WVU Core Arboretum News and Notes

Bird Banding Public Demonstrations at WVU Core Arboretum
bird banding bunting

May 15, 2023                 

Come to WVU Core Arboretum, along the Rail Trail, to learn about how researchers safely capture birds to study them! This will be a monthly, event, so pay attention to our calendar or social media pages to learn about specific dates.

WVU professor Dr. Chris Rota and his students will set up mist nets to capture wild birds for their research, and they are happy to have people watch them do their work and get a close view of some beautiful birds. They will also talk about the important work that they do and answer questions about bird research. There is no formal program, stop in at any time to see what is happening. These events are free and open to the public, and they will be cancelled if there is rain. Please do not bring pets to avoid adding stress to the birds. Bring your friends, and let's hope the birds participate.

Since these events are down along the Rail Trail, it may be easier to park at the Star City Rail Trail parking lot and come South to the Arboretum on the Rail Trail.

by Zach Fowler

WVU Core Arboretum Spring Flower Festival 2023
spring flower festival flyer 2023

April 2, 2023 

Come to WVU Core Arboretum for our fifth annual Spring Flower Festival on Saturday, April 15, from 2-6 pm! This family-friendly, free event is open to everyone and will showcase the beautiful spring ephemeral wildflower display that happens every year in the Arboretum's old-growth forest preserve.

We will have a self-guided wildflower tour, live music, food trucks in the parking lot, and other fun activities. These flowers only last a couple weeks every year, so catch them while they’re out! Learn more about the spring ephemeral wildflowers here

by Zach Fowler

WVU Department of Biology Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks Start April 2

January 31, 2023 

Spring is almost here, and we are very excited to share our spectacular old-growth forest and its spring ephemeral wildflowers with the public again this year. Mark your calendars for the WVU Department of Biology Spring Ephemeral Wildflower Walks! These free, guided walks will happen on all Sundays in April at 12:00, 12:30, 3:00, and 3:30. Free online registration is required so that we can keep group sizes reasonable. Please use this link to register: https://wvuarboretumflowerwalks2023.eventbrite.com. More information is available in the registration link. More tours may be added to the calendar, depending on volunteer guide availability. Groups wishing to schedule a group tour outside of this schedule should contact Zach Fowler, Arboretum Director, at zfowler@mail.wvu.edu. People are always welcome to visit and see the flowers on their own, too, and there will be information at the kiosk about how to find the flowers and how to identify the flowers that you find. Do not miss the flowers this year! Last year, more than 45 species of plants were seen in bloom over the course of the wildflower walks. (Read more about spring ephemeral wildflowers.)

by Zach Fowler

Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks Start April 18
mountaineer audubon bird walk

January 31, 2023 

Spring is here! Mark your calendars for the Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks. We are very excited to share our spectacular old-growth forest and its migratory birds with the public again this spring. The Mountaineer Audubon Spring Bird Walks will happen on the last two Tuesdays in April and the first two Tuesdays in May at 7:30 am each day. These are guided tours; volunteer guides will lead participants to the best birding spots in the Arboretum, and they will identify birds by sight and sound along the way. These tours are free, and will meet in the Arboretum parking lot. Additional parking is available at the nearby WVU Coliseum. No reservations are needed. Dress appropriately for the weather and for hiking. Groups wishing to schedule a private group tour should contact Zach Fowler, Arboretum Director, at zfowler@mail.wvu.edu. People are always welcome to visit and see the birds on their own, too, and there will be Arboretum bird checklists at the kiosk. Last year, more than 70 species of birds were seen and/or heard over the course of these walks.

by Zach Fowler

Christmas Bird Count for Kids at WVU Core Arboretum
chickadee photo

November 30, 2022                 

Bring your kids to WVU Core Arboretum on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm to learn about birds, birding, and how to participate in citizen science while spending some time outside on a winter day! We will learn about the Christmas Bird Count--a 120+ year old citizen science effort coordinated by the National Audubon Society, then we will do a guided bird walk and count of our own in the Arboretum. We will also have a bird netting and banding demonstration by a WVU bird scientist. Our bird count data will be collected as part of the real Christmas Bird Count! This event is most appropriate for school-age kids, but younger kids are welcome with appropriate supervision. No birding experience is necessary, and first-time birders are encouraged! We will tally our birds and celebrate with hot drinks, snacks, and a book read-aloud for the young kids after the bird walkers return from their walks. The event will be outside, so please dress for the weather. This event is free and open to everyone, no registration required.

