loving where you live

“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”

― Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

 

Scroll down for a listing of classes open for registration and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter Learn & Grow.

For more information, please contact Adult Education Programs at AdultEducation@ncarboretum.org

May Online, Onsite and Field-Based Classes

  • ONLINE | Three Sessions: Thursdays, May 5, 19 & 26, 1:30 – 3 p.m.

    Still open for registration with access to first session On Demand.  Register below.

    On a single mountainside in the Southern Appalachians, a careful observer might identify more than 1,200 species of moths during the course of a year. This fascinating series provides an intensive look at the seemingly limitless diversity of insects and the important roles they play from pollinator to pathogen in the ecosystems of the Blue Ridge. Naturalist Dan Lazar covers the life cycles of the more common local insects and discusses threats to these important elements of biodiversity. Registration will be open to students in the class for a culminating field experience to see the Blue Ghost Fireflies.

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  • ONLINE | Five Sessions: Thursdays, May 12 – June 9, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

    Still open for registration with access to first session On Demand. 

    Deepen your intimacy with your surroundings and the natural world through photography. Award-winning documentary photographer Susan Patrice offers a heart-felt photography workshop that combines contemplative practices with ways to document this extraordinary time that might keep us six feet apart from other humans but can inspire a closer and more intimate focus on nature and our surroundings. Through this simple photographic practice, a nearby green space can become an oasis of beauty and connection and your own backyard can come alive with extraordinary photographic opportunities. 

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  • ONSITE | Fridays, Through May 27, 9 – 10 a.m.

    Individual Friday Sessions in May Open for registration below.

    Experience the deep peace and simple joy of slow walking meditation in the Arboretum gardens. 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. Designed to be accessible to all ages and bodies in this small group practice.

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  • ONSITE | Tuesday, May 17, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

    Established in October 2005, the Bonsai Exhibition Garden is a signature feature of the Arboretum and a unique environment displaying up to 50 specimens at a time. Of particular importance are the plants native to the Blue Ridge, including American hornbeam, red maple and eastern white pine, which bring the thousand-year tradition of bonsai home to the mountains of Western North Carolina. Join this after-hours tour of the garden with the bonsai curator for a personal and informative overview of the art of bonsai and the Arboretum’s own creative approach. Foliage is at its freshest at this time of year, and flowers will likely be blooming in the garden landscape and on select bonsai.

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  • ONSITE | Six Sessions: Wednesdays, May 18 June 22, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

    Gentle, relaxing yoga stretches outside in the fresh air. Connect with the beauty of nature while releasing tension and building flexibility, balance, and inner calm. This in-person class takes place at the Arboretum in partial shade and is beginner-friendly. Participants wear loose, comfortable clothing, adhere to current safety guidelines, and bring their own mat.

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  • ONSITE | Saturday, May 21, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Box turtles are familiar to just about anyone who spends time outdoors, but many of us might be unaware of their ongoing decline in the wild, which, unfortunately, can often be due to injury and interference by humans and automobiles. Licensed wildlife rehabilitator Carlton Burke shares all about box turtles, including their feeding, nesting and breeding habits, legal status, threats to their survival, and how they fit into the ecological community of woodland wildlife. Meet some of these gentle reptiles and learn what can be done to ensure their continued well-being in the wild as well as how animal rescue and rehabilitation agencies assist!

    This program is presented in cooperation with Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, which provides injured and orphaned wild animals a place to go for care and treatment to give them a second chance at life in the wild.

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  • ONSITE | Saturday, May 21, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    Spring is here and the natural world is waking from its winter rest! Stroll with an eye turned toward wonder — but be careful where you step! Look closely at the array of spring wildflowers currently popping up on the forest floor. Naturalist Scott Dean helps you see beyond just a bloom to the wonder of wildflowers and all our native flora, reminding us why we love where we live.

    This series begins this spring and will continue through each coming season, with expertly-guided small-group walks that allow for mindful connection in the more than human world. With the help of our core faculty, you’ll see with an eye to wonder and learn ways to actively preserve and protect our place in nature.

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  • ONSITE | Wednesday, May 25, 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    How does a healthy stream works and why is it important to the health of an entire ecosystem? A volunteer stream monitor for sites in the French Broad River Basin and at the Arboretum, Naturalist Tom Southard brings his extensive background in stream assessment, aquatic ecology education and stream habitat restoration to inform this walk along Bent Creek. You’ll gain an awareness of our little creek’s belonging in a larger watershed flowing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico and you’ll come away with a better understanding of the importance of  observing and conserving the health of our region’s creeks, streams and rivers. 

    This series begins this spring and will continue through each coming season, with expertly-guided small-group walks that allow for mindful connection in the more than human world. With the help of our core faculty, you’ll see with an eye to wonder and learn ways to actively preserve and protect our place in nature.

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  • ONSITE |  Friday, May 27, 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    The land that makes up The North Carolina Arboretum has been home to different human groups over a span of more than 15,000 years. It has had many uses and been shaped by those who lived here. This walk, led by archaeologists Bob and Mary Noel, will give participants a chance to see and hear about past occupants of this land, and even a little history about how it became the state’s Arboretum.

    This series begins this spring and will continue through each coming season, with expertly-guided small-group walks that allow for mindful connection in the more than human world. With the help of our core faculty, you’ll see with an eye to wonder and learn ways to actively preserve and protect our place in nature.

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  • ONLINE | Four Sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, May 31 – June 9, 10 – 11 a.m.

    Water flow across a diverse geological framework shapes the Earth’s surface. The process of surface water flow and the earth’s response to this flow are investigated across three physiographic provinces, including the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Coastal Plains/Continental Shelf. Participants will consider processes and responses such as erosion, sediment transport, and formation of associated depositional environments. Understand the importance of healthy natural water systems and the connection between watersheds and groundwater. Participants in the online class may register for a separate field experience offered in June. 

