Guided Nature Walks
Classes & Workshops

Get to know the diverse ecosystems and living collections at the Arboretum! Whether on a nature walk with Naturalist Matt Schuth, or on a collections jaunt with Arboretum staff and horticulture author Alan Branhagen, you will gain new insight into our plants and their importance for the environment, research and homeowners.

 

Walks With Matt: Early Spring Wildflowers & Bird Migration (960-04-28-18)
Saturday, April 28, 10:00 a.m. - noon
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

Discover the awakening natural world around you through Matt's wealth of wisdom, trivia, and wit. This walk will be a celebration of the wildflowers that have awakened from winter's slumber, such as hepatica, bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches and trillium. Catch sight of the first wave of migrating birds- phoebes, fox sparrows, killdeer and ducks. Learn which birds are just passing through and those who are coming to stay for the summer. Enjoy the emerging changes in nature as you join nature lovers on this first walk of the season! NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

register $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

Walking Workshop - The Secrets of Tree Rings: Discovering the Age and History of Arboretum Trees (150-05-05-18-01)
Janet Sinner Endowed Horticultural Speaker Series
Saturday, May 5, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author
Brita Lorentzen, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cornell Tree Rings Laboratory


In honor of the Arboretum's 60th anniversary and as the very first of the Janet Sinner Endowed Horticultural Speaker Series, join us to learn more about trees and time. The Arboretum has innumerable trees on its 1200+ acres, some of which are massive, historically significant, or predicted to be quite old... but how old exactly and why does it matter? Join Brita Lorentzen, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Cornell Tree Ring Lab, and Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticultural author, on a walking expedition as they scientifically take live core samples from several significant Arboretum trees. Alan will provide historic, botanical, and ecological background on each tree, and Brita will talk about the coring process. Observe the fascinating process by which Brita is able to determine the true age of each tree, and learn more about the tree's life as she interprets the rings. You'll leave with an enthusiasm for dendrochronology (the scientific method of dating tree rings), and a better appreciation for the environmental history our trees have experienced! 
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather. 
Limit 25, Snyder Building - Fireplace Room
register $29 member/$44 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

 

Evening Walks with Alan: Crabapples and Hawthorns (960-05-10-18)
Thursday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

There's nothing better than springtime in our crabapple collection- the hill is awash with shades of pink, magenta, and creamy white! Gain a greater appreciation for these lovely trees during an evening jaunt with fellow crabapple fans. Alan will give you a botanical overview of this tree and its relative, the hawthorn, before you begin to meander through the collection. As you walk, you'll learn more about the 60+ cultivars grown at the Arboretum, the research and history behind the trees, the ecological role they play, and how to grow these trees successfully in your own backyard. You'll leave feeling refreshed, inspired, and perhaps motivated to plant a crabapple at home! NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. Park and meet at the Wildlife Garden Parking Lot (specific directions will be emailed before the class).
Limit 20, Meet at Wildlife Garden Parking Lot

register  $10 member/$25 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

 

Walks With Matt: Late Spring Wildflowers, Warblers & Waterfowl (960-05-12-18)
Saturday, May 12, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

Immerse yourself in the second wave of spring wildflowers and bird migration! Walk, explore, and learn from Matt's wealth of wisdom, trivia, and wit through his show-and-tell style. You may discover bluebells, Minnesota dwarf trout lily, and mayapple; the early time frame provides the best chance to catch the sights and sounds of yellow rumped warblers, kinglets, thrushes, waterfowl, and a variety of sparrows, and to learn about their nesting and mating habits. Please note that this walk takes place on the same day as the popular annual Arboretum Plant Sale! Allow extra time get through the Arboretum gatehouse, as there will likely be a line to enter the Arboretum. Take advantage of the great plant sale finds after the walk! NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

register $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

Shinrin-yoku at the Arboretum 
Various Dates

Tom Bezek, trained Nature Therapy guide with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy

Age 16 and older
Enjoy the tranquility and well-being of Shinrin-Yoku, a Japanese mindfulness practice that invites nature to be your healer. Through guided awareness exercises, you will awaken all your senses and calm your mind. Shinrin-Yoku (or 'Forest Bathing') fosters a deep connection with nature that will nourish you -- mind, body and spirit. 
Limit 12 people, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

view date/time options & register


 

Walks With Matt: Bird Watching & Listening! (960-05-26-18)
Saturday, May 26, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

Calling all bird watching enthusiasts! This is an exclusive opportunity to focus on the technique of bird watching with an expert. The early start increases the chances of sightings, both by sight and "by ear." Learn how to increase your success and enjoyment of future bird watching through Matt's tips, tricks and anecdotes. You and fellow birdwatchers will look and listen for the distinctive sounds of catbirds, warblers, indigo buntings and blue-gray gnatcatchers, to name a few. Let the Arboretum become your concert hall as you walk woodland trails and enjoy the symphony of nature. Dress for the weather and bring your binoculars! NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable! While this program focuses on the technique of birdwatching, we cannot be certain of any sightings--that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Ordway Picnic Shelter

register  $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

 

Walks With Matt: Bobolinks, Bluebirds & Meadowlarks (960-06-09-18)
Saturday, June 9, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

Explore the open fields of early summer! Matt's wealth of wisdom, trivia, and wit will help you to see the natural world in a new light as you examine flowers and grasses of the open fields and woodland edges of the Arboretum. This walk will explore a unique area, located on the Western edge of the Arboretum property. In addition to seeking bobolinks and meadowlarