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The Botanical Gardens at Asheville offers educational classes for adults throughout the year.

2016 Adult Educational Classes: 
  
Saturday, March 12
1 pm - 4
Wood Identification,  Ron Lance
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Native plant specialist Ron Lance will show us how the different cell types and their configurations affect our utility of wood. These characteristics can be as useful in identifying trees as looking at the leaves or twigs. This program will introduce participants to the anatomical features of wood and reveal how the composition of the wood differs among many of our local trees. An 8x or 10x power hand lens will be useful for examining wood samples. 

Lance has more than 30 years of experience growing, studying and teaching about native plants. He’s written several guides and keys for Southeastern plants, including The Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge, The Surveyor’s Guide to the Trees of North Carolina, and Woody Plants of the Southeastern US – A Winter Guide.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).  

Sunday, April 3
noon - 4
Plant Families, Marc Williams
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Ethnobiologist Marc Williams will walk the Gardens with participants and delve into the major plant families of the Southern USA. Participants will reinforce plant identification skills by observing family patterns such as leaf, flower and fruit types. The phenomenon of exotic invasive plants will also be covered in relation to their family membership. Participants will gain a more holistic understanding of the major plants comprising the Southern US flora and their potential ecological and ethnobotanical applications. Williams is Executive Director of Plants and Healers International.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).  

Sunday, April 17
9:30 am - 1130

 

Annual Spring Wildflower Walk, David Clarke
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Fees: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

A professor in the UNCA Biology Department, Dr. David Clarke is regarded as one of the premier botanists of South American floras. He has discovered dozens of new plant species while exploring for the Smithsonian Institution. David possesses an unpretentious wit and an infectious style of sharing his vast knowledge of plants. Join him for an informative walk through the Gardens – rain or shine!

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Sunday, May 15
2 pm - 4
Shrubs & Trees:  A Natural History Walk, Ron Lance
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Explore the diversity of native shrubs and trees in the Botanical Gardens and gain a perspective on their natural history in this 2 hour outdoor study/walk. Topics for each plant include where they grow, how they mesh with other plant and animal life and how they have been used by humans. This program will focus on both large and small examples of our most interesting regional flora, so if you have a hand lens, it will prove helpful to see the tiny details. Walk is planned for rain or shine, so please dress accordingly! 

Join naturalist Ron Lance on this outdoor study/walk as we explore the diversity of native shrubs and trees in the Botanical Gardens and gain a perspective on their natural history. Topics for each plant include where they grow, how they mesh with other plant and animal life and how they have been used by humans. This program will focus on both large and small examples of our most interesting regional flora. Bring a hand lens if you have one, as it will prove helpful to see the tiny details. Walk is planned for rain or shine, so please dress accordingly! 

Lance has more than 30 years of experience growing, studying and teaching about native plants. He’s written several guides and keys for Southeastern plants, including The Woody Plants of the Blue Ridge, The Surveyor’s Guide to the Trees of North Carolina, and Woody Plants of the Southeastern US – A Winter Guide.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Sunday, May 22
8 am - 10
Bird Walk, Aaron Steed
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Join us for an easy, early morning bird walk in the Gardens, led by Aaron Steed, an expert birder. As we look for, listen to, and enjoy the spring birds, we'll learn to recognize their songs and calls. Binoculars and field guides are helpful but not necessary.

Aaron Steed has been passionate about birds and wildlife his entire life. Originally from Wilmington, NC, Aaron studied General Biology at UNC-Asheville and has since worked on numerous avian research projects in Kansas, Texas, Arizona and California, primarily focusing on endangered and threatened species. He currently works as a guide for Ventures Birding Tours here in Asheville, designing and leading birding trips throughout the Carolinas, the USA, and Central America. Though Aaron loves traveling and birding new places, he’ll always be drawn back to the wonderful biodiversity of the Southern Appalachians.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Sunday, June 19
9 am - 11
Plant Compounds, Jay Kranyk
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.Jay Kranyik, garden manager, horticulture chairman, naturalist, and nature photographer will lead a walking tour of the Gardens where we will consider many facets of native plant compounds and phytochemistry. We’ll discuss the way plants protect themselves, prevent disease, cure, sicken and even kill. Additionally, we will ponder many curious and fascinating phytochemicals found in everyday foods. Handouts will be provided. This is an outdoor class. Bring rainwear and/or umbrella.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).
Saturday, June 25
10:30 am - noon
Creating a Pollinator-Friendly Garden, Lisa Wagner
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Join naturalist, plant ecologist, and garden educator Dr. Lisa Wagner to learn how to encourage native pollinators (and honey bees) by using native plants that provide nectar and pollen throughout the growing season. She’ll talk about plant characteristics, look at native plant examples and discuss ways to support pollinators in your gardens and communities. Butterflies, bumblebees, and hummingbirds are among our best-known native pollinators. Enjoyable to watch, they’re even more important in their role as pollinators; most flowering plants (90%) depend on pollinators for successful reproduction, including a third of our food plants.

