William & Mary

Wildflower Refuge

  • Lettie Pate Evans Wildlife Refuge
    Lettie Pate Evans Wildlife Refuge  At the entrance to the Wildflower Refuge is an amphitheater with seating for presentations or for observing and appreciating the natural environs.  
  • About the sign
    About the sign  This bronze version replaces an earlier version carved in wood, which is now housed in the Millington Greenhouse.  
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The moist, shady habitat of the Lettie Pate Evans Wildflower Refuge shelters a variety of ferns common wildflowers and native woody plants.  The stately American Ash (Fraxinus americana), beauty berries (Callicarpa americana), sweetspire (Itea virginica) and a young American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) flank its entrance. The refuge also formerly served as a home to several uncommon species that were rescued from construction sites.  A number of these unusual species can still be found scattered about.

The Refuge and its picturesque amphitheater were established in 1974 and 1977, respectively, with generous support from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation, the actions of Dr. Martin Mathes, and the support of President Thomas Graves.  A 1976 resolution passed by the College's Board of Visitors states that the refuge is to be maintained in a natural state. Numerous students and community volunteers, especially the late Caroline Will, have donated their time and vision to maintaining and enhancing this tranquil place. 

Take a walk through the brick-lined paths within the refuge and enjoy a momentary cool respite from the high energy campus environment.  Follow the path as far as it goes.  When it turns to the right and left, follow the steps (left) back up to the sidewalk.  Follow Landrum drive west and cross Landrum at the first crosswalk.