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

2015 Adult Educational Classes: 
  
Sunday, March 22
2 pm -4
Wood Identification,  Ron Lance
Botanical Garden’s Visitor Center
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Learn 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 2-hour 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.

Ron Lance is a Naturalist and Land Manager at Big Ridge, a 3000-acre property near Glenville, partly under conservation easement with North American Land Trust. He has served previous posts in biology, natural history interpretation, environmental education, forestry, lumber trades, and horticulture for a cumulative 40 years. He has authored or contributed to 18 publications dealing with native woody plants of the Southeastern U.S., including “Woody Plants of the Southeastern U.S., a Winter Guide” by the Univ. of Georgia Press, and "Hawthorns of the Southeastern United States". He served on the Board of the International Oak Society for 12 years, including posts as President, Secretary, Journal Editor and Conference Chair. He completed Wildlife Management and Lumber Specialist degrees at Haywood Community College.

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

Saturday, April 18
10 am - noon

CLASS IS FILLED


Annual Newcomb Wildflower Walk
, Glenn Palmer
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Glenn Palmer will offer an orientation on wildflower identification for beginners while leading a tour of the Botanical Gardens.  During the walk, participants will learn the use of keys and the Newcomb Wildflower field guide. Basic botanical terms will be introduced.

Glenn Palmer, President Emeritus of the BGA, is a retired engineer and a Master Gardener in Buncombe County. For many years he has faithfully provided a weekly gardening column for the Asheville Citizen-Times. More recently he has developed an intensive course to analyze mountain property and assist owners in developing an appropriate landscape design. 

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

Sunday, May 3
8 am - 10
Spring Bird Walk, Simon Thompson
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

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

Simon Thompson co-owns Asheville Wild Birds Unlimited and also has his own bird watching and natural history tour company, Ventures Birding Tours, based in Asheville, NC. An international birding expert, he leads small groups of naturalists and birders both within North America and to many locations throughout the world. In western North Carolina, he is the ornithologist at Chimney Rock Park where he leads bird walks and has put together the park bird list. He also is 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, May 31
2 pm - 4
Natural History Walk with Shrubs and Trees, Ron Lance
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Explore the diversity of native shrubs and trees in the Botanical
Gardens and gain a perspective into 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!

Ron Lance is a Naturalist and Land Manager at Big Ridge, a 3000-acre property near Glenville, partly under conservation easement with North American Land Trust. He has served previous posts in biology, natural history interpretation, environmental education, forestry, lumber trades, and horticulture for a cumulative 40 years.  He has authored or contributed to 18 publications dealing with native woody plants of the Southeastern U.S., including “Woody Plants of the Southeastern U.S., a Winter Guide” by the Univ. of Georgia Press, and "Hawthorns of the Southeastern United States". He served on the Board of the International Oak Society for 12 years, including posts as President, Secretary, Journal Editor and Conference Chair. He completed Wildlife Management and Lumber Specialist degrees at Haywood Community College.

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

Sunday, June 7
9 am - 11
The Language of Science, Jay Kranyik
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

During this naturalist walk, we will explore and demystify
many facets of scientific nomenclature. Topics will cover basic plant morphology, Latin and Greek word roots and the fantastic clues they reveal, and how color, form, texture, region, and even people show up in both common and scientific names. Join us! Rain or shine- bring rain wear/umbrella.

Jay Kranyik, BGA Garden Manager, Horticulture Chairman, naturalist, and nature photographer, has been an integral part of the Gardens since 1999. He has botanized widely in the region, and is co-author of "The flora of Dupont State Forest." “What we're really after is to reconnect people with Appalachia and to show people the miracle that they walk by every day.” Kranyik, Asheville Citizen Times 17 APR 2010.

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

Saturday, June 13
10:30 am - noon
Native Plants for Pollinators, Lisa Wagner
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

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. Join naturalist, plant ecologist, and garden educator Lisa Wagner in an informal presentation focused on gardening for pollinators. We’ll talk about plant characteristics, look at examples and discuss ways to support pollinators in your home garden.

Lisa 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, reflects 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).

Sunday, July 19
2 pm - 4
Introduction to Edible WNC Mushrooms, Sheila Dunn
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Want to identify those big brown mushrooms popping out of your mulch? How about the pretty yellow ones along woodland paths in the summer? Come to this class to see the most common edible mushrooms you're likely to find in the fields and forests of WNC. Find out when and where the major edibles can be found and learn how to differentiate them from poisonous lookalikes. 

This classroom presentation introduces you to the world of mushrooms, and shows you how and where to pick them. Then, you’ll learn how to identify the most common mushrooms by separating them into those with gills, pores, crevices or teeth. We'll focus our definitive identification on choice edibles such as chanterelles, oyster mushrooms and chicken of the woods but will also point out the few poisonous mushrooms that lurk in our hills. Participants will receive numerous handouts, so note taking can be minimal. 

Sheila Dunn, a wild mushroom enthusiast who has been hunting, growing, cooking and eating mushrooms for about 20 years, is active in the Asheville Mushroom club and lives in Weaverville. She grows several types of mushrooms on her property, and spends much of her free time roaming the forests for edible mushrooms. Sheila looks forward to showing you how to begin to identify the most common edible mushrooms that grow in our WNC forests and fields, such as morels, chanterelles, lobster mushrooms, chicken/hen of the woods, blewits, and many other wonderful edibles.

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

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

Numerous facets of natural history will be observed and discussed during this slow ramble through the Gardens. 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.

