The purpose of Blandy Experimental Farm is to increase understanding of the natural environment through research and education. 

The University of Virginia's Blandy Experimental Farm and the State Arboretum of Virginia provide opportunities for research and education in ecology, horticulture, and the environment to citizens of the Commonwealth.  Activities include lectures, workshops, and academic courses sponsored by the University and other nonprofit educational groups with similar missions. The arboretum provides a display of plants for casual visitors and scientists.

Who May Schedule the Use of Blandy Facilities

Principal users of facilities at Blandy Experimental Farm and the State Arboretum are groups from the University of Virginia, Blandy Experimental Farm, the Foundation of the State Arboretum, Virginia Native Plant Society, Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society, Virginia Master Naturalist Shenandoah Valley Chapter, and American Boxwood Society.  Government agencies are encouraged to use Blandy facilities.  Other non-profit organizations with a horticulture, natural history, or environmental education focus may submit an application for facility use. Reservation forms must be signed and arrangements for use must be completed no later than a week in advance of an event. The Director and the Facilities Use Coordinator reserve the right to deny use of the facilities or, in special cases, make exception to the facility use policy as outlined.  For information about weddings at Blandy, please click here.


Designated Contact Person: Groups using facilities after normal business hours must designate a contact person who will come to the Blandy Office prior to the event to pick up any necessary keys and receive instruction concerning the operation of the building, lights, and parking. 

Insurance Verification: Any organization conducting an activity at Blandy Experimental Farm may be required to provide, at the request of the Director or the Facilities Use Coordinator, a certificate of insurance verifying liability coverage for the organization. 

Set-up, Program, and Clean-up: Set-up of chairs and tables is the responsibility of the user.  Set-up preparation is limited to two hours before the start of the scheduled program and clean-up must be completed two hours after the event. All equipment, furniture, and tables must be left clean and in their prior condition following the activity. Any decorations, supplies, equipment, signs, handouts, or other amenities brought by the user must be removed at conclusion of the program.  No attachments to trees or plants are allowed in the arboretum, such as balloons, etc. Set-up, program time, and clean-up must take place within the scheduled times, unless the Facilities Use Coordinator otherwise grants permission.  The contact person is responsible for clean-up, turning off lights, locking doors, and returning keys. 

Parking: Parking is restricted to the Visitors Parking lot (near the Information Pavilion) and the overflow parking area as needed.  The staff lot is reserved for staff members, residents of the Quarters, and service deliveries. For events  with anticipated attendance of 50 people or more, the overflow/event parking must be used.  For programs with anticipated attendance in excess of 100 people, the user must supply a parking attendant whose responsibility it is to direct attendees to the overflow parking area; parking is not allowed along roadsides or in the grass except in the overflow parking area. The Facilities Use Coordinator will provide additional guidelines for parking safety, traffic flow, and visitor access. 

Loading: Vehicles delivering items may unload at the back door of the kitchen. To allow access for Blandy service vehicles, designated parking areas must be used after delivery.  Vehicles are not allowed on the grass or walkways. 

Smoking: Smoking is not allowed within 25 feet of any of the buildings. 

Alcohol Policy and Guidelines: In accordance with University of Virginia policy, alcohol may be served at events and programs provided the state alcohol laws and the following guidelines are observed:
  • The intention to serve alcohol must be stated at the time the reservation is requested.
  • Persons under the legal drinking age are not permitted to attend the event.
  • Groups should use a TIPS-trained bartender or server.
  • “Bring your own bottles” events are not permitted.
  • Users are responsible for determining if they need an ABC permit.
Payment and Refunding of Fees: Fees are waived for all activities held by groups of the University of Virginia, Blandy Experimental Farm, the Foundation of the State Arboretum, Virginia Native Plant Society, the Virginia Master Naturalist Shenandoah Valley Chapter, or the American Boxwood Society.  Garden clubs with a Foundation membership are entitled to use either the library/kitchen or the Learning Center once per year free of charge.  Other groups satisfying the following conditions may also request a fee waiver: 

1) The group's primary purpose is consistent with that of Blandy Experimental Farm. 

2) The educational program being held is open to the general public free of charge and is advertised in the local news media. Payment for use of the facilities is expected prior to the time of scheduled use.  Refunds of facilities-use fees will not be made but may be applied toward future use. 

User Fees and Donations Primary funding for building maintenance and program development comes from local sources, the Foundation of the State Arboretum, and donations. The Blandy fee schedule is structured to encourage the use of our facility by groups with similar missions; if groups can contribute more, additional donations are appreciated.