In Memory of Edith J. Carrier

August 1, 1934 – March 14, 2021
Our hearts are with the Carrier family in hearing about Edith’s passing last Sunday evening. Edith J. Carrier, our namesake, was a remarkable woman who cared deeply about the Arboretum and James Madison University as a whole. We will always remember for her kindness, joyful presence, and love for gardening.

“Mrs. Carrier wore many hats while Dr. Carrier was president from 1971 to 1998 and chancellor from 1998 to 2002. Among them was as hostess for the many corporate, political and academic luminaries who visited Madison. She also enjoyed hosting numerous social gatherings in their home and attending every JMU sporting event she could.

She didn’t seek the limelight, but her enormous contributions certainly did not go unnoticed by the James Madison University Board of Visitors. In 1998, to acknowledge her years of service to the university and as a recognition of gratitude, the Board of Visitors named the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in her honor. Mrs. Carrier’s legacy lives on in this beautiful, 125-acre woodland sanctuary and botanical garden on JMU’s campus.” - (JMU Statement, full article link below)


Visiting the Arboretum

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum, a woodland sanctuary on the James Madison University campus, is a public urban garden and forested greenspace that preserves native plant species, provides opportunities for research, and promotes knowledge of the botanical and natural world for people of all ages.

Our Vision

To inspire outdoor engagement in a woodland sanctuary.


This summer we were thrilled to be included in Virginia Homegrown's Plant of the Month segment. We chose to highlight one of our favorite summer annuals, Rockin' Deep Purple Salvia. Take a look!

Check out more Virginia Homegrown clips below featuring gardens and projects around our area!

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
780 University Blvd, MSC 3705
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807

(540)-568-3194 | 
Grounds | Free to the public | Dawn to dusk | 365 days a year
Frances Plecker Education Center | Monday - Friday | 8 AM - 4 PM

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