Foragers’ Forest

Check out our brand new site; the Foragers’ Forest!

Join us in celebrating the official groundbreaking installation of the Foragers’ Forest. There will be a foraging walk by a local expert. We’ll have light refreshments available, as well as free foraged foods and native plant seedlings for participants to take home.

Register here at science.gmu.edu/foragersforest!

The Foragers’ Forest is a brand-new site on the Fairfax campus launched by a graduate student and faculty in the Environmental Science and Policy department, with funding from an Amazon grant. It is going to be located in two clumps on the former student apartments, near the stream between Aquia Creek Lane and Patriot’s Circle, pictured below.

The project will become a natural living lab space that provides Mason students and the community with free, accessible native foods, safe foraging opportunities, wildlife habitat, climate benefits, and restored ecosystem services. This will be a space where our community can source native foods, explore ecological design, and contribute to local sustainable development. Educational activities, interpretive signage, and resources to promote safe, timely foraging and propagation of native plants will be included in the project.

Faculty from the College of Science and others (CEC, CPH, CHSS, CoS) are collaborating to identify both curricular and Mason Impact scholarly innovations to utilize this space as a premiere living laboratory on campus. Each of the two groves will include tight clusters of closely planted native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants similar to the approach used by some Northern Virginia local government ecological restoration projects. Pathways, seating and signage will lead visitors to forage, learn about the site’s principles, and enjoy the scenery.

The Foragers’ Forest will be initiated with an installation of 1,770 perennial native plants in November 2023. The planting area covers 5,300 square feet in total, located east of the stream and asphalt walkway, shown in the design images above.

To get involved, please create an account on our Sustainable Sign-Ups Portal.