Clifton Institute


Our mission is to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards, to learn about the ecology of the northern Virginia Piedmont, and to conserve native biodiversity.

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Address: 6712 Blantyre Road
Warrenton, VA 20187
Phone Number: 540-341-3651
We accomplish our mission by providing environmental education to people of all ages, carrying out ecological research, and restoring habitat for native plants and animals. Our 900-acre field station, under permanent protection with a conservation easement in central Fauquier County, provides a beautiful and easily accessible location for our programs.

We provide environmental education to people of all ages, from kindergarteners to septuagenarians. After experiencing the beauty of the northern Piedmont ecosystem, our visitors are inspired to take better care of the natural world, both locally and globally. Our programs encourage a sense of wonder and curiosity about nature and promote scientific understanding and critical thinking. Participants in our programs are encouraged to be physically active, intellectually engaged, and mindfully observant, improving both their physical and mental health.

We work with local universities, government entities, other nonprofits, and citizen scientists to carry out research on the field station. Our research questions include: How do native plants and animals respond to restoration? How is climate change affecting the plants and animals in our area? What are the best methods for conserving rare and declining species? Our research projects contribute to the scientific understanding of the northern Piedmont ecosystem and give members of the public opportunities to participate in meaningful scientific studies.

We pursue the restoration and conservation of native biodiversity. We are working with state and federal agencies, as well as local experts, to t manage our diverse habitats in order to promote native species of plants and animals. All of our restoration efforts are studied scientifically, so that we can provide information to other like-minded organizations and individuals about best practices. By taking care of our property, we are improving the landscape of the entire area and inspiring others to do the same.

With $30, you can become a Friend of Clifton and fund two native shrubs to provide food and shelter for native animals.
With $100, you can become a Grassland Guardian and fund burning 4 acres of grassland to provide habitat for Grasshopper Sparrows.
With $200, you can become a Science Supporter and fund one biodiversity survey, which will help us monitor the effects of our habitat restoration projects.
With $300, you can become a Seminar Sponsor and fund a seminar or workshop to educate the public about the native biodiversity of northern Virginia.
With $400, you can become a Youth Hike Hero and fund a half-day field trip or nature hike for children from our community.
With $500, you can become a Camp Crusader and fund a full scholarship to a child for one week-long session of summer camp.
With $1,000, you can become a Woodcock Warrior and fund the restoration of 10 acres of early successional habitat so that American Woodcocks and other shrubland species prosper.

"At the end of the semester, many of the students reported that the visit to the field station was their favorite activity of the year." --- Hannah Bement, Biological Sciences Teacher, Mountain Vista Governor's School

"The property is absolutely perfect for the students to unplug and really listen to nature, therefore promoting a better relationship with Mother Earth and the importance of taking care of our amazing planet." --- Kristin Brewer, 3rd grade teacher, M.M. Pierce Elementary

"Having a program such as Clifton is invaluable to real-life experiential science education in our area." --- Jerry Hull, 5th grade teacher, Brumfield Elementary