May 17-18 at The Nature Foundation

For over 30 years the Spring Wildflower Symposium has offered the best and most diverse coverage of wildflowers and mountain ecosystems. The setting is unique, with over 30 miles of hiking trails and convenient access to diverse geological sites. No one comes away from this event without learning more about botany, geology, entomology, ornithology and ecology. All activities are designed to help us better understand, appreciate, and protect our natural heritage. More to come.

Trillium Field

Welcome to The Nature Foundation

Since 1976, through research and education, The Nature Foundation has fostered understanding and respect for the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Our Mission

The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, encourages understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

“The legacy of Wintergreen belongs to those who dreamed it, those who sold the dream, and those who turned it into a reality. Its natural beauty existed long before its inception, setting the stage for the dream, and through the efforts of The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen is still largely intact today.”
Doug Coleman
Executive Director

The Nature Foundation functions as a center for research and education. To that end, we are engaged in an array of activities, including the following:

  • Offering educational programs through guided hikes, scientific conferences, programs for local schools, and on-site youth and adult programs.
  • Maintaining more than 30 miles of trails.
  • Conducting research in native plant germination, plant propagation, fern genetic marking, insect and plant interrelationships, the eastern spotted skunk, and orchids.
  • Participating in gypsy moth surveys, area wildlife population studies, and bear management.
  • Offering vegetation surveys of building sites.
  • Advising Wintergreen property owners.
  • Managing approximately 6,000 acres of wilderness areas within the Wintergreen community.
  • Monitoring water quality of mountain streams.
  • Hosting researchers working on regional and national conservation efforts.

We Are a Membership Organization

“Our members and volunteers provide the energy behind this organization. Their ongoing contributions and support allows us to continue this unique experience in successful conservation and appreciation of nature. Memberships are what funds this organization. Members are vital to its success continuing.”
Doug Coleman
Executive Director

The benefits that come with being a member of The Nature Foundation include discounts on plant sales, events, hikes, tours, and the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in the world.

Our members are the primary way The Nature Foundation funds its efforts. The work being done at the nature center is more than preserving and maintaining over 6,000 acres of Blue Ridge Mountain land area for research and educational programs or providing habitat for native plants and animals. Members also support high-quality educational programs for adults and children about the region’s natural history. Our programs reach out to the general public, enrich regional school programs, host undergraduate and graduate internships, and bring hands-on learning to teachers’ fingertips. The nature foundation members are what makes and keeps Wintergreen’s mountain ecosystems a continuing success story.

Individual Blazer Annual Membership

An individual blazer membership entitles you to free Living with Nature at Wintergreen hikes offered year-round by foundation naturalists, subscription to The Mountain Messenger, a newsletter dedicated to our membership, and a 10% discount on Nature Center Shoppe purchases.

$50.00

Family Blazer

The benefits of an Individual membership for up to six family members (parents and up to four dependent children or grandchildren).

$100.00

Silver Explorer

The benefits of a Family Blazer membership plus: Discounted admission to the Spring Wildflower Symposium.

$250.00

Gold Explorer

The benefits of a Silver Explorer membership plus: The addition of a special gift and discounts on special trips. Discounted admission to the Spring Wildflower Symposium.

$500.00

Steward Circle

The benefits of a Gold Explorer membership plus: Two complimentary admissions to any special event of your choice (Spring Wildflower Symposium, Lecture Series classes).

$1,000.00

Conservator's Circle

All of the benefits of a Steward's Circle membership plus: Five complimentary admissions to any special event of your choice.

$5,000.00

Meet the Staff

DOUGLAS COLEMAN

Executive Director

director@twnf.org

LIZ FRAVEL

Membership & Special

Events Coordinator

specialevents@twnf.org

JOSH PALUMBO

Forest Manager

forestmanage@twnf.org

KATHIE DRISCOLL

Education Director

youth@twnf.org

SHARON BOLMEY

Bookkeeper

accounting@twnf.org

Select a tab to view staff bios.