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  • ONLINE | Tuesday, May 31, 4 – 5:30 p.m.

    Join in this first in a series of regular discussions about Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard by Douglas W. Tallamy, who will be a featured speaker in the fall through the Arboretum. BREG Program Coordinator Rebecca Caldwell leads this discussion with Arboretum faculty for participants in the Blue Ridge Eco Gardening Certificate of Merit program and the Horticulture Professional program. Anyone is welcome to attend whether you’ve read the book or not! Come with questions!

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June Online, Onsite and Field-Based Classes

  • ONLINE | BLENDED LIVE & ASYNCHRONOUS  Opening May 10 and available through July 31

    Landscape Architect and Visual Artist Preston Montague teaches this fundamentals class that introduces participants to design principles, site assessment and planning, among other topics. Gain a better understanding of what comes into play in creating and managing sustainable and aesthetically appealing landscapes. You will come away empowered to be more creative, instinctive, decisive and purposeful in understanding good design and more adept at recognizing what’s not. The course includes two learning modules accessed online (asynchronous) along with two opportunities for live  (synchronous) and lively discussion with the instructor and other participants.

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  • ONSITE | Tuesday, June 7, 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

    The Blue Ridge Mountains are a beautiful place to be any time of year. This walk, scheduled the first Tuesday of every month for our quiet Meditative Morning at the Arboretum, takes you to some of the best spots to enjoy birding in our gardens and forest. Bring your binoculars to explore the area’s avian bounty, led by one of our expert Adult Education Instructors. Open to beginning and experienced birders alike.

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  • ONSITE | Tuesday, June 7, 9 – 10 a.m.

    Meditate in place and with a sense of place with this new, free monthly meditation in the Arboretum gardens. Suzanne Martin leads this experience of quieting the body, mind and spirt with focused awareness to the breath and setting the intention for the day. Be sure to register in advance to receive updates and each month’s meeting location. 

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  • ONSITE | Sunday, June 12, 10:30 a.m. – 12 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. Qigong is a series of simple movements 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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  • ONLINE | Five Sessions: Tuesdays June 21, 28, July 5, 12 & 26, 10 – 11 a.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. Naturalist Scott Dean brings lore and botanica together in an engaging close-up look at the plants that add to our region’s marvelous ecological diversity.

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  • FIELD | Five Sessions: Wednesdays June 22, 29, July 6, 13 & 27, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.+

    In this entirely field-based class led by Naturalist Scott Dean, you will learn to identify native mountain flora on the trail, training your eyes and using a non-technical dichotomous keying system. Study the characteristics of plant families and the basics of plant communities all in place. While the focus is on summer wildflowers and trees, you will also pick up a wealth of information on the natural and cultural history of the flora of the Blue Ridge.

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  • ONSITE | Thursday, June 23, 6:30 – 8 p.m.

    Biltmore’s Horticulture Director Parker Andes brings the estate’s vast garden spaces and forests down to scale, highlighting some of Frederick Law Olmsted’s original design ideas that Biltmore still strives to maintain. Andes offers considerations for contemporary application in today’s landscapes. Weather permitting, we’ll stroll through the gardens for principles in place as part of the Arboretum’s Thanks FLO seasonal landscape exhibit.

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Asynchronous | On Demand Classes

  • ONLINE  Asynchronous Open for Ongoing Registration! 

    The Curator’s Journal by Bonsai Curator Arthur Joura is a year-long course offering the ultimate insider’s view of bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum. Regular entries chronicle growing an art and growing an enterprise. Subscribers will have exclusive access to all-new original content generated by Joura and will be notified each week when a new entry is posted. Opportunities for interaction — online and in person — will be available through a regular “Ask the Curator” feature, specially-planned programs and after hours Exhibition Garden Curator’s Talks & Tours, for which subscribers enjoy priority registration.

    Preview free entries on the Curator’s Journal site and join us for this learning journey. With Joura as a knowledgeable guide, Journal subscribers forgo the map and travel in time to meet remarkable trees, each with stories and life lessons worth sharing.

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  • ONLINE  Wednesday, April 27, 10 a.m. – Noon

    When we think of flowers in the spring, our attention often is turned towards the numerous showy flowers found on herbaceous plants on the forest floor. If we look upwards, however, we would notice the many species of mountain trees that also begin blooming at this time of the year as well. Carlton Burke leads this informative class, providing tips and rich handouts to help in identifying trees by their flowers, buds and bark. Also covered are an overview of tree structures and pollination strategies.

    Contact adulteducation@ncarboretum.org for information on registering.

  • ON DEMAND

    Arboretum Production Greenhouse Manager June Smathers-Jolley leads this engaging and packed-full-of-useful-information class on how to be a good plant parent to your houseplants. June shares on-trend resources from the horticulture industry, popular magazines, and social media that will make you want to adopt a few new family members of the botanical variety. Topics to be covered include selecting the best plants for different locations and conditions in your home, proper watering techniques, repotting, fertilizing, and pest identification/management.

    Contact adulteducation@ncarboretum.org for information on registering.

  • ON DEMAND

    Want to rejuvenate an older houseplant or share your plant with a friend? Arboretum Production Greenhouse Manager June Smathers-Jolley covers the basics of propagating houseplants through seeds, cuttings, division and air layering in this informative video, produced in-house by the Education Department’s creative team and available to watch “on demand” at your own convenience through September 30. Whether you have a colorful coleus, an aging aglaonema, a peppy peperomia, or a savvy succulent, you will pick up some proven techniques for expanding your houseplant collection.

    Contact adulteducation@ncarboretum.org for information on registering.

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