The Blue Ridge Center is a nonprofit organization that manages nearly 900 acres featuring hiking trails through deep woods, babbling streams, a working farm, wildflower meadows, and historic farmsteads. Located in the western region of Virginia’s Loudoun county, we are a key member of the community – our land protects Potomac River tributaries and the Chesapeake Bay watershed, preserves the Appalachian Trail viewshed, and conserves the natural habitat for hundreds of animal species.
A group of American Hiking Society Volunteers joined Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship to conduct trail maintenance on over 8 miles of trails!
From host staff Spring Ligi, “The quality of work by AHS volunteers was exceptional. We got everything on our list accomplished and then some! Friendships were formed and memories made. What an amazing week!”
Thank you to the amazing volunteers who helped make this work possible! Volunteer Vacations volunteers, hosts and partner organizations are truly at the heart of supporting American Hiking Society’s mission to empower all to enjoy, share and preserve the hiking experience. Find more information about Volunteer Vacations and register online!
Volunteer Vacations are made possible by our generous sponsors AKHG by Duluth Trading Company, Athletic Brewing Company, L.L.Bean, Backpacker's Pantry, and Hiking Bingo
Thank you to our federal partners: National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management
Photo courtesy of Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship
We welcomed 44 participants, including several curious children, to the BRCES barn for Bat Night on August 13. The barn was the perfect location - resident bats left guano (droppings) near the welcome table for all to see! Dr. Susanne Sterbing, world-renowned bat expert and research professor at Johns Hopkins University, entertained the group with fascinating facts about bats and stories from her research. Did you know there are 1,400 bat species, ranging in size from a bumble bee to a fox? Bats make up 35% of all mammals!
Around dusk, the group headed to the fields around Wortman Pond and heard sounds of the Big Brown Bat and Eastern Pipistrelle, both common species in our area. A big thanks goes to our partner, Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship , for helping to make this event such a success!
Several species of "yellow-named birds" greeted 14 birders on the July 23 bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.
Photo 1 = Yellow-billed Cuckoo taken by Michael Myers
Photo 2 = Yellow Warbler taken by Michael Sciortino
Photo 3 = Common Yellowthroat taken by Michael Sciortino
See this link for a complete list of birds seen on this hot and humid morning https://loudounwildlife.org/2022/07/birds-butterflies-blue-ridge/
Enjoy some nature play time on Thursday, July 21 @ 10:00 am. Super LWC Volunteer, Sarah is joining our wildlife partners at Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship!
Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship (BRCES) welcomed 16 enthusiastic children and moms to the June Pop Play Time at the Nature Play Area.
Our special volunteer, Sarah joined Spring to make this a fun and successful event! Using their newly made binoculars, the kiddos searched the nearby pond and meadow for wildlife. The best viewing was at the Nature Play Area, with dozens of Eastern Tailed-Blue butterflies attracted to the mud kitchen and a Carolina Wren nest with eggs in one of the pallet playhouses. The impractical nest location was discussed and one veteran mom said "She must be a first-time mom."
Spring and Sarah are planning another Pop Up event at BRCES on July 21! Come join us.
What are you looking at?
This Green Heron was one of 59 bird species spotted by 13 people who joined our bird walk last weekend at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.
Read more about the walk and see the complete list of birds here https://loudounwildlife.org/2022/06/herons-warblers-eagles/
Photos by Michael Sciortino
This Blue-winged Warbler was one of the highlight sightings on the May 28 bird walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. Thirty-two walk participants got to see at total of 56 bird species. See this link for the complete list of sightings https://loudounwildlife.org/2022/06/brces-56-species/
Photo by Pat Whittle
The Larkolinks Birdathon Team was thrilled to see both Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks, their namesake birds, early on their fist walk.
The team saw 72 birds in 48 hours. Phillips Farm and the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship were among the places they visited.
See their list of bird sightings here https://loudounwildlife.org/2022/05/larkolinks-best-birdathon/
Thank you Larkolinks Team Members Zoe Sowers, Debra Gutenson, Laureen Megan, Dolores Goodson, Nancy Noerpel and Sally Brenton - Congratulations on seeing your highest number of birds this year!
Bird photos taken at different times and locations
Bobolink photo by Laura McGranaghan
Eastern Meadowlark photo by Michael Sciortino
Join the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) as they celebrate their 95th birthday! In honor of this special day, they will be hosting a Family Day at Bears Den Trail Center on Sunday, May 15, 2022 from 9 AM to 3 PM. Enjoy a fun-filled day of hikes, outdoor recreation education, and more to kick off PATC's birthday celebration and the start of summer.
Schedule of Events:
🌲 9:00-3:00 Kids Scavenger Hunt
🌲 10:00-10:45 Invasive Species Educational Hike led by Rob Lamar (PATC Naturalist)
🌲 11:00-12:00 Hike to Bears Den Overlook led by Anna Shoemaker
🌲 1:00-2:00 Forest Bathing demonstration
All Day on the Hostel Lawn:
🌲 Trail Maintenance Equipment demonstrations
🌲 Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship Information Tent
🌲 Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Information Tent
🌲 Mountaineering Section, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Information Tent
🌲 Potomac Appalachian Trail Club Information Tent
🌲 Virginia Master Naturalists, Banshee Reeks Chapter Information Tent
Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy Potomac Appalachian Trail Club - PATC Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship
The latest survey of Sweet Run, located at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship, indicated acceptable ecological conditions with a stream health score of 11 out of 12. Our Stream Team also found a very unique type of armored mayfly! Read on to learn more.
Here is some positive news for the future state park that is currently managed by the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship.
Funding is currently included in the budget for the House of Delegates, but not in the Senate version (there is still time to contact your State Senator).
Jane Wortman passed away on September 17. Jane visited her aunt on the farm where she met the love of her life, Wilbur Wortman. Jane and Wilbur lived in the farmhouse for 8 years before building their home on Pine Hill Lane. Jane's obituary can be found at
Indigo Buntings, Chats, Gnatcatchers and more were counted by 14 people on the June 26 Bird Walk at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship. See the article below for a full list of bird sightings.
Birds are not the only thing we see on birding walks at the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship!