn in the morning, or get a good look at the natives in season with the Va. Native Plant Society guided walks at 11 am and 2 pm.

More interested in fauna?  Pollinators are a big deal at Ivy Creek, and the Central Va. Beekeepers Ass'n will have a honeybee hive demonstration on site--check out their tent next to the barn!

Looking to head indoors for a bit?  We've extended our barn tours for Earth Day!  From 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, get a glimpse of our cultural and natural history.

Check out the start times for each activity on our Earth Day event page!  (It also has our rain plans.)

April 19 2017

Native Plant Walk - Third Saturdays

Heartleaf in bloom

Bruce Gatling-Austin

This past Saturday, April 15th, Tim Williams led us a special walk of plants and spring ephemerals at Ivy Creek. After the more common violets, buttercups and mustards in the field we began to see some forest plants. Adder's Tongue fern, Heartleaf with its strange and wonderful maroon flower, Rattlesnake weed, Pussytoes, Bluets, Fire pink, Green and Gold, Blue Cordallis and Shining Clubmoss to name just a few. The next walk will be on May 20th from the kiosk next to the parking lot.

April 07 2017

Memory of Bess Murray

Bess Murray, a founding member, coordinator and volunteer trainer at the Ivy Creek Foundation, passed away on March 31. She with her husband Jim were longtime members of the Virginia Wilderness Committee More widely she is known as the voice on the radio of Natural History Notes on WTJU some years ago which can be found on the Ivy Creek Foundation website An expert naturalist her guide trainings consisted of anything from a spring ephemeral to a vole dropped by a startled hawk.

A Celebration of Bess’ life will be held on Saturday, April 15, 2017 from 2:00pm-3:30pm at the Education Building, Ivy Creek Natural Area, 1780 Earlysville Rd, Charlottesville VA 22903
Cards may be sent to Jim at: 1601 Bentivar Farm Rd., Charlottesville, VA  22901  
Memorial contributions may be sent to: 
The Virginia Wilderness Committee 
P.O. Box 1235, Lexington, VA  24450

April 07 2017

Memory of Nancy Swygert

Spittlebug on pine tree

Longtime guide Nancy Swygert passed away on December 28, 2016. She was 79. But to many schoolchildren and fellow nature guides at Ivy Creek she was a special window into the natural world.

Among the specific memories are:

I recall Nancy in my early guiding days at Ivy Creek when I worked with her to make the moss field guide and the moss paintings that hang in the Education Building. Most notably, she and I were enamored with the lovely apple moss (Bartramia pomiformis) and she really wanted to include it in the Ivy Creek guide even though it had not been found at Ivy Creek. She hinted that she had moved a small specimen from near her home to Ivy Creek just so I could paint and include this exquisite specimen in the guide.

I remember Nancy in the 1980s when I first started guiding at Ivy Creek. She was a brash, no-nonsense, delightful and wondrous person. I'll never forget watching her introduce children to spittle bugs.

Nancy provided material to Bess Murray for a number of her natural history notes.  There are several on Nancy's and her husband's trips to Florida.

With her spontaneous and enthusiastic love of nature, surprises, and eccentricities, Nancy taught me that each of us has much to share in each of those realms, enjoying life's discoveries as we witness them. She always brought a smile to my heart!

February 23 2017

Celebrate Earth Day @ Ivy Creek!

Earth Day @ Ivy Creek

The Friends of Ivy Creek are getting together to offer up a day's worth of outdoor fun at Ivy Creek Natural Area on Earth Day, April 22, 2017.  Join us for some excellent nature walks and naturalist programs.  We'll also have extended barn hours and even some hands-on volunteer activities for those who are itching to get your hands dirty on the day.  Our volunteers and partner organizations will be out in force, and we hope you will too!  Stay tuned to the blog and the Facebook page to find out the full schedule of activities as it develops.