by Zach Fowler

West Virginia Pawpaw Festival at WVU Core Arboretum
wv pawpaw festival 2022

August 22, 2022                 

Come to WVU Core Arboretum to taste, buy, and learn about pawpaws!

The 2022 WV Pawpaw Festival at WVU Core Arboretum will be Saturday, September 24, from 12:00-5:00 pm. This annual event celebrating an Appalachian autumn fruit is family-friendly, free, and open to the public, no registration needed. The festival will be in the Lawn Area at the Arboretum, and free parking is available in the adjacent WVU Coliseum parking lot. We will have Peterson Pawpaws select varieties of pawpaw fruit available to sample and purchase, samples of pawpaw dishes prepared by a chef, a talk by a Native American scholar, the North American Pawpaw Growers Association booth, live music, food trucks, and fun activities and lawn games. Don't miss this special event and bring your friends!

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is the largest fruit native to West Virginia. Pawpaws have a delicious tropical flavor that some describe as a combination of banana, mango, and pineapple and a smooth, creamy texture. Pawpaws ripen in autumn, and we host several pawpaw events at the Arboretum each year to coincide with pawpaw season. Even though pawpaws are fairly common, many people have never tasted a pawpaw, and we hope to change that!

by Zach Fowler

Moth Night 2022 at WVU Core Arboretum
national moth week

July 20, 2022                 

National Moth Week is July 23-31, and WVU Core Arboretum is celebrating by inviting everyone to a Moth Night at the Arboretum! Tuesday, July 26, from 9:00-11:00 pm we will have sheets and lights set up in the Arboretum lawn area to attract moths, and there will be experts on hand to identify the moths that we attract! Last year, we saw over 95 species of moths and numerous other insects. We will also have people from the WVU Insect Zoo at the event with some of their displays and live insects. There is not a formal program for this free event, and all are welcome to stop by any time between 9 and 11 to learn about moths and how to attract and study them. Bring a flashlight. The event will be cancelled if it is raining. Due to rainy weather on July 26, this event was rescheduled for August 4.

by Zach Fowler

Monongalia Sinfonietta Community Orchestra in Concert at WVU Core Arboretum
mon sinfonietta at arboretum

June 6, 2022                 

Monongalia Sinfonietta Community Orchestra is playing a free concert at the Arboretum on Saturday, June 11, at 2 pm. The concert will be in the lower corner of the lawn area, so bring a lawn chair or a blanket. The concert will be moved to the Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU Chapel if there is rain. Monongalia Sinfonietta Community Orchestra is a group of young at heart amateur classical string musicians who enjoy making music together.

by Zach Fowler

Nature Connection at WVU Core Arboretum
nature connection series

June 1, 2022                 

Local and regional experts on a variety of nature-related subjects give public talks at the Arboretum each summer as part of the WVU Core Arboretum Nature Connection Series . The Nature Connection Series talks happen on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 at the WVU Core Arboretum Amphitheater, starting in early June and continuing through late August. See either our Calendar of Events  or Nature Connection Series  page for speakers and talk titles. These talks are free and open to the public, and no registration is required. All of the talks are outdoors, so please dress for the weather. Talks will be moved or cancelled if the weather is inclement. Come be a part of the WVU Core Arboretum nature crew!

The 2022 WVU Core Arboretum Nature Connection Series is supported by the WVU Department of Biology, the WVU Core Arboretum Endowment, and donations from the public. All speakers are volunteers. Thank you to all who support the mission of WVU Core Arboretum!    

by Zach Fowler

Shakespeare at WVU Core Arboretum Amphitheater
shakespeare 21

August 4, 2021                 

On Saturday August 7th, 2021, at 12pm and 5pm and Sunday August 8th, 2021, at 12pm, WVU Core Arboretum Amphitheater will be hosting a Shakespeare show. Tickets are by donation only and seating is first come first serve. This show highlights the themes of light and dark throughout the works of Shakespeare. This show is mainly recommended for ages thirteen and up.

Director Riley Barriger and Assistant Director Natalie Turkevich have been working on the show since mid-June and are excited to bring the show to the public. They have been working with actors Erica Cottrill, Paxton Marner, and Jordan Kennedy-Rae to put this production up in only one month. 

Director Riley Barriger says “I have been longing to do in-person theatre for over a year now.It’s been very refreshing and rewarding to work in person again. I can’t wait for people to come and experience the show that our wonderful team has put together.

Cottrill, Turkevich, Marner, and Barriger are current students at WVU who are earning various degrees from Theatre, Acting, and English. Kennedy-Rae is currently earning their BFA Acting degree at Ball State University. The various backgrounds of the team create a unique environment and approach to the work. 

Assistant Director Natalie Turkevich describes the show as “A collection of Shakespeare pieces reflecting the major themes of light and dark explored in a new and creative way.” Everyone in the team is excited to present this show the public and can’t wait to see you at the WVU Arboretum..

by Riley Barriger

Solace String Quarentet Concerts at WVU Core Arboretum
solace quarentet

July 12, 2021                 

Come to the WVU Core Arboretum Amphitheater on the third Thursday evening of each month at 6:30 pm for a concert of music from around the world by Solace String Quarentet. Solace String Quarentet is a group of friends who came together during the pandemic to play classical music together. In troubled times, there is solace in music. 

These shows are free and open to the public, and no registration is required. Free parking is available in the Arboretum parking lot and the adjacent WVU Coliseum parking lot. The show will be cancelled if there is rain.

by Zach Fowler

Running and Walking Loop installed at WVU Core Arboretum
running course sign

October 18, 2020

Explore the Arboretum and get some exercise on the WVU Core Arboretum Running and Walking Loop . This 1.75 mile loop has frequent signs to guide visitors along existing Arboretum trails through some of the most beautiful spots in the Arboretum while avoiding the steepest trails (it is still hilly). The loop is a great way for new visitors to see much of the Arboretum without worrying about bringing along a map, too! The loop starts and ends at the WVU Coliseum Parking Lot entrance to the Arboretum, and it is bisected by the Caperton Rail Trail. Follow the gold and blue signs to stay on the loop. The WVU Core Arboretum Running and Walking Loop was made possible by the efforts of the WVU Exercise Physiology Club.

by Zach Fowler

Help us with a citizen science bird study!
bird citizen science

June 1, 2018                 

The urban bird demography project seeks to understand patterns of survival and habitat use of urban birds in and around Morgantown, West Virginia. We do so by placing markers on birds that allow us to distinguish among individuals.  We then re-sight marked birds and record the location where we found the bird. You can help us re-sight marked birds!  Follow the link below to read more about the project and learn how you can help us re-sight marked birds.


by Chris Rota

Chris Rota is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources at WVU

News and Notes Archive

WVU Core Arboretum Calendar of Events 

May 3:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 10:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 17:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 24:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 29:  Bird Banding Public Demonstration (6:00 am - 10:00 am)
May 31:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
June 7:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
June 9:  Bird Banding Public Demonstration (5:00 am - 11:00 am)
June 14:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
June 21:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
June 28:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
July 5:  Work Day Wednesday (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)

WVU Core Arboretum Trail Map

arboretum map  

If you want to follow signs on a 1.75 mile loop through much of the Arboretum, check out the WVU Core Arboretum Running and Walking Loop . This loop avoids the steepest hills, but it is still hilly.

Trail Map (pdf) | Trail Descriptions

Directions to WVU Core Arboretum

The WVU Core Arboretum is located adjacent to the WVU Coliseum and directly across Monongahela Blvd. from the WVU Creative Arts Center.

google maps core arboretum

Driving directions from points East on I-68

Driving directions from points North on I-79

Driving directions from points South on I-79

WVU Core Arboretum Photos