Jay Kranyik, BGA Garden Manager, Horticulture Chairman, naturalist, and nature photographer, has been an integral part of the Gardens since 1999. He has botanized widely in the region, and is co-author of "The flora of Dupont State Forest." “What we're really after is to reconnect people with Appalachia and to show people the miracle that they walk by every day.” -Kranyik Asheville Citizen Times 17 APR 2010.

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

Sunday, August 23
9:30 am - 11:30
Botanical Garden Walk, David Clarke
Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Join David for an informative walk through our Gardens.  David possesses an unpretentious wit and infectious style of sharing his vast knowledge of plants.  A professor in the UNCA Biology Department, Dr. David Clark is regarded as one of the premier botanists of South American floras. He has discovered more than a hundred new plant species while exploring for the Smithsonian Institution. Walk will take place rain or shine. 

Dr. David Clarke served from 1995 to 1997 as the resident plant collector in Guyana for the Smithsonian Institution's Biological Diversity of the Guianas Program. From 1997 to 2000 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Smithsonian's Office of Biodiversity Programs and Laboratory of Molecular Systematics. His teaching interests include introductory botany and advanced botany courses including plant systematics, field botany, plant anatomy and morphology, economic botany, and tropical biology. His research interests focus on the biodiversity and flora of Guyana, the systematics of Acacia and other related tropical legumes, and the flora of the southern Appalachians. He has conducted over 20 rainforest plant collecting expeditions in Guyana, South America and his research, under the sponsorship of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society, has documented many new species of plants in previously unvisited areas thanks to a unique partnership among Guyanese Amerindians and students from the University of Guyana and UNCA. 

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

Sunday, August 30
noon - 4:00 pm
Plant Families, Marc Williams
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Plant Family Patterns can greatly aid in demystifying the “green wall” of species around us. Approximately 300,000 species of flowering plants are known to global science. These species have been grouped into around 15,000 genera and close to 500 flowering plant families. About 
200 flowering plant families grow in the temperate world where it annually frosts and or freezes. You will know something significant about the majority of plants that you see in the temperate world if you learn the top 30 families around you. It is often possible to guess whether a plant is edible, medicinal, or poisonous simply by the family it occupies. We will walk and talk at the Botanical Gardens where we will 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.

Marc Williams is an ethnobiologist. He has studied the people, plant, mushroom, microbe interconnection intensively while learning to employ the different kingdoms of biology for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with  a minor in Business from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He has spent over 15 years working at a multitude of restaurants and various farms. His travels include adventures through 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe and all 50 of the United States.

Marc has visited over 100 botanical gardens and research institutions during this process while taking thousands of pictures of representative plants. He is also Executive Director of Plants and Healers International www.plantsandhealers.org and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. He has taught hundreds of classes about the marvelous world of plants, people and their interface while working with over 50 organizations in the last few years and online at the website here. Marc's greatest hope is that his efforts may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.

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

Saturday, September 19
1 pm - 4 
Tree Species of the Southern Appalachian Dry Oak Ecosystem
Jason Rodrigue
Asheville Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

Extending from West Virginia to Northern Georgia, the dry oak forest community is an intriguing ecosystem with a varied history and  composition. Many of the tree species found in the dry oak community are common throughout the southern Appalachian landscape but combine to form an ecosystem unique unto itself. This program will introduce the common tree species of the dry oak forest providing basic dendrology, ecological traits, and other fun facts. The program will include a presentation followed by a tour of the species present in the botanical garden. Come learn about some of the tree species that are commonly found in and around the woods of Asheville.

Jason Rodrigue holds degrees in Environmental Biology, Resource Management and Forest Soils. He is a forester with the U.S. Forest Service and a silviculturist for the National Forests in N.C., which include the Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests. Jason's work includes 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).

Sunday, October 18
10 am - noon
Growing Native Perennials from Seed, Pat Sommers
Botanical Gardens
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

We will talk a bit about seed morphology, pollination and the importance of species plants in a highly hybridized world, and we will look at seeds in their native state while walking in the garden. Half of the class will be a workshop where we will plant a variety of seeds that have different germination requirements and discuss how to grow them on once they have germinated.

Pat Sommers owns Natural Selections Nursery where she grows Southern Appalachian native perennials from seed and spore. She also serves on the BGA Board of Directors and helps maintain the gardens there.

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

Saturday, October 31
10:30 am - noon
Creating a Garden Full of Life: Gardening for Nature, Lisa Wagner
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
Cost: $12 members; $17 non-members.  

By gardening with nature in mind, and using more native plants, you can enjoy a vibrant garden lively with birds, butterflies, bees, and other native wildlife. Whether your landscape supports birds, butterflies, chipmunks, or frogs, gardening for nature is a rewarding way to create ecologically-sound landscapes that are full of life. Lisa will share some of her experiences using native plants to transform lawn to wildlife garden and recommend excellent native species to use in WNC. She’ll also describe the ecological (and aesthetic benefits) of providing habitat for birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife through promoting habitat diversity, using examples from her garden projects.

Lisa 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 was a professor of biology at Georgia Southern University and was the founding director of their native plant botanical garden. 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, reflects 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).

Saturday, 
November 7 AND 14
9:00 am - 1:30 pm
Landscape Challenges for WNC Homesites, Master Gardeners
Botanical Gardens Visitor Center
A two session class
Cost: $30 members; $45 non-members.  

Landscaping in our mountains presents unique challenges. Homeowners must deal with slope erosion, storm water runoff, and fire prevention. This course integrates science, common sense, and practical information to help homeowners, gardeners and non-gardeners alike to understand those challenges, analyze their own properties, and develop strategies for smart landscaping. This will allow participants to get the most for their time and money, to protect their home, and to help preserve the mountain environment.

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