The Nature Preserve at Asbury

From any vantage point on our campus you can stop, look around, and see a lush expanse of trees. That’s because Asbury is an officially certified arboretum, boasting 134 acres of beautiful foliage, walking trails, and wildlife. With rolling hills, two ponds and stream and green spaces rich with beautiful shrubs, cherry trees and our Nature Preserve, there’s a reason that National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore called Asbury “a rural oasis in an urban setting.”

Home to a 17-acre Nature Preserve, Asbury Methodist Village is a certified Wildlife at Work site.  We have a commitment to maintaining an eco-friendly campus that goes beyond just having a beautiful place to live. Asbury is dedicated to nurturing our environment and creating a space that will grow, evolve and sustain hundreds of species of plant and animal life for decades to come.

What began in 2005 as a group of residents seeking to create a bird sanctuary has grown into a much larger commitment to use our beautiful green space to help the Gaithersburg community and the planet. Steered by a volunteer campus council of residents and associates, the Nature Preserve has created a safe haven for foxes, bluebirds, waterfowl and endangered honey bees. It has served as a place for area school children to explore nature and art.

Pollinator gardens by the Preserve’s large pond are managed by residents, and attract butterflies and birds. One resident, an avid birder, has spotted more than 130 species of birds on campus.

In the summer of 2024, Asbury partnered with Common Ground Earth through a Chesapeake Bay Trust grant to convert a corner parcel at Odendhal Ave. and Russell Ave. and a hillside in the Nature Preserve to wildflower meadows. We are excited to support this project and watch its environmental benefits take shape.

Environmental stewardship on campus

In 2019, our campus became the first continuing care retirement community in Maryland to earn arboretum status from Arbnet. The arboretum is governed by the resident-run Wildlife Habitat Team with additional support from interested associates and the Building, Grounds and Environment Partnership Advisory Committee.

Asbury Methodist Village continues to grow its environmental commitment. This includes multiple years of recognition from Gaithersburg City for our recycling efforts. In 2023, residents and associates worked together to plant 2,064 seedlings on campus, shred 57,020 pounds of paper, and collect 38,520 pounds of scrap metal for recycling. Asbury also partners with Compost Crew to turn our food waste into compost, contributing to healthy gardens all across Montgomery County, Md. In 2023 Asbury saved close to 156 tons of food waste from our kitchens and dining venues from entering landfills.

Community gardens for residents

If you love gardening, you’ll find Asbury Methodist Village is the perfect spot to keep your green thumb going. Located by the Wallace Apartments, our spacious community gardens provide full sun for growing just about any type of flower, vegetable, fruit, or grain your heart desires. From spring through fall, it’s a colorful, fascinating, and beautiful place to be!

The Asbury Garden Club keeps you informed and nurtures new friendships and plant exchanges. Garden club members pay a small yearly fee and enjoy amenities such as water spigots, carts, Leaf-gro, and extra soil. Garden sheds contain communal garden tools and individual storage bins. Our campus is home to quite a few certified master gardeners and plenty of ‘amateurs’ who have incredible expertise to share!

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