The Rivanna River is often referred to as "Mr. Jefferson's River" because Thomas Jefferson grew up on the shores of the Rivanna and later built his Monticello home along its banks. Sharing Mr. Jefferson's appreciation for this historic river, a group of Fluvanna County residents established The Rivanna Conservation Society (RCS) in 1990.

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Scheier Natural Area

Woolen Mills Dam

Seasons on the River

Scheier Natural Area

Trail at Scheier

The Scheier Natural Area is a 100 acre parcel of land with 8 ponds and over 3 miles of beautiful trails for hiking, enjoyment of nature, and environmental education. Scheier is located 10 miles west of Palmyra and 20 miles southeast of Charlottesville in Fluvanna County, Virginia. RCS uses funds from donations to create and maintain the natural attraction. Access to the Scheier Natural Area is free of charge and open daily to the public from sunrise to sunset. From April to October, RCS sponsors the "4th Sunday at Scheier" Education Forums. Please check the RCS calendar for specific dates, times and topics.

Please leave only footprints! Pack out what you pack in. To protect the wildlife, water quality and serenity at Scheier, the following activities are prohibited:

Directions - (PDF)
Trail Map - (PDF)
Plant List by Glenn Metzler and Tom Dierauf: Summer 2001 - (PDF)


Scheier Natural Area Slate Sign

The Scheier Memorial

Almost 60 years ago Howard and Neva Scheier left their home in Ohio to settle in a place that would allow them to "live off the land." After several years of searching up and down the east coast, they moved to their homestead near Antioch in Fluvanna County, which is presently the Scheier Natural Area.

Mr. and Mrs. Scheier wanted to share their love of the land and to promote community conservation. They considered options for giving the land to the community as their legacy for future generations.

Howard and Neva talked to Virginia colleges, universities and national conservation organizations, wanting to find just the right group to care for their property. After much consideration, the Scheiers decided that a local conservation organization could best serve as their Trustee and that the Rivanna Conservation Society best reflected their vision for the creation of an environmental education center.

The Rivanna Conservation Society is proud to have been selected by Mr. and Mrs. Scheier to serve as stewards of the land that they loved so much. From that time on, the Scheier Natural Area has served the community, providing youth and public education forums, nature walks and the opportunity for reflective moments with nature's beauty. A memorial stone to commemorate the lives of Howard and Neva Scheier was dedicated July 29, 1997.


The Erdle Memorial

Erdle Memorial Bench

On April 8, 2007, The Rivanna Conservation Society (RCS) dedicated the James C. Erdle Memorial Bench and Native Plant Garden. This memorial is located on the banks of Cunningham Creek at the Scheier Natural Area.

Enlarged Erdle Memorial Plaque: In Honor & Memory of James Cunningham Erdle Dedicated April 8, 2007Mrs. Sandra Erdle, her sons and two of Mr. Erdle's bothers joined the RCS President, members of the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and other RCS representatives for the Easter Sunday Dedication. Mrs. Erdle had asked family members and friends to donate to the RCS in lieu of flowers because Mr. Erdle, who died unexpectedly on January 23, 2007, was an avid user of the river. According to Mrs. Erdle, "Jim loved to paddle the Rivanna River and spent many happy hours enjoying the beauty of this special waterway." RCS extends its sincere appreciation to the Erdle family for its generosity. All donations will directed to the protection and enhancement of the Rivanna River Watershed.