Guided Walks and Potluck Social at Sunnyside

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Sunday, June 9, 2024
3:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Sunnyside Retirement Community


Join us for an afternoon of walks and fellowship!

Please register here for this free event.

Come take a walk around the beautiful 150+ acre, diverse-habitat campus at Sunnyside Retirement Community, right across the street from the Massanetta Springs Conference Center,
the location of this year’s annual conference. Learn how residents have partnered with Sunnyside over the past two years to create native plant corridors, remove invasive species and
maintain a 40 nestbox bluebird trail, while at the same time keeping the plantings attractive to the community. Sunnyside has recently received Level 1 Arboretum status and has 52 qualified
acres listed with Homegrown National Park. As a retirement community with an administration, residents have faced similar issues to those living with HOAs in planting natives and removing invasives around campus. Come see how this community is being the change! Residents look forward to meeting you!

When arriving, stop at the guard house and identify yourself as part of the VNPS group and you will be directed to the Sunnyside Room parking lot. (Map coming soon)

Three walk options, all starting at 3pm:

Tour 1: Glen Springs/Old Golf Course Trail includes newly planted natives area, new small pond, bluebird nestboxes, areas on old golf course (that now belongs to Sunnyside) where residents are conducting invasives removal. Trails are paved and/or wood chips.

Tour 2: Wooded Ridge Trail- includes marked native plants (mostly spring ephemeral, may not be any in bloom at this time) through mixed trees on a shady wood chip trail up and back along a ridge to an old water tower. Walk guides are Master Naturalists with extensive knowledge about the trees and native plants around the Sunnyside campus.

Tour 3: Includes Hickory Cove Trail featuring a newly planted native shrub area, Trustees Trail with our first native shrub area, Cobbs Corner with the newest native/nativar/annuals/herbs garden, with bluebird nestboxes along the way.


5:00-6:30 Potluck Dinner in the Sunnyside Room

Sunnyside residents will provide bottled water to take on the walks, water, lemonade and iced tea as well as all necessary paper goods and utensils for the potluck. Volunteers will be on hand to receive the food at 3 PM, and have it ready to serve at 5 PM. A kitchen facility is available in the Sunnyside Room to keep a limited amount of food warm. Hot plates, crockpots, etc can be accommodated, as can some refrigerator/freezer space. Please bring a dish to share!

Please register here for this free event.


Additional Directions:

For GPS purposes, the address of the Sunnyside Room where we will meet is 4200 Grattan Price Drive, Harrisonburg, VA. GPS may end route before you get to the parking lot so here are complete directions, just in case (map below).

From Massanetta Springs Road (687), turn into the South Gate House entrance (the North Entrance is closed). If coming from Spottswood Trail (33), entrance will be on your left, after you pass Massanetta Springs Conference Center and the closed North gate. If coming from Shen Lake Drive (689) it will be on your right before you come to the North gate or the Conference Center. You will see Generations Crossing on your left just before you get there.

Stop at the South Gate House. Tell them you are with the VNPS and that you are going to the Sunnyside Room (4200 Grattan Price Drive).
You are on Sunnyside Drive. At the first split, turn left and go uphill to the stop sign.
At the stop sign, turn right/uphill onto Grattan Price Drive. When you slow for the speed bump, the 4200 building will be on your right, but parking is behind it. Just past the building, make a right (downhill) onto Glenside Drive, and then a right into the parking lot ( just past the golf carts). The Sunnyside Room is on the lower level of this 4200 building. You may park anywhere in this lot.

To exit:
Take a left out of the parking lot uphill to the stop sign. At stop sign turn left and go downhill. After the speed bump, take the first left and go downhill to the stop sign. At the stop sign, turn right and go downhill out past the Guard House onto Massanetta Springs Road. Safe travels!