September Learning Journeys
Classes Online, Onsite and On Demand

 

You are here on the map! Join a community of adult learners dedicated to understanding the natural history, ecology and culture of the Southern Appalachian region, to practicing sustainable design principles in the landscape, and to discovering creative, contemplative means of expression in movement and art making.

Let the Arboretum help you understand more about your place in the natural world and what you can do to preserve, protect and care for our common home. 

Be inspired by what you observe in your own environment and write your own poetry of place in Rose McLarney’s writing workshop based on A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia.  Pictured above is an illustration from the book by artist Suzanne Stryk. 

 

Adult Education Programs will take you outside at the Arboretum in September to learn with others in a setting that offers abundant beauty, tranquility and safe distance. 

Stay connected to the Arboretum, no matter where you learn.

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

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

Online Classes: September

  • Tuesday, September 22; 9 – 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

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  • Tuesday, September 22; 2 – 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.

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  • Friday, September 25; 10 – 11 a.m.

    Whether a beginning gardener or highly advanced agricultural producer, a tremendous diversity of insects are present in the landscape and it’s challenging to know which ones are causing damage to our desired plants. In this program, we will focus on understanding the importance of insects in the landscape, how we identify insect pests and their damage, and learn to engage in good agricultural practices through an integrated approach to insect pest management.

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  • Friday, September 25; 12:30 – 2 p.m.

    Amid widespread decline in pollinators, taking steps to make our properties more pollinator-friendly can be truly meaningful on so many levels, as well as a fun project! Native plants are beautiful, low maintenance, and are particularly important to supporting pollinator populations. Learn how to create a your own pollinator haven at home using beneficial native plants.

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  • Friday, September 25; 2 – 4:30 p.m.

    More variable temperatures and rainfall, more frequent and intense weather extremes, changing seasonal patterns and novel pests and diseases are increasing the challenges of designing landscapes that perform well now and into the future.  Take this course to learn how you can design climate-resilient landscapes to enhance the well-being of your clients and their community no matter the weather.

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  • Tuesday, September 29; 1:30 – 3 p.m.

    Many gardeners neglect thinking about fall after the blooms of summer are gone. But some plants will offer superb fall foliage or reveal colorful stems or sculptural forms after the leaves are gone, even after a few frosts. This online class will focus on plants that are at their best in fall.

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  • Tuesday, September 29; 4 – 5 p.m.

    This online class will focus on the conservation of the charismatic monarch butterfly and its dependence on milkweed as a host plant. Topics include current conservation initiatives, the best type of milkweed, the importance of citizen science involvement and pollinator foraging and host plant locating theories.

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  • Wednesday, September 30; 3 – 4 p.m.

    The secret of life is written on the wings of a butterfly. A butterfly alights on an ironweed and unfolds magnificent wings, revealing iridescent bands of ethereal blue. The shimmering colors augment and decrease as the insect slowly raises and lowers its wings. But this vibrant display is not meant for our eyes; it is a warning to predatory birds. Explore the many interrelationships between butterflies, plants and birds in this free illustrated lecture, part of our Protecting Pollinators series.

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Online Classes: October

  • Thursday, October 1; 3 – 4 p.m.

    Fiber artist Joyce Tromba leads this online hour-long introductory talk on how to use leaves to produce eco prints on paper. Time and heat transform a leaf into a permanent image. Learn what leaves produce strong prints and how to prepare papers for the printing process, then see some beautiful examples of finished papers that can be used for cards, books or framed artworks.

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  • Sunday, October 4; 2 – 3 p.m.

    Join us online for this guided lying-down meditation to induce full-body relaxation and peaceful states of awareness. The hour-long session 

    begins with very gentle tension-relieving stretches that can be done seated in a chair or on the floor. 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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  • Four sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, October 6, 8, 13, 15; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Ecology-based methods used in design, site assessment, planning, planting and management are all emphases of this second foundational class for the Blue Ridge Eco-Gardener Certificate of Merit program. Gardeners of all levels of interest and ability will find this course valuable for learning how to work in a sustainable way on a site. Principles of Ecological Gardening is a prerequisite for this course.

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  • Wednesday, October 7; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Oaks are among our most common forest trees, but identifying individual species can be daunting. This online class will help you learn the distinctive characteristics like bark, acorns and leaves to help you distinguish one oak from another.

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  • Thursday, October 8; 3 – 5 p.m.

    More species of salamanders exist in the Southern Appalachians than anywhere else in the world. The class will begin with a lecture focusing on the biology of salamanders, reasons for the enormous diversity in this region and threats to salamander species.

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  • Sunday, October 11; 2 – 4:30 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. Poets Rose McLarney and Nickole Brown will guide this online workshop, providing activities that will help you observe the ecosystem in which you live and write your own poems.

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  • Thursday, October 15; 6:30 – 8 p.m.

    Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is the single greatest threat to hemlocks both in the forest and landscaped settings. We will discuss which hemlock management options are best suited for specific situations, including when and how to hire a tree care professional.

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  • Two sessions: Monday and Wednesday, October 19 and 21; 1 – 3 p.m.

    Find inspiration in fall’s beautiful leaves in this two-part class that covers the basics of eco-printing. In the first session, which takes place onsite at the Arboretum, you will learn how to select and test leaves for making permanent prints on paper and get some practice time. Take home a collection of papers and use them to make three different simple book structures in a second online session.

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  • Tuesday, October 20; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    Many trees in Western North Carolina combine to create the spectacular foliage color show during the autumn months. This online class covers the biology of what causes seasonal color change and the basics of identifying trees by their leaves, bark, fruit and other characteristics.

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  • Three sessions: Wednesdays, October 21, 28 and November 4; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

    This online class will cover fundamentals to advanced composition, not only learning and reviewing the “rules” of photography, but also how to bend and break them effectively. students will be encouraged to explore innovative ways to use their digital cameras to capture unusual images that go beyond the typical nature photograph.

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NEW: Onsite Small-Group Classes

  • Tuesday, September 23; 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

    Join us to learn more about migrating hawks and get a chance to observe some migrating birds of prey (especially broad-winged hawks) along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The class will meet at a designated hawk watching location where tallies of various species are recorded yearly.

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  • Monday, October 12; 3 – 5:30 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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  • Saturday, October 17; 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

    Join the Hemlock Restoration Initiative to learn the fundamentals of treating hemlock trees to protect them from the invasive insect, hemlock woolly adelgid. Participants will learn about a variety of methods to protect hemlocks through outdoor, hands-on practice. Today hemlock management is simpler and less expensive than ever before!

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  • Tuesday, October 27; 9 – 10:30 a.m.

    Many trees in Western North Carolina combine to create the spectacular foliage color show during the autumn months. This field experience meets outdoors for a walk on Arboretum grounds and trails to practice identifying native trees by the colors and shapes of their leaves, fruit types, types of bark, and other characteristics.  Fall Color and Native Tree Identification is a prerequisite for this course.

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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

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.