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.

January 20 2017

Junior Naturaists now has two groups!

Junior Naturalists Hayride

Now Junior Naturalists includes the age groups of 5 to 8 and 9 to 12! Dan Bieker as always will lead the younger group with much able assistance from volunteers. Steve Pullinger and Deborah Andersen, a husband and wife team of a Master Naturalist/ primitive skills instructor and a teacher/outdoor educator will lead the older group. The older group will include regular hikes with creek study, wildlife exploration w/ attention to native vs non-native species and habitats, games to learn environmental concepts, introduction to primitive skills such as shelters and water / food sourcing and nature-based art and service projects. All activities will be conducted outdoors unless severe weather warrants moving indoors, where we will have hands on workshop time as well as view videos related to our study of wildlife, Leave No Trace principles, and nature based art and service projects. Everything starts January 23rd at 4:00 pm at the Education Building.

January 09 2017

First Snow of 2017

2017’s First Snow at ICNA

T. Patten

Weather conditions have cleared up from the weekend's snow blast, leaving temperatures in the single digits overnight. The County cleared the drive and parking area, and even the walkway has been scraped.  However, take care as the ground is still icy in patches.  If you are coming out to the natural area, wear sturdy footgear.  As you can see, the asphalt can be quite slick even with rock salt!

December 31 2016

Happy New Year!

Leafless Woods at Ivy Creek

Tony Russell

The trails are a little muddy this time of year without the trees pulling up the moisture. But Ivy Creek is still a beautiful place to spend a quiet time. Just remember there is no bad weather only bad clothing (or jacket - or hat - or gloves)!

December 20 2016

A December Wedding

T.Patten’s Wedding Toast Photo

J. Levine

Winter Joy!  Ivy Creek's Executive Director, Tatyanna Patten, married her long-time fiance, John Pavlansky, on Dec. 3rd, 2016 at the White Hall Community Building in Albemarle County.  The small and lovely ceremony was officiated by former mayor Dave Norris and was followed by a barbecue luncheon catered by The Local Smokehouse. Kevin Lynch and Albemarle Ciderworks provided alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders.  The centerpieces were made by Innisfree.  The couple took a two-week honeymoon after the ceremony.

December 01 2016

At Last! At Last!


Welcome to the new!  We hope you like our new site.  If you are looking for the latest from ICF, you've got several sources here at your fingertips. 

First, this blog is where we can update you on trail conditions, report on ongoing projects and events, and provide you with insider tips, without waiting for a newsletter to come out.

Second, you have the quarterly newsletters uploaded on the right-hand side.  If you missed one, please download the PDF version and enjoy it online.

Third, note the Facebook and Twitter symbols on every page -- now you can stay connected with our social media, too!

We hope that all of this will help you stay on top of all our comings and goings at Ivy Creek.  See you on the trails!