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A Place for All of Us

Beth El members are proud of the strides we have made in rehabilitating our two-acre acidic oak-hickory forest that lies behind our synagogue. Housing a “Chapel in the Woods,” this retreat serves as a place of quiet meditation, services, and prayer--and a site for teaching children about nature, playing, taking a hike, and observing wildlife. There has even been a wedding in our Chapel in the Woods.

The infrastructure for the chapel area and trail system was built from 2002-2007. The forest remains one of the few undeveloped private tracts in the area and still contains at least 15 species of native trees.

In addition, the forest is on a slope. The area is part of the Strawberry Run watershed that drains the entire residential neighborhood. Two ravines cut through the property. There is a spring at the bottom of a nearby hill on an adjoining property.

Over the years, the forest had become overrun with 20 kinds of invasive species, and there were many downed trees that needed to be replaced to protect this treasure for future generations. Yet volunteers have made considerable progress reducing the invasive infestation and replanting with Virginia native trees and plants. All are welcome to join us for our Sunday morning Chapel in the Woods workdays. Contact Nancy and Stuart Davis at for more information.

Click here for short history of our Chapel in the Woods.

Click here for a list of donors.

Activity in the Chapel Area


Flora and Fauna


Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784