Adult Education Releases New Classes for July

Make a mindful start to summer. Create a series of nature-inspired mandalas and then read about what one biologist observed over the course of a year in a one-square-meter “mandala” of forest. It’s not too late to join in the summer Arboretum Read of The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature and then meet the award-winning author David George Haskell. Plus, we’ll have online classes covering the region’s wild edible plants, gardening sustainably, landscape design, flora identification and more.

Be part of a unique online learning community that keeps you connected to the Arboretum, and take advantage of  new Zoom-based classes all month long through Adult Education Programs. We offer a mix of free and fee-based programs; donations are always welcome.

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

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

Current & Upcoming Live Online Classes

  • Three Sessions: Thursdays, July 9, 16 and 23; 10 – 11 a.m. 

    In this 3-meeting class, we will trace the geometric designs of mandalas, in various forms through history and across the globe.  We will contemplate many mandala designs, especially those found in and inspired by the natural world.  And, step -by-step, we will create our own nature-inspired mandalas.  This class will include brief meditations and reflections.

     

    Register Here

  • Tuesday, July 14; 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Author David George Haskell and poet Nickole Brown in conversation. This live webinar and Q & A with the audience culminates the Arboretum Reads close reading of The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature by David George Haskell. In this award-winning book, Haskell, a professor of biology at The University of the South, revisits the same one-square meter “mandala” in an old growth forest almost every day for a year. Recording his observations and experiences in precise, poetic detail, he gives readers a grand tour of a small place, revealing nature in all its beauty and complexity.

    Register Here

  • Tuesday, July 14, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Join us for an exploration of the treasures of the night sky as we discover the constellations, bright stars, planets, and deep sky objects that fill the warm summer evening skies. This online class covers the basic use of apps, planispheres and star charts to navigate the night sky using binoculars, small telescopes or our own two eyes. Combine this class with a virtual Sumer Skywatch on Friday evening, July 17, 9:30 to 11 p.m. (Register separately.)

    Register Here

  • Wednesday, July 15; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Summer is a perfect time to notice plants that are at the peak of growth, flower or fruit. Fragrance is a welcome characteristic of many summer flowers, while aromatic foliage adds interest throughout the growing season. This online class will focus on plants that are at their best in summer, with a special nod to annual plants that are prevalent during the summer months.

    Register Here

  • Two Sessions: Thursdays, July 16 and 23; 1 to 2:30 p.m.

    This online class covers herbaceous plant propagation from seeds, cuttings and divisions. Propagating grasses, perennials, and landscape and house plants will be discussed, and you’ll get resources and encouragement for plenty of hands-on propagation practice at home.

    Register Here

  • Friday, July 17; 9:30 – 11 p.m.

    Stargazing and social distancing come together to form a unique virtual stargazing community as we gather to explore the constellations, bright stars, planets and deep sky objects of the summer night sky with local astronomer Stephan Martin as our guide. All you need is a smartphone or mobile device, a free downloadable astronomy app and an internet connection to join in via Zoom to enjoy the wonders of the night sky from the safety of your own stargazing location. Steve will point out some of the celestial wonders of the night sky during this time of year and share their myths and legends.

    Register Here

  • Two Sessions: Tuesday, July 21 and Thursday, July 23; 3 – 4:30 p.m.

    War or victory gardens were important factors in both World Wars I and II to help assure adequate supply and conservation of food for the home front, soldiers and our allies overseas. Gardens also helped appeal to the American sense of volunteerism and patriotism during times of global conflict. A cry for Victory Gardens 2020 in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has raised the need for modern war gardens to help us face the changing world we live in.

    Register Here

  • Five sessions: Wednesdays, July 22, 29, August 5, 12 and 19; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn to identify native mountain flora using a non-technical keying system, while studying the characteristics of plant families, the basics of plant community and the natural and the cultural history of the flora of the Blue Ridge. Presented online with resources, quizzes and exercises provided for conducting observations in the “field,” meaning your own yard or neighborhood with nods to nearby trails reopening for recreational use.

    Register Here

  • Tuesday, July 28; 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    This class will consider art as an integral part of the built landscape. We will discuss how art and landscape complement each other and how to respond to and create opportunities to integrate art into the landscape.  Instructor: Lynn Raker, PLA, ASLA

    Register Here

  • Tuesday, July 28; 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.

    Looking at form and function, Parker Andes will bring Biltmore’s vast garden spaces down to scale, highlighting some of the original design ideas that Biltmore strives to maintain today and offering considerations for contemporary application in today’s landscapes.

