North Carolina Botanical Garden
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Nature Studies

 

Month
Date
Upcoming Event
January
1/16/2021
1:30 PM to 3/5/2021 4:30 PM
Winter Flora - Saturdays
Registration Closed
This course is designed for a broad audience as well as for students who are enrolled in either of the Garden’s certificate programs. Field trips and exercises provide experience in the use of identification keys and recognition of plants in their winter condition in natural settings. Enjoy discovering that many trees and shrubs are easily recognized when not covered with leaves!
March
3/5/2021
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Shade Gardening with Native Plants: Virtual
Registration Closed
A shady garden can brim with wildflowers in spring, offer cool respite in summer and provide habitat in winter. This virtual class will start with a quick overview of gardening in the shade and then focus on plants suitable for such endeavors.
3/6/2021
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Carolina Futurescapes: Planning and Planting Climate Resilient Landscapes - Virtual
In this workshop, participants will learn about and begin to plan their own native-plant gardens. We will learn the basics of creating Carolina Xeriscape gardens, which do not require additional watering and are resilient to extreme heat. Topics include plant selection, site selection, plant care, and color palettes. Participants will develop or refine planting plans for their own climate-resilient gardens.
3/7/2021
1:30 PM to 3/21/2021 4:30 PM
Plant Ecology
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Plant Ecology is a conceptual course designed for a broad audience interested in the interactions of plants within their environments. Ecological relationships at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels are examined, using examples from the rich and diverse North Carolina flora. Students will learn about nutrient and energy cycling within ecosystems, as well as about current threats and trends for the conservation of ecosystems. No prerequisites.
3/11/2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Mitigating Climate Change through NC’s Natural and Working Lands
North Carolina's Natural and Working Land Action Plan recommends 25 activities that will help increase North Carolina’s resilience to natural disasters and offset greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering and storing carbon. Developed through a stakeholder-driven process, the Action Plan recommends conserving, restoring, and managing lands in six sectors: Agriculture, Coastal Habitats, Floodplains and Wetlands, Forestry, Pocosins, and Urban Lands. It also outlines specific projects for North Carolina’s natural and working lands that sequester carbon, build ecosystem and community resilience, provide ecosystem benefits, enhance our economy, and recommend socially equitable implementation.
3/15/2021
3:00 PM to 4/26/2021 4:00 PM
Conservation Gardening 101: Landscaping with Native Plants (Hybrid Spring Edition)
Conservation Gardening 101: Landscaping with Native Plants is a certificate series designed to provide home gardeners and emerging landscape professionals with foundational concepts of landscape design, species selection, implementation and maintenance of compellingly beautiful and ecologically productive native plant gardens based on conservation principles.
3/18/2021
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Demystifying Botany: For New Plant Enthusiasts - Virtual
Do you find yourself confusing your philodendron with your monstera? And what's the deal with all of this Latin? Let's come together, and demystify the world of botany. In this class, we will go over basics of botany, from leaf shape, and plant families. Let's grow our knowledge of plants together.
3/19/2021
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Preparing Garden Soil for Native Plants: Virtual
We will explore basic soil science and learn what we can do to create optimum conditions in your garden for a range of native plants. Learn how to properly test your soil and amend it based on soil test results. Finally, we will explore the best way to build and maintain good soil.
3/20/2021
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
12 Tips for Happy, Healthy Trees: Virtual
What are the best ways to care for your trees? How can you make them happy, strong, and long-lived? During this virtual presentation we will focus on what we believe to be the most important actions. Healthy trees in abundance create happy people and a vibrant planet.
3/25/2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Back to the Future: Suther Prairie Nature Reserve
After being cared for by generations of the Suther family for generations going back to the 1700s, this relatively undisturbed remnant Piedmont wet prairie on the floodplain of Dutch Buffalo Creek became a “must see” destination over the last two decades for scientists, conservationists, researchers and reporters/writers from across the country after being listed in the natural heritage inventory of Cabarrus County.
3/27/2021
12:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Penny's Bend: A Half Day Field Trip
This field trip to Penny’s Bend will provide students with a guided tour of the preserve, owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, and managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden while highlighting the natural history and significance of the site, including how it is currently managed to preserve and enhance its value. Much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring insect repellent, water, and a walking stick, if you ever use one.
