The Gifts of the Season
Classes Online, Onsite and On Demand

 

Winter is the quiet season. The season where, outside our windows, frost sparkles over sleeping gardens and cardinals fluff out their feathers. The season that gives us the perfect excuse to cozy up indoors with a cup of cocoa, a holiday craft project, and a good book! Or we can take some time to wind down the year with a deeply relaxing wellness practice. These are the gifts of the season. Here at The North Carolina Arboretum we delight in sharing them with you, our community, through Adult Education Programs.

For more information, please contact Adult Education Programs at 828-665-2492 or email AdultEducation@ncarboretum.org.

Online Classes: December

  • ONLINE  Wednesday, December 2; 4 – 5 p.m.

    Birding is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the country. Learn more about our local avian friends and how to get into bird watching in this series of weekly online classes. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy these lively presentations by expert birders Simon Thompson and Kevin Burke.

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  • ONLINE  Thursday, December 3; 1 – 3 p.m.

    Create a variation on a traditional origami or star book with handcrafted eco-printed papers. This festive online workshop will take you step by step in crafting this beautiful little book that doubles as an ornament. We guarantee you will want to make one for everyone on your list this year — and several for yourself.

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  • ONLINE  Thursday, December 3; 6:30 – 8 p.m.

    The North Carolina Arboretum & UNC Press Present 30 Great North Carolina Science Adventures.  Travel with us on an adventure without ever leaving home. Author April C. Smith is joined by a stellar group of naturalists and environmental educators to explain key scientific concepts and where to find adventures in learning across the state. A great guide to intergenerational fun for the months to come!

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  • ONLINE  Sunday, December 6; 2 – 3:15 p.m.

    Join us online for this guided lying-down meditation to induce full-body relaxation and peaceful states of awareness. This practice will help you sleep better, release anxiety, and access inner calm, compassion, and clarity. No prior yoga experience is required, and students who are working with injury, illness and physical limitations will find this class to be highly accessible.

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  • ONLINE  Sunday, December 6; 3:30 – 5 p.m.

    A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia—a new combined literary and natural history anthology—is a guide to getting know species of Southern Appalachia, and to understanding the place in broader, poetic senses as well. This special program, moderated by poet Rose McLarney (editor of the project), features readings by a diverse group of poets who composed original work for the field guide and conversation about how the natural world inspires and informs their craft.

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  • ONLINE  Sign on* for either or both tea-time sessions with Clara in live time:
    Tuesday, December 8, 3 to 4 p.m.
    Wednesday, December 16, 3 to 4 p.m.

    Video and Supply List sent to registrants on December 2.

    Join Clara Curtis, the Arboretum’s senior director for mission delivery, to learn how to make a festive holiday wreath. Register to receive a pre-recorded video tutorial with Clara teaching you how to craft a full-sized door wreath using the hand-wrapped bundle method. Then sign on for two live tea-time sessions  for Wreath Q&A, Show & Tell, along with a bonus tutorial on tying it all up in a lavish bow!  Consider it our gift to you!

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  • ONLINE  Wednesday, December 9; 4 – 5 p.m.

    Birding is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the country. Learn more about our local avian friends and how to get into bird watching in this series of weekly online classes. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy these lively presentations by expert birders Simon Thompson and Kevin Burke.

    LEARN MORE

  • ONLINE  Two sessions: Tuesday and Thursday, December 15 and 17; 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    Native plants are beautiful, low maintenance, ecologically beneficial and bestow a distinct sense of place to cultivated landscapes. This class will guide students in planning a native garden to serve multiple purposes.

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  • ONLINE  Two sessions: Tuesday and Thursday, December 15 and 17; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    From the rare and fragrant Fraser fir of the highest mountain elevations to the eastern white pine found throughout our region, the beautiful evergreen members of the Pinaceae family enrich our Southern Appalachian mountains. We will learn about species identification along with the fascinating natural and cultural history of our state tree(s).

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  • ONLINE  Tuesday, December 15; 6:30 – 8 p.m.

    The North Carolina Arboretum & UNC Press Present Great Day Hikes on North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Join us for an informative talk focused on this first-ever guide to day hikes along the crown jewel of North Carolina foot trails. The Mountains-to-Sea Trail covers 1,175-miles, crossing the state from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or new to the outdoors, this official guide from Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is your go-to companion for exploring all the trail has to offer.

     

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  • ONLINE  Wednesday, December 16; 4 – 5 p.m.

    Birding is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the country. Learn more about our local avian friends and how to get into bird watching in this series of weekly online classes. You don’t have to be a beginner to enjoy these lively presentations by expert birders Simon Thompson and Kevin Burke.