    Register Here

  • Two sessions: Wednesday, July 29, and Friday, July 31, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    What should we do to amend our heavy clay soils?  This class will discuss basic concepts of soil science and how soil amendments, soil conditioners and natural fertilizers can be used to improve or alter soil quality.

    Register Here

  • Wednesday, July 29; 2 to 5 p.m.

    Built landscapes can evoke a unique sense of place through cultural and environmental elements that reflect specific contexts. Join artist and landscape architect, Preston Montague, for a presentation on how he incorporates materials and layouts in his work that help people suspend reality and believe they are in a very different environment.

    Register Here

  • Thursday, July 30; 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    A look at how both native edible and other edible plants have been historically important as as well as a popular design element in landscapes over the decades. The class covers ideas for incorporating native edible and edible plants in current designs for both residential and commercial landscapes.  Instructors: Jennifer Verprauskus and Hillary Cole

    Register Here

  • Thursday, July 30; 2 – 5 p.m.

    Gardens have been associated throughout history with restoration and healing. This class examines their role in health and wellness, and will cover current research on positive impacts. Students will learn the essentials for creating a successful therapeutic garden and how to apply them in residential and community settings.

    Register Here

  • Friday, July 31; 9 to 11 a.m.

    As Western North Carolina continues to receive record rainfall, stormwater management is a critical issue in this region. In this class we will explore storm water systems that have been designed to accomplish their site specific goals.  Instructors: Drake Fowler and Megan Foy

    Register Here

  • Six sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, August 4, 6, 11, 13, 18 and 20; 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    Explore the geologic history of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. Each weekly class builds on the previous week and leads to an understanding of mountain formation.

    Register Here

  • Two sessions: Tuesday, August 4, and Thursday, August 6; 1:30 – 3 p.m.

    Western North Carolina’s lush mountain forests are home to dozens of species of trees. In this class, students will learn how to identify many of the area’s tree species based on their habitat preferences, individual characteristics, including leaves, and their uses both by humans and wildlife.

    Register Here

  • Wednesday, August 5; 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    Bringing dramatic variations in temperature and precipitation patterns, creating disruptions in phenology and even requiring adjustments to plant hardiness zones, climate change is already changing ways of gardening in Western North Carolina. This course will provide an overview of the many new tools that will help gardeners create a climate-resilient garden.

    Register Here

  • Two sessions: Tuesday and Thursday, August 11 and 13; 1 to 2:30 p.m.

    Many people living in Western North Carolina have to deal with exposed slopes on their property. Left unattended, they become hazardous eyesores with ever-worsening erosion that can threaten the structures, plants, roadways and stream-beds below. This class looks at ways to assess and maintain slopes, and will explore useful plantings that help to prevent erosion.

    Register Here

  • Tuesday, August 11; 2 to 3:30 p.m.

    Meteor showers are one of the most spectacular regular celestial events that don’t require any special equipment to view them. This class will cover the origin and nature of meteor showers as well as the best times and ways to observe them.

    Register Here

  • Wednesday, August 12; 9:30 to 11 p.m.

    Join us for this unique stargazing offering as we explore the stars, constellations, and meteors of spring with a guided experience by local astronomer Stephan Martin. We’ll learn about meteors and meteor showers as we scan the skies together for the Perseid meteors, one of the finest meteor showers of the year, which peak this night!

    Register Here

  • Two sessions: Tuesday, August 18, and Thursday, August 20; 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    Move from inspiration to action in this two-part class that covers the principles of Permaculture and an understanding of its place in successful landscape design. An ideal landscape nurtures itself and fits seamlessly into the natural environment. Good design creates holistic spaces that are aesthetically pleasing, where every piece of the landscape is maximally used to benefit the ecosystem as a whole and waste is minimized, where natural systems are replicated, valuing diversity and garden efficiency.

    Register Here

  • Thursday, August 20; 3 to 4 p.m.

    Join poet Nickole Brown for a reading of poems as well as a discussion about her approach to eco-poetry, including an introduction of a writing workshop she’ll be leading at the Arboretum starting August 30.

    Register Here

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

Adult Education at The North Carolina Arboretum

Learning is a lifelong creative endeavor. Adult Education Programs at The North Carolina Arboretum extends an invitation for you to grow in mind and grow in place. Explore the natural world and grow in your understanding of the uniqueness of this place, one of the most biologically diverse regions of the temperate world.

The North Carolina Arboretum’s Adult Education Programs attract some of the region’s leading experts to teach close to 300 classes each year on a range of topics.

Click on the red registration buttons to view full course descriptions, information on the instructor and to register online. North Carolina Arboretum Society members receive a discount on class registration fees. By registering, participants agree to the Cancellation Policy and Liability Waiver

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