3/27/2021
1:00 PM to 5/8/2021 4:00 PM
Spring Flora
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is intended for a broad audience as well as for students who are enrolled in either of the NCBG certificate programs. Field trips and exercises provide experience in the use of identification keys and recognition of plants in a natural setting. Upon completion of this course, students will have an understanding of basic plant morphology, naming conventions for plants and the history of scientific naming, how to identify the prominent plants of the season using a dichotomous key and field characteristics, all through a season-specific lens.
April
4/6/2021
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Keep the Animals Out: Virtual
Mammal browse is one of the biggest challenges that gardeners face. And we all have critters that we are sharing our gardens with, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, even cats and dogs! The reality is, our gardens are delicious- they are fertilized, irrigated and full of tasty exotic plants, so of course the local wildlife will take delight in eating our hard work. In this fun webinar, author, and horticulturist Brie Arthur, will explain her approach to dealing with unwanted animals. She will cover it all, including a few things that you should NOT do! From the best repellents and inexpensive fencing solutions to using a few favorite veggies to help deter problem animals, attendees will learn easy-to-apply strategies. Brie aims to make you laugh and answer all your questions in this interactive virtual session.
4/8/2021
1:30 PM to 4/29/2021 3:45 PM
Plant Communities of North Carolina
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is intended for a broad audience and introduces students to North Carolina’s rich diversity of plant communities. Variations in geology, climate, soils, fire regimes, landscape positions, and other factors have resulted in the creation of distinctive ecosystems: subtropical maritime forests, salt marshes, longleaf pine savannas and sandhills, pocosins, oak-hickory forests, bottomland hardwoods, swamps, spruce-fir forests, rock outcrops and glades, fens, and grasslands. This course explores the causes and history of North Carolina’s plant community diversity.
4/9/2021
1:30 PM to 4/23/2021 4:30 PM
Flowering Plant Families
This course builds on the information covered in Plant Taxonomy and focuses on the study of plant diversity by targeting twenty major and fairly stable plant families found in North Carolina. Classroom discussions of evolutionary adaptations and relationships are combined with field studies in the Garden and close-up examination of representative examples.
4/11/2021
2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Virtual Annual Evelyn McNeill Sims Lecture: Coloring the Conservation Conversation
Dr. Lanham will discuss what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds. The convergence of ornithologist, college professor, poet, author and conservation activist blend to bring our awareness of the natural world and our moral responsibility for it forward in new ways. Candid by nature — and because of it — Lanham will examine how conservation must be a rigorous science and evocative art, inviting diversity and race to play active roles in celebrating our natural world.
4/13/2021
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Battle Park Tour
Learn about the history and preservation of the property now known as Battle Park on the UNC campus. We'll walk through the park in the peak of its spring glory, covering hotspots visited and named by Kemp Plummer Battle himself as well as the philosophies behind the preservation and conservation of our natural areas.
4/20/2021
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Foodscaping with Native Plants: Virtual
Thoughtful design and management of landscapes is more important than ever as concerns of climate, water quality and invasive plants increase. Brie will discuss how to create a foodscape using native plants mixed with favorite seasonal food crops. The best organic products are featured and easy, earth friendly maintenance strategies are highlighted. Learn about native edible plants and the pollinators they attract that aid in ecological restoration. Get inspired to see the potential every landscape offers by transforming them into purposeful spaces that embrace solutions to modern day landscape practices.
4/22/2021
10:00 AM to 5/6/2021 11:30 AM
Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants - Hybrid
This course is intended for a broad audience. Through virtual classroom and in person field demonstrations, students learn the tools and methods needed to identify invasive species and effectively remove them. We'll discuss the most prominent invasive plants in North Carolina and how to identify them by habit and growth form. Then, we'll cover integrated methods for controlling invasive plants on multiple scales. Some of the material will be presented using prerecorded lectures which students will watch on their own schedule between 4/22 and 5/6.
4/22/2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Bigleaf Magnolia at Redlair Preserve
Redlair Preserve is best known for the charismatic bigleaf magnolia which has the largest leaves of any tree species in the nation. The Preserve also has an incredible diversity of plant species and vegetation types. Robert Peet will start by describing the Redlair Preserve and then discuss the vegetation pattern across this landscape and the challenges for management. He will then discuss the distribution of bigleaf magnolia across the Southeast and will place it in the context of other rare or geographically disjunct species of the Piedmont. Fisher Stines will then present a summary of his research at NC State University on the distribution, abundance and population structure of bigleaf magnolia across the Redlair Preserve.
4/24/2021
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Spring at Mason Farm
Take a turn around the Mason Farm Biological Reserve’s Old Farm Trail, which travels through some 260 years of cultural and natural history. Naturalist Ed Harrison will point out wildflowers and discuss how the Garden’s intense management of both field and forest benefits local biological diversity conservation. About 2.5 miles in length, the hike includes a short off-trail foray into the old-growth Shagbark Hickory forest. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring insect repellent, water, and a walking stick, if you ever use one.
May
5/7/2021
1:30 PM to 5/21/2021 4:30 PM
Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes
This course is intended for a broad audience and explores many aspects of the evolutionary history, economic and ecological dominance, current distribution, biology, and identification of the “graminoids.” Through lectures, lab work, and short field trips, students learn to appreciate the subtle and detailed beauty of these plants with inconspicuous flowers. Students also learn materials and methods for identifying these distinctive and important members of our flora. $135 ($122 Members)
5/8/2021
10:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Excursion: Bigleaf Magnolia at Redlair Preserve, Gaston County
The Redlair Preserve is a 730 acre tract that forms the core of a larger 1200+ acre conservation area along the South Fork of the Catawba River near Mount Holly, NC. The complex topography and geologic diversity of the site provide habitat for a great diversity of plant species and natural vegetation types. The most dramatic species is the rare bigleaf magnolia, the tree species with the largest leaves of any tree species in the US. We will be sure to visit a broad range of habitats and discuss their distribution across the landscape, the natural dynamics of these forests, and the management challenges they present. Although the topography is complex and there will be a bit of up and down, the hike will be of only moderate difficulty as the trails are relatively smooth and well-maintained.
5/8/2021
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Honeybee Hive Tour at the CCG
Come learn about one of the world’s most fascinating insects. Bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s food and produce one of the sweetest treats around. Participants explore a real live hive with certified beekeeper, Anne Glauber. Free, preregistration required.
5/9/2021
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Excursion: Back to the Future: Suther Prairie Nature Preserve, Cabarrus County
After being cared for by generations of the Suther family going back to the 1700s, this relatively undisturbed remnant Piedmont wet prairie on the floodplain of Dutch Buffalo Creek became a “must see” destination over the last two decades for scientists, conservationists, researchers, and reporters/writers from across the country after being included in the natural heritage inventory of Cabarrus County. Hundreds of species have been catalogued on this 9-acre preserve, and the ecotypes of dozens of species are available commercially for conservation projects, including Suther Indiangrass and Suther big (and little) bluestem.
5/13/2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: How Trees Can Save the World - And What We Can Do to Help
Trees were – and are – one of Nature’s most powerful tools for creating the planet we know and love today. If we plant many new trees and care for the ones we have, we can begin healing our planet.
5/15/2021
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Vegetative Propagation of Southeastern Native Plants
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Learn the fundamentals of vegetative propagation and how to propagate plants native to the southeastern United States. We’ll focus on low-tech methods you can apply at home, and all participants will have a newly stuck cutting to take home in a rudimentary, DIY mobile greenhouse. This workshop will feature a lecture, in-class demonstrations and participation, and a tour of the NCBG nursery.
5/15/2021
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Blue Wild Indigo at Penny's Bend
This hike will provide a wonderful opportunity to see rare flora at Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve, owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, and managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Baptisia aberrans is an imperiled species at the state level and survives in only a small number of remnant Piedmont prairie or savanna patches. The Garden’s management practices at Penny’s Bend has favored a variety of prairie and savanna flora. About 2 miles in length, much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring insect repellent, water, and a walking stick, if you ever use one.
5/15/2021
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Taking iNaturalist to the Next Level: Virtual
You’ve already created an iNaturalist account and shared some observations. Are you eager to take your use of iNaturalist to the next level? If so, please join us for an exploration of iNaturalist's advanced features that can enhance your use of the app and the website, as well as your participation in the iNaturalist community. Whether your goal is to hone, organize, and curate your own species observations, to engage with or create an iNaturalist Project, or to more actively participate in identifying your own and others’ observations, knowledge of (and tips for using) key iNaturalist features will help. We’ll also share strategies for exploring iNaturalist’s wealth of species data and maps, and for connecting with helpful and knowledgeable members of iNaturalist’s worldwide community of users.
