Rust Nature Sanctuary
Enjoy nature at the Rust Nature Sanctuary throughout the year. Each season has something to fascinate nature lovers, from spring frog choruses to turkey tracks in the snow. And the more often you visit, the more you'll find.
Our 68 acres encompasses meadows, forests, and ponds where you'll find a variety of wildlife and plants. During a visit, you might encounter nesting songbirds from the tropics in the oak-hickory forest, a fox hunting in our meadow, or colorful dragonflies darting above the pond. Trail Map
Come and enjoy the Rust Nature Sanctuary anytime from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, every day of the year. No admission fee required. Bring your binoculars, camera, and a picnic lunch. Take photographs, and leave with pleasant memories and plans to return again and again.
For more information: 703-669-0000 or email
Perfect for PTO sponsors!
Bring naturalists to your school for an extended residency! GreenKids, our partnership with Loudoun County Public Schools, has developed high quality, project-based environmental residencies for your school in one of the following areas: Salad Science, Stream Science, and Becoming a Green School. Contact GreenKids Director, Diane Lill, at email@example.com for more information. Minimum fee: $1200.
Fresh Air Kids – Two Locations!
Children are born naturalists. The Audubon Naturalist Society builds on children's inherent curiosity about the world by using hands-on, nature-based activities to foster social, physical, and academic skill development. Our Fresh Air Kids Class is for children ages 5 and younger along with a parent or caregiver. Classes might involve crafts, songs, books and always a hike. Bring your lunch or snack. Mingle and meet other caregivers!
Rust Sanctuary, Leesburg ,VA
Fridays, April 10-May 29 (10-11:30 am) Cost: $75 (siblings 21 months and older $60, siblings under 21 months free). To register email Susanne Ortmann at susanne.ortmann@ anshome.org . Reservations not confirmed until payment received (checks only). Please mail checks made payable to ANS to Rust Sanctuary, 802 Children’s Center Rd., Leesburg, VA 20175.
Algonkian Regional Park, Sterling, VA
Mondays, May 4, 11, 18 and June 1 (10-11am) Cost: $42 (Siblings 21 months and older $35, siblings under 21 months free) To register please email Ellen McDougall at emcdougall@ anshome.org . Reservations not confirmed until payment received (checks only). Please mail checks made payable to ANS to Rust Sanctuary, 802 Children’s Center Rd., Leesburg, VA 20175.
Ponds Awaken to Spring at The Rust Nature Sanctuary
Friday, April 10 (6:30-8:30 pm)
Inclement weather date, Sunday, April 12
All ages; Cost: $7 per person
The wintering ponds at Rust Sanctuary are awakening to the Spring Season. Enjoy close encounters with wildlife such as salamanders , frogs, and toads. Come explore the magical sights and sounds that surround this 68 acre nature sanctuary. Our adventure will end with a tasty treat of marshmallows around a warm campfire. Please dress for the weather, hiking boots are highly recommended, headlamps and field equipment provided.
Rust Nature Sanctuary, 802 Children's Center Road, Leesburg, VA 20175
To register call 703-669-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Please send a check to the address above made out to The Audubon Naturalist Society to reserve your spot. Limit: 15 participants.
Unplug and Play Afterschool Programs
The Rust Nature Sanctuary in Leesburg, Virginia is excited to announce our revitalized afterschool program, Unplug and Play! Combining science education and physical activity, ANS has created a program to get kids outdoors to discover their natural world. Our qualified naturalists will run a six-week session of outdoor games, hikes, and eco-crafts, with a different theme each week. Themes include migration, plant basics, mammals, and animal habitats. Typical hours for our afterschool program are 2:45-3:45 pm. Naturalists are available to teach Monday- Friday, one day per week for six weeks. To run the program, the cost is $65 per student for 6 weeks. ANS requires a minimum of eight students. Call Ellen McDougall at (703) 669-0000 or email email@example.com for more information and to book your school's afterschool club!
Scout Programs at Rust Nature Sanctuary
We can meet your badge needs!
ANS Nature Programs for Scouts are offered 7 days a week from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. Each program is 1 to 1.5 hours long. The cost is $7.75 per scout with a $124 minimum. Come to the Rust Nature Sanctuary for your program or we'll come to you! For more information call Ellen McDougall at 703-669-0000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Audubon Naturalist Society's Rust Nature Sanctuary is the recipient of a collection of artwork from the family of Roger Tory Peterson. We are honored to be able to showcase the art to the community by our environmental education office and encourage you to pay a visit to our Rust Sanctuary to view this wonderful collection.
802 Children's Center Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
From the DC Beltway, exit onto the Dulles Toll Road (Route 267). Follow the Toll Road local lanes until they become the Dulles Greenway (still Route 267). At the end of the Greenway (approximately 13 miles) take the left exit to Leesburg. This is the Leesburg Bypass. Go west on Bypass to the second exit (Route 7 - Business Leesburg). Caution: Do not take the first Leesburg exit, Route 15. Turn right at the top of the exit ramp onto Rt. 7. Turn right at the first traffic light, Catoctin Circle. Continue 1/8 mile on Catoctin Circle to Children's Center Road (on your right). Turn right and follow Children's Center Road until you reach the cul de sac at the end. The middle drive-at sign-will take you through the Sanctuary to the Manor House.
From Ashburn or Sterling and points east of Leesburg: Follow Route 7 west to Leesburg, and turn left onto Catoctin Circle at the light. Continue on Catoctin past the Post Office (on left) to the light at Rt. 15 (King Street). Continue on Catoctin through the light and across Dry Mill Road to Children's Center Road (on your left). Turn left and follow Children's Center Road until you reach the cul de sac at the end. The middle drive-at sign-will take you through the Sanctuary to the Manor House.
From points west of Leesburg, VA: Follow Route 7 east and take the first Leesburg exit (Leesburg Business). Turn right at first stoplight, Catoctin Circle, and continue 1/8 mile to Children's Center Road (on your right). Turn right and follow Children's Center Road until you reach the cul de sac at the end. The middle drive-at sign-will take you through the Sanctuary to the Manor House.
The Rust Manor House is a site rich in Virginia history and public service. It was built in 1910 by Henry Harrison, a descendant of the first European recorded as visiting Loudoun County, for his wife, Anne Lee who was a cousin of Robert E. Lee. Anne lived here until her death in 1928. Having no heirs, she left the property to the St. Emma Agricultural and Industrial Institute, a school for young black men established by an order of nuns near Richmond.
William Fitzhugh Rust, another scion of a distinguished Virginia and Loudoun County family, purchased the property from St. Emma in 1929 and substantially remolded the house, copying many architectural elements from old Rust plantation homes. William died in 1940, but his widow, Mary, lived in the manor house and operated the property as a dairy farm through World War II.
After the war she and her son sold the property to Ida K. Polen, a very successful business woman from Arlington. After Ida died, the property was put up for auction and William Fitzhugh Rust, Jr., the son of William and Mary, bought it. He also donated the land for Ida Lee Park and The Rust Library to the Town of Leesburg..
In 2000, following the wishes of their mother, Margaret Dole Rust, the children of William and Margaret donated their family home to the Audubon Naturalist Society to create the Rust Nature Sanctuary. -- Prepared by the Audubon Naturalist Society