As founder and Executive Director for The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen, Doug Coleman has been protecting the heritage and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia for over 30 years. His national and international conservation and education efforts through seminars, study programs, nature walks and other informative group sessions held at the Foundation have encouraged the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of the area’s natural resources.

Armed with an undergraduate degree in biology from Virginia’s Bridgewater College and having done graduate work at the University of North Carolina’s Highlands Biological Station and the University of Delaware, Coleman began working with the developers of Wintergreen Resort in 1975 to create a plan to protect the 6,000 acres that were designated for conservation. He personally designed the Wintergreen community’s environmental policies and natural sciences programs, which are still in effect today.

Coleman founded the 20-year-old Spring Wildflower Symposium held annually at Wintergreen and in 1994, propelled the Wintergreen Nature Foundation into a science-based research and education non-profit organization located at Wintergreen Resort in the central Blue Ridge Mountains.

He has generated a number of awards for the Foundation, including launching the program that won the National Environmental Achievement Award for resort communities in 1987, the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society’s Windler Award for the best systematic paper of the year in 1993, and the Phoenix International Environmental Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in 1999.

He recently initiated The Natural Gardens of Wintergreen, a strategic effort to join the community together to support landscaping efforts that protect propagated native plant tissue collected in and around Wintergreen’s 11,000 acres. In addition, he served on the Flora of Virginia advisory committee and worked on The New Flora of Virginia, the first comprehensive illustrated flora of the Commonwealth.

Hey!  I’m Liz, the Membership and Special Events Coordinator at The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen. I grew up splitting my time between Augusta County and Miami, Florida, and learned to ski at Wintergreen as a child. After earning a degree in advertising/marketing from Florida International University, I returned to the mountains that I love. My husband, Matt, and I welcomed a daughter in 2013 – my dream is that she will one day love these mountains as I do.

As a staff member of The Nature Foundation, Josh spends many hours on the trails. Trail maintenance, population studies and forest health keeps Josh pretty busy. However, Josh has a few hobbies.

Hi there! I’m Kathie, the Education Director at The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen. I hail from Northern Virginia and have made my home  in Lynchburg, VA. I have provided environmental education in the Central Virginia area for over 15 years. I am passionate about conservation and instilling the appreciation of Virginia’s beautiful and unique resources.

My educational background is in Biology and German. I earned my degrees at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. I am a member the North American Association for Environmental Education and of the Central Blue Ridge Master Naturalist Chapter. I spend my free time in the garden, woods or on the river. My husband and I have gratefully raised two bright young women, who share our values in caring for our natural world.

As the Education Director for TNFW, I provide environmental education for the Nelson County community and to surrounding counties. I love Wintergreen  for it’s near perfect beauty and the fellowship of the Wintergreen community. I thoroughly enjoy offering programs, activities and “road trips” for our members; and I especially appreciate each and every volunteer who has made this position the best I ever had. Thank you!

Hi, I’m Sharon Bolmey. I consider myself a southern girl, growing up in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama. When I was 12 my family moved to Fairfax, VA where the school put me in speech therapy to eradicate my southern drawl. We soon moved to California where I attended California State University Northridge, with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I wanted more scientific job skills and continued with a graduate program in Industrial Psychology. I intended to become a researcher focusing on coal mining safety. At that time, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care program was scooping up all the Industrial Psychology graduates, so I went along for the ride. Initially I was doing staffing and methods studies in hospitals and clinics. After a few years, I fell in love with, and married my boss (Armando). Management promptly transferred me to the finance department where I was responsible for negotiating and reporting on hospital budgets. Not where I planned to go but I liked it! I became a stay at home mom for our two sons, Michael and Nicholas.

We moved to Ivy 19 years ago to escape the hectic pace and earthquakes of Southern California. When our sons grew up to be amazing young men, I returned to work part time in office management and bookkeeping. My most recent job was working as a finance associate for The Boys & Girls Club of Central VA. I have more hobbies than I can tell you about and love to travel, especially on or near water.

Armando and I hope to travel The Great Loop when we retire, and are just beginning to look at boats and contemplate the vast amount of knowledge we will need to acquire.

