Garden Club of Virginia’s Back to Nature Horticulture, Hiking and   61st Annual Conservation Forum Trees: Canopy of Conservation will be held Sept. 24-25, at Natural Bridge State Park and
Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and Conference Center.

The two-day event at Natural Bridge State Park opens Tuesday, Sept. 24. Experiences include the Virginia Native Plant Horticulture Show: In Celebration of the Garden Club of Virginia’s 100 Years of Conservation from 2-6 p.m. (entries accepted Sept. 23, 2-5 p.m. and Sept. 24, 8-10 a.m.)
Gather friends and enjoy the outdoors with guided and self-guided hikes through the park’s six miles of trails (Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-noon and 2:30-4:30 p.m.). The Cedar Creek Trail is universally accessible and travels under the Natural Bridge to the Monacan Village, Lost River and Lace Falls. Try geocaching – a GPS-led treasure hunt. At 1:30 p.m. a tree planting with Bartlett Tree Experts and Rockbridge elementary students will celebrate GCV’s work at Natural Bridge. The recipients of the Elizabeth Cabell Dugdale Award for Meritorious Achievement in Conservation and the Conservation Educator Award.
Cedar Creek buffet dinner is Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 6:30 p.m. next to Natural Bridge. Meet the environmental award recipients and presenters at the next day’s Conservation Forum.

Wednesday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., features the Garden Club of Virginia’s 61st Annual Conservation Forum – Trees: Canopy of Conservation. This popular event includes four speakers who will present a broad range of topics relating trees to the benefit of the environment. Speakers and topics include:
Frazier Armstrong, Capital Trees Executive Director “The Evolution of Capital Trees: Urban Greening and the Benefits to the Greater Community”
Dr. Elizabeth Brantley, Bartlett Tree Experts “Monitoring Forest Health, Risk Assessment and Fungal-Plant Community Interactions”
Dr. Eric Wiseman, Department of Urban Forestry and Arboriculture, Virginia Tech “Virginia Big Tree Program” and diseases and pests affecting our trees.
Andrew Moore, Author of “Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit “The Relationship Between Fruit Trees and Plants, Fungi and Bacteria”
After lunch take an optional guided hike at Virginia Horse Center.

Pre-registration required for the Cedar Creek buffet dinner ($35 per person) and the Conservation Forum ($35 admission includes continental breakfast. Students are admitted free to the forum). Preregister online at