This is a landscape carved by industry and renewed by nature: 40 acres of private gardens for public use, with trails through native plant communities around a group of retired soapstone quarries.


The Quarry Gardens at Schuyler are nestled into a 600-acre property owned by Armand and Bernice Thieblot since 1991. The featured quarries were actively mined between the 1950s and 1970s, then for about a decade used as a community dumpsite.

In 2014, after 23 years of casual site clean-up, the Thieblots embarked on a three-year plan to create a public garden. That year, an initial attempt was made at planning for a public garden by Land Planning and Design Associates, in Charlottesville. However, it soon became evident that this landscape was in need of a better approach that considered the unique aspects of the geology, ecology, and history of the land. The very same year, the Thieblot’s were introduced to the Center for Urban Habitats (CUH), and their place-based approach to assessment and design, focusing on natural ecological systems and restoration. It quickly became clear that a new and revised master plan was in order. CUH was on the ground quickly, and began with an extensive biological assessment of the 40 acre landscape around the quarries. Trail locations were honed, conservation areas identified, and a master plan for interaction and engagement was created. It would include the identification of critical biological and geological elements, and experiential locations, as well as the design of exhbitions of restoration ecology in some of the most challenging restoration contexts imaginable.

In 2015, the Thieblots placed a 400-acre buffer around the gardens into a Virginia Outdoors conservation easement, designated a Virginia Treasure in 2016 by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. The Quarry Gardens opened in the spring of 2017 with about two miles of walking trail, more than 40 galleries of diverse native plant communities, and a Visitor Center that includes exhibits on native plants, local ecosystems, and the history of the soapstone industry in Schuyler, as well as a classroom and research laboratory. In 2020, a picnic pavilion was completed near the Visitor Center and in the years that followd a deer exclosure was installed around the property to minimize the impacts of an overpopulation of deer.

Quarry Gardens Birders



The Quarry Gardens Foundation advances environmental and cultural resource education, research, and conservation on heavily impacted landscapes.


The Quarry Gardens are operated by salaried staff of Center for Urban Habitats, under the oversite of the Board of Directors for the Quarry Gardens Foundation, a non-profit 501C3.


Rachel Floyd, Director of Operations
Forrest Mcguire, Facilities and Grounds Manager


Devin Floyd, Charlottesville, VA
Jessie Wingo, Charlottesville, VA
Rachel Floyd, Charlottesville, VA
Eric Anderson, Charlottesville, VA


Blue Ridge Mycological Society Headquarters
American Public Gardens Association

Central Blue Ridge Master Naturalists*
Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards
Nelson County Master Gardeners*
Piedmont Master Gardeners*
Rivanna Master Naturalists*Virginia Native Plant SocietyAmerican Public Gardens Association

The site was opened to these groups and others from the start of construction, and we look forward to a continuing role for the Quarry Gardens in their educational missions.