Plant Chestnut Seeds at the Augusta Forestry Center

HMN Volunteer Opportunity!

Help plant chestnut seeds in a greenhouse at the Augusta Forestry Center in Crimora, any of Thursday, February 3- Saturday, February 5. Tom Saielli of the American Chestnut Foundation sends an appeal for volunteers here:

Hello Chestnut Enthusiasts (veterans and new folks alike)!

If anyone is interested and available, we are sowing ~2,000+ American and hybrid chestnut seeds in containers at our new greenhouse at the Augusta Forestry Center, Crimora, VA (directions below).  We will be working over three days. –Potting seeds is rewarding work that anyone can do and enjoy.

Note: We will maintain all COVID safety protocols (masks, safe distance, and we ask that participants be fully vaccinated). The bulk of the work will be inside of an enclosed greenhouse.


Thursday, February 3rd through Saturday, February 5th starting at 9:00 AM each day (although, if you can’t make it by 9:00, just come when you can).

The purpose:

The seeds represent the American Chestnut Foundation chapters and the Virginia Department of Forestry’s advanced backcrosses, used for seed orchards and research.  This work allows us to advance breeding program goals in the region.


Augusta Forestry Center
90 Forestry Center Lane
Crimora, VA 24431

GPS: 38.171309, -78.853842

Head down the driveway and take the first left, then cut back on the gravel road to your right, you’ll see the greenhouse next to a big warehouse.

Don’t forget to bring water, lunch & snacks. Dress for the weather and bring work gloves if you prefer.

That’s it. Hope to see many of you there!

Please let me know if you plan to make it.



Thomas McNeill Saielli
Mid-Atlantic Regional Science Coordinator
The American Chestnut Foundation
900 Natural Resources Dr
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Tel: 828-450-9100

tom.saielli [at]

If you have any questions, please email or text Dave Forrer, who is the HMN liaison for this activity: 540-271-2539 or davidforrer07 [at]

Although the work will take place indoors, it might be chilly, so bring layers. And work gloves just in case. The work will be performed Thursday Feb. 3 through Saturday Feb. 5 starting at 9:00 each day. If you can’t get there at 9:00, just come when you can. They are happy to get any help, for any amount of time, during the day. They haven’t set a finish-time, so it’s probably not a good idea to show up at 4:00, expecting to work till 5:00 unless you call or text first. – Dave

Sign up in the HMN volunteer management system, Better Impact.

Update from Dave 2/2/2022: Contacts with the American Chestnut Foundation have informed me that this event is open to anyone.  In other words, you can invite your friends and family!  The work (planting chestnuts in containers) will be done indoors; however, it could be muddy around the greenhouse, so wear appropriate shoes.  Covid precautions will be maintained; so only vaccinated people can participate.  Also, please remember to bring a mask.  And don’t forget water and a lunch (unless you’re only volunteering for part of a day).

Photo at top is of chestnut leaves and seeds courtesy of