ABOUT RIVER FARM
River Farm is a spectacular 27-acre property located just miles south of Washington, DC along the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia near Mount Vernon. Formerly owned by George Washington, River Farm has a rich cultural history and boasts a diverse array of gardens, wildlife and open space that is exceedingly rare in this highly developed region.
In 2004, River Farm was designated a Horticultural Landmark by the American Society for Horticultural Science; it is currently owned by and serves as headquarters for the American Horticultural Society (AHS) which purchased the property in 1973.
The site has been used to grow beautiful gardens, host weddings and homeschooled children, and support horticultural and related workshops, local community meetings, and concerts. AHS was able to acquire River Farm thanks to a generous gift from philanthropist, Enid Annenberg Haupt, who stipulated that the property must be protected and remain open to the public. And for nearly 50 years it has remained so.
The property has several different types of gardens, including a large section dedicated specifically to children. The wildlife garden has a small pond with frogs, goldfish and turtles. Around the pond are native plants (grasses, shrubs, flowers) that provide food and shelter for pollinators and birds.
The four-acre André Bluemel Memorial Meadow on the site includes many species of native grasses and wildflowers. Red foxes, wild turkeys, bluebirds and raptors like hawks and bald eagles are often seen in this area, as well as numerous butterflies and other insects. A typical summer survey can document 18 species of butterflies, 10 species of dragonflies, and 32 species of birds. Bald eagles and ospreys frequent the shoreline with their nests.
In addition, River Farm has a 200-plus year old Osage Orange tree documented in the Virginia Big Tree Register along with a notable Kentucky coffee tree and the “River Farm” camellia. But in the wrong hands, this special property with so much history, unique habitat and cultural heritage could soon change forever. Recently, the AHS Board of Directors voted to sell River Farm and put it on the market for an inflated asking price of $32.9 million.
Selling to investors intent on developing or keeping River Farm private is a clear violation of Ms. Haupt’s trust and would destroy a community treasure that cannot be replaced.
Join us and be a part of the citizen-driven effort to Save River Farm by preventing it from falling into the wrong hands. We have an incredible opportunity to make this a success story that our region will benefit from for all time.