Our Mission

Virginia Working Landscapes' (VWL) mission is to study and promote the sustainable use of Virginia’s landscapes for native biodiversity through ecosystem research, habitat monitoring, and community engagement.

This dynamic working network is convened by Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia, with Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC), Blandy Experimental Farm at the State Arboretum of Virginia, the Virginia Native Plant Society, the American Bird Conservancy, Virginia Outdoors Foundation, USDA, Environmental Studies on the Piedmont, Shenandoah National Park and several local service providers and landowners.

2014 Autumn Conservation Festival


OCTOBER 4 AND 5, 2014 10 AM–3 PM (LAST ENTRY: 2PM)


Join us for an unforgettable day of tours, and activities at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This is the one time every year that SCBI Front Royal is open to the public.

Chat with our world-famous scientists one on one and learn about their fascinating research that spans the globe. Scientists will also be on hand to help you explore the tools and technology they use to understand animals and their environments.

Guests will have the opportunity to learn about the partnership between the Zoo’s Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and George Mason University (GMU) which established the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation. Its mission is sustaining global biodiversity by advancing the theory and practice of conservation biology with transformative, transdisciplinary education.

Don’t hesitate to bring the family- Autumn Conservation Festival includes children’s activities, live music, food, and plenty of fun!


Please see the National Zoo website for more info and to purchase parking passes.