5/16/2021
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Native Southeastern Medicinal Plants
Explore the beauty of native southeastern medicinal plants through field identification. Using the expansive resources of the NCBG display gardens and the Piedmont Nature Trails behind the Garden, students take in the abundant medicine that our local flora has to offer. Topics include field identification, ethical gathering and harvesting, history and lore of each plant, therapeutic and medicinal uses as well as preparations. No prerequisites.
5/19/2021
10:00 AM to 6/2/2021 12:30 PM
Local Trees
This short course is perfect for those just beginning their study of trees or for recent transplants to the NC Piedmont who want to identify the common deciduous trees in their backyard gardens and neighborhoods. Students spend time outdoors, walking in the Garden or on the Piedmont Nature Trails, learning about common trees, how to identify them, and understanding why they grow where they do.
5/27/2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Monitoring and Management at the Green Swamp Preserve
Monitoring studies are essential for the management and preservation of select species, but also for restoration and management on a broader community scale. The Nature Conservancy has supported long-term studies on longleaf pine restoration, the endangered species Lysimachia asperulifolia, and Venus flytrap in the Green Swamp and other preserves. The studies are particularly important for determining the success of restoration efforts but also in quantifying impacts of seasonal controlled burns.
5/27/2021 2:00 PM
Local Trees
This short course is perfect for those just beginning their study of trees or for recent transplants to the NC Piedmont who want to identify the common deciduous trees in their backyard gardens and neighborhoods. Students spend time outdoors, walking in the Garden or on the Piedmont Nature Trails, learning about common trees, how to identify them, and understanding why they grow where they do.
June
6/1/2021
3:30 PM to 6/15/2021 5:00 PM
Principles of Conservation Biology: Hybrid
This course is intended for an experienced audience and introduces the principles of biodiversity and conservation. Students learn about rare plants, conservation genetics, ecological restoration, conservation landscaping, and preserve design.
6/2/2021 2:00 PM
Local Trees
This short course is perfect for those just beginning their study of trees or for recent transplants to the NC Piedmont who want to identify the common deciduous trees in their backyard gardens and neighborhoods. Students spend time outdoors, walking in the Garden or on the Piedmont Nature Trails, learning about common trees, how to identify them, and understanding why they grow where they do.
6/5/2021
9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Vegetative Propagation of Southeastern Native Plants
Learn the fundamentals of vegetative propagation and how to propagate plants native to the southeastern United States. We’ll focus on low-tech methods you can apply at home, and all participants will have a newly stuck cutting to take home in a rudimentary, DIY mobile greenhouse. This workshop will feature a lecture, in-class demonstrations and participation, and a tour of the NCBG nursery.
6/5/2021
10:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Excursion: Boiling Spring Lakes and Green Swamp Preserve, Brunswick County
The Green Swamp Preserve (over 16,000 acres) contains some of the country’s finest examples of longleaf pine wet savannas as well as extensive pocosins. The savannas are bounded by pocosins containing pond pine and cypress as well as numerous shrubs including titi. The open savannas have a diverse grass/herb layer with many wildflowers including orchids and insectivorous plants. The Green Swamp is the nexus of Venus flytraps. Boiling Spring Lakes Preserve (~6,000 acres) is characterized by a mix of communities including xeric sandhill longleaf pine and pocosins. The preserve has a variety of carnivorous and other plant species and it is home to the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Upwards of 400 vascular plant species have been reported in the preserve. Fire is integral to the health of these plant communities and is the primary management activity in both preserves. Trails in both preserves are flat but may be wet depending upon the weather.
6/10/2021
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Pawpaws and Other Native Tree Fruits
Interest in native tree fruits is growing as people are exploring permaculture, homesteading and a renewed attentiveness to food self-sufficiency. Native fruits have less pest problems and are well-suited to the growing conditions of their bioregion. Mary Jac Brennan will talk about pawpaws, American persimmons, chinquapins, and more in time to prepare your site for fall/winter planting.
6/12/2021
9:30 AM to 6/26/2021 12:30 PM
Entomology
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is designed for a broad audience. Students learn insect family recognition and common species identification, insect ecology and conservation, basic life cycle biology, and how to improve insect habitat and conservation in the urban environment.
6/22/2021
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Sustainable Solutions to Your Landscape Challenges: Virtual
Are the trees in your garden maturing, resulting in a change in the level of light (sun to shade) in your garden? Or does your garden have existing mature trees, creating challenges for planting without damaging the roots? If so, this class is for you.