    LEARN MORE

  • ONLINE  Sunday, December 20; 2 – 3:15 p.m.

    Join us online for this guided lying-down meditation to induce full-body relaxation and peaceful states of awareness. This practice will help you sleep better, release anxiety, and access inner calm, compassion, and clarity. No prior yoga experience is required, and students who are working with injury, illness and physical limitations will find this class to be highly accessible.

    LEARN MORE

Registrants also have the opportunity to view recorded videos on demand for select classes if they are unable to attend the live session.

NEW: Onsite and Field-Based Small Group Classes

  • ONSITE  Five sessions: Fridays, November 13, 20, December 4, 11, and 18; 1 – 2 p.m.
    Available to register as a package or for individual sessions

    Experience the deep peace and simple joy of slow walking meditation in the Plants of Promise Garden at the Arboretum. Each walking meditation practice begins with a series of very gentle Qigong movements. Qigong is an easy, mindful movement practice that supports the body’s natural healing processes, promotes healthy circulation, invites a sense of inner calm, and releases tension from the body.

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  • ONSITE  Saturday, December 5; 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Let’s enjoy a quiet, mindful walk through the woods together. Strolling with an eye toward the wonders around you could have significant benefits for your mental health according to a recent study.  Bundle up, wear your mask and be awed along with naturalist Scott Dean who will help you imagine the forest of two centuries ago, when the American Chestnut played a major role in the overstory.

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  • ONSITE  Monday, December 7; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    In this class you learn how to make landscapes and abstract images on paper using an indigo vat. This is an easy, intuitive process that yields beautiful, organic images based on the iconic blue color that can only be achieved with indigo.

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  • ONSITE  Saturday, December 12; 1 – 3:30 p.m.

    Accept an invitation to receive the forests’ healing gifts and insights on this restorative walk, which is designed to activate the parasympathetic nervous system and restore the body to a calm and composed state. Boosted immune system, lowered blood pressure, reduced stress, decreased depression and anxiety are a few possible benefits associated with nature-based experiences.

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  • ONSITE  Sunday, December 13; 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Let’s enjoy a quiet, mindful stroll through the woods together. A silent hike takes us to scenic treasures on the Arboretum property where we will do a restorative qigong practice that supports the body’s natural healing processes, promotes healthy circulation, invites inner calm, and releases tension from the body. Hikes will be mindfully-paced and qigong practices easy and accessible.

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  • ONSITE  Friday, December 18; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Get some practice identifying the evergreen members of the Pinaceae family that blanket our Southern Appalachian mountains. In this field experience at the Arboretum, naturalist Carlton Burke will point out the variety of native pines in the cultivated gardens and forest and help you see them in the winter landscape through appreciative eyes.

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On Demand Online Classes

  • There’s an App for that! Smartphones are quickly becoming a valuable tool to aid in exploring the natural world. This online introductory class for adults, originally presented on April 9, 2020, will help you gain an overview on how to use the iNaturalist app for documenting observations of the natural world. You can use the app to identify wildflowers, songbirds, trees and more, with the help of an online community of naturalists, including scientists. 

    Register Here

  • Used by over 30 million people world-wide, Star Chart is an app that provides a magical star gazing experience like no other. In this online introductory class for adults, originally presented in April of 2020, Astronomer Stephan Martin introduces you to Star Chart and other free stargazing apps so that you can carry around a virtual planetarium in your pocket! Look through your smartphone or other handheld device to help you bring the whole visible universe into focus. Steve will share insights on the treasures of the night sky that you can see this spring, including tips for viewing Meteor Showers!

    Register Here

  • Birdwatching is one of the nation’s fastest growing outdoor activities. In this online introductory class for adults, originally presented in April of 2020, instructor Kevin Burke introduces us to eBird, a free online program that will help you track and share your sightings and join in a world-wide citizen science revolution. eBird is a joint project started by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon that now has more than 100,000 active users, and participation is growing at the dizzying rate of about 40 percent per year. The result is a rich database on bird abundance and distribution that is available to all.

    Register Here

  • Journaling provides us an opportunity to capture moments in nature that inspire us. We can expand our journaling experience through sketching, which is a quick, low-stakes approach to drawing. In this online introductory class for adults, originally presented in April of 2020, artist and landscape architect Preston Montague discusses his work in botanical sketching and provides tips and techniques you can use for quick and accurate visual communication and recording your observations of the natural world and landscapes both inner and outer. No prior experience in the arts required.

    Register Here

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