Dr. Wagner served as Director of Education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson University for over 20 years. A plant ecologist by background (Ph.D. in Botany, UC Berkeley), she’s interested in native plants, sustainable gardening, public education, and promoting habitat restoration, as well as being a passionate 
gardener. She does frequent presentations and classes as a volunteer, on a variety of topics including gardening for nature and creating a native woodland garden. Her blog, Natural Gardening 
(www.naturalgardening.blogspot.com) reflects her observations about gardening and the natural world.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Sunday, July 17
2 pm - 4
The Peculiar World of Fungi,, Mike Hopping
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Michael Hopping, amateur mycologist and mushroom identifier for the Asheville Mushroom Club, will introduce us to a kingdom of beings as different from plants as humans. Hopping will show us the basics of 
mushroom identification through the help of an online resource that we'll use to key out mushrooms brought to the meeting. Feel free to bring mushrooms you've found. Mushroom field guides are also welcome. Hopping, who has a background in medicine and writing, is currently at work on Mushrooms of the Carolinas, a field guide scheduled for publication in 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press, with mycologists Alan and Arleen Bessette.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Sunday, August 21
9 am - 11
Nature Walk, Jay Kranyik
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Jay Kranyik, garden manager, horticulture chairman, naturalist, and nature photographer will lead this slowramble during which numerous facets of natural history will be observed and discussed. Botany, scientific names, natural community ecology, birds, insects, weather, even plant sex will be considered! Bring binoculars and a loupe if you have them. Rain or shine - bring rain wear/umbrella.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).
Sunday, October 2
9 am - 11
BIRD WALK, Simon Thompson 
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members

Join us for an easy bird walk in the Gardens led by Simon Thompson, expert birder and ornithologist. As you look for, listen to and enjoy the birds, you'll learn to recognize their songs and calls. Binoculars and field guide are helpful but not necessary. 

Simon Thompson is the owner of Ventures Birding Tours, a natural history tour company based in Asheville, NC. An international birding expert, he leads small groups of naturalists and birders to many locations throughout North America and the world. In western North Carolina, he is the ornithologist at Chimney Rock Park where he leads bird walks and has compiled the park's bird list. He is also active with both the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society and the newly-formed Henderson County Bird Club. Simon was born in Malta and educated at Writtle Agricultural College in Chelmsford, England, where he received his degree in commercial horticulture in 1984. Prior to taking his degree, he lived in Ghana, Kenya and Lebanon, where his interest in birds began. In addition to traveling extensively in the US, he spent six months in China studying the crane and bird of prey migration as a member of the British “China Crane Watch” expedition. 

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190)

Sunday, October 16
10 am - noon
Growing Native Perennials from Seed, Pat Sommers
Butler Room, Botanical Gardens
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Dr. Pat Sommers, owner of Natural Selections Nursery, will discuss seed morphology, pollination and the importance of species plants in a highly hybridized world. A walk in the garden will afford us a look at a variety of seeds in their native state. Back in the Butler room, we will plant seeds with different germination requirements and discuss the what, how and why of those requirements and how to grow them on once they have germinated. All levels are welcome.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Sunday, October 23
1 pm - 4
Winter Tree Identification, Jason Rodrigue
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Jason Rodrigue, a forester and silviculturist with the U.S. Forest Service, will show us how to identify trees in the winter. This involves learning to identify trees by bark, twig arrangement and growth type. Jason holds degrees in Environmental Biology, Resource Management and Forest Soils. Jason's work includes the 
management of forest communities to maintain and improve their health, enhance habitats, restore and protect desired conditions, and supply resources to local economies.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).

Saturday, October 29
10:30 am - noon

Creating a Garden Full of Life:  Gardening for Nature, Lisa Wagner
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Fees:   $12 for BGA members; $17 for non-members.

Dr. Lisa Wagner’s class will focus on gardening in harmony with nature by using native plants to attract birds, butterflies, bees, and other native wildlife. She’ll describe the ecological and aesthetic benefits of providing habitat for wildlife when gardeners provide habitat diversity. She will use examples from her own garden projects and include native plant recommendations to use in WNC. 

A plant ecologist by background (Ph.D. in Botany, UC Berkeley), Dr. Wagner served as Director of Education at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Clemson University for over 20 years. For the decade prior to that she taught biology at Georgia Southern University where she became the founding director of their native plant botanical garden. Her blog Natural Gardening (www.naturalgardening.blogspot.com) features her reflections 
and observations about gardening and the natural world.

Participants must register register and pre-pay.  For additional information or to register, please contact our Office Manager (252-5190).