I’m very excited to be working as a bookkeeper for The Nature Foundation! Doug, Liz, Josh and Kathie are a talented team to be working with and I am so pleased to see the dedicated support of board members and so many wonderful volunteers. I feel joyful each time I drive up the mountain, seeing the mountains, forest and clouds. I have made friends with a chipmunk who lives in the front yard of Trillium house! Please stop by and say hi. I am in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Doug Coleman – Biologist & Executive Director

Rob Pritchard – President

John Claman – Vice President

Christine White – Treasurer

Dr. Janet Steven – Secretary

Elaine Davis

Gerry DeWitt

Beverly Holloway

Dima Holmes

John James

Rod Kessler

Larry Luessen

Rita McKenzie

Susan McSwain

Chastity Morgan

Jay Roberts

Richard Velletri

Dennis Whigham

Trillium House

Trillium House is the home of The Nature Foundation.

Hours

Tuesday & Wednesday

9am to 4:30pm

Thursday

9am to 12pm

Friday & Saturday

9am to 4:30pm

Sunday & Monday

Closed

Learn About the Foundation

An exhibit along the walls of a conference room details the history of The Nature Foundation and its vision for the future.

Shopping for All Ages

Books, compasses, maps, toys, artwork, hiking gear, and hats are just a few of the items offered for sale in gift shop.

Just for Kids

Upstairs in the loft is a fun large place full of books, nature toys, games, and puzzles called Robin’s Nook. Children can explore the wonders of nature, even create their own puppet show and see a real, live snake! 

Plants for Sale

Native plant species for landscaping go on sale several times a year. Many of the plants grown by The Nature Foundation’s volunteers are propagated at The Trillium House. Sale events take place here and at the greenhouse.

Walk the Garden

Volunteers maintain a garden-walk around the building with many of the region’s native plants. Many of the specimens are labeled.

History & Science

Visit The Nature Foundation’s Connecting with the Land exhibit that depicts the changing landscapes and cultures over thousands of years. Discover archaeology, botany, land management, wildlife, and the modern history of Central Virginia and Wintergreen mountain with hands-on activities, such as archeological digs, homesteaders dress up and games and displays.

Select a tab to view directions and contact information.

Directions to the Wintergreen Entrance
From Areas North and Northeast

Follow Rt. 29 south to I-64 west to Exit 107 (Crozet, Route 250). Take Route 250 west to Route 151 south, turn left. Follow Route 151 south to Route 664, 14.2 miles. Turn right and Wintergreen is 4.5 miles ahead on Route 664…

From Areas West, Northwest and Southwest

Take I-81 to I-64 east to exit 99 (Route 250). Take Route 250 east to Route 151 south to Route 664, 14.2 miles. Turn right and Wintergreen is 4.5 miles ahead on Route 664…

From Areas South

Take Route 29 north to Route 151 north, turn left. Follow Route 151 for 21 miles to Route 664. Turn left and Wintergreen is 4.5 miles ahead on Route 664…

From the Blue Ridge Parkway

Take Reeds Gap exit (Between milepost 13 and 14) on Route 664 and go east one mile to the Wintergreen entrance…

…Then, From the Wintergreen Resort Entrance
Go past the gatehouse and up the mountain on Wintergreen Drive. Follow Wintergreen Drive past the Mountain Inn about a mile further up the mountain. The Nature Foundation (The Trillium House) is located just past Blue Ridge Drive and Trillium Place. We are on the left, across from the Wintergarden Spa’s parking lot and the Stoneridge Condominiums.

Physical Address: 3421 Wintergreen Drive Roseland, VA 22967

Phone: (434) 325-8169

Fax: (434) 325-6701

E-mail: info@twnf.org

Mailing Address: Route 1, Box 770 / Roseland, VA 22967

Our Trails

Our trail system is managed by volunteers and staff of The Nature Foundation and is open to the public.

Select a tab to learn more about our trails.

Our trail system covers an assortment of terrain throughout its 35 miles. There are both rugged, steep slopes as well as beautiful, short strolls almost anyone can enjoy.

Wintergreen lies in a section of the Blue Ridge Mountains called Old Appalachia where rock formations were formed approximately 1.1 billion years ago during a collision event called the Alleghanian orogeny. This was accomplished much like pushing the ends of a rug together, producing raised folds in the center. Plant and animal life followed and found their respective niches in this complex system of ridge lines, valleys and rock faces.

Wintergreen’s forest represents what biologists call an eastern hardwood forest bio-community. It represents a portion of the most unique and diverse plant communities on the planet.

The unique environment on both the valley trails and the mountain trails at Wintergreen offers hikers an unforgettable experience. The trail system maintained by The Nature Foundation and its volunteers is a portal into this natural community.

  • A detailed map of all of the trails within Wintergreen maintained by the foundation is available at the front desk of Wintergreen Resort’s Mountain Inn and at Trillium House.
  • Get “Real Time” map on your smart phone through Google Maps. Log into your Google account and add Wintergreen trail system to “Your Places”.

The trail system at Wintergreen is divided into access trails, perimeter trails, and valley trails. Access trails are blazed in YELLOW, perimeter trails in RED, and valley trails in BLUE. Besides the tree blazes, there are signs at intersections with trail name, direction, and blaze color. Printed trail maps available at Trillium House or the front desk at the Mountain Inn are color-coded as well.

BLACK trails on Google Maps represents Wintergreen Advanced Mountain Biking. Trails marked PURPLE are Wintergreen Intermediate Mountain Biking. GREEN trails represent safety paths along Wintergreen Drive. Mountain biking are ONLY these trails and Loggers Alley. These trails are not maintained by The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen.

EASY: Generally level terrain, all abilities.

MODERATE: Varied terrain, short steep sections.

DIFFICULT: Lengthy steep sections, experienced hikers only.

 

Be aware that the weather can be change rapidly and the weather is different on the mountain.

  • Do not hike alone.
  • Do not underestimate the terrain. 
  • Carry drinking water and a snack. 
  • Be aware of wildlife and respect its space. 
  • Wear proper attire, including proper footwear. 
  • Carry a hiking map at all times. 
  • Stay on marked trails. 
  • Be aware of your limitations.

In the winter be especially careful on the following trails due to the steepness of the trails and the abundance of ice and snow covered rocks. Even though the trails are open, hiking these trails during the winter makes them especially hazardous: HIKE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Loggers Alley is closed where it crosses the ski slopes through the end of ski season.

Native Plants

Preserving while enhancing the natural beauty of the land is a goal of those who garden using native plants. The Nature Foundation is a leader in making it easier and fun.

The Nature Foundation’s Plant Propagation Program works to develop and share a broad knowledge of plant species native to this area. They also propagate plants from seeds, plant division, and cuttings. The Plant Propagation Team use only native plants from approved Wintergreen and neighboring sites as sources. The program promotes the use of native plants in landscaping within the Wintergreen community as well. The plants propagated by the Plant Propagation Team’s volunteers are sold in the spring, summer and fall.

Choosing the Right Plants

If you have questions about what native plants are “best” for your situation or your interest, follow the link below to find out more.

Plants Available for Purchase

Plants are available for sale by appointment at Trillium House and at our special plant sale events. Questions? Email nativeplants@twnf.net

The Nature Foundation greenhouse is located 1⁄2 mile west of The Ski Barn on Beech Grove Road (Route 664).

News & Information

For Love of the Land: A History of the Wintergreen Community by Mary Buford Hitz

“The land that most of know as Wintergreen today had its origins long before the resort community which bears it name. It has been a special region since pre-settlement times, and historically has survived as one of the largest and most unique single tracts of land in Western Virginia. Its strategic location near the narrowest point of the Blue Ridge has made it both a pre-historic and historic crossing for east west travel.  Its narrow spine funnels both migratory animals and an ancient forest floor into a unique thread of bio-diversity leading to a compelling case for its conservation. While the concept of conservation and development often remain a goal rather than an accomplishment, the Wintergreen story clearly shows careful planning and a conservation ethic that was ahead of its time, coming to be before many of today’s environmental requirements became law rather than man’s conscience.” ~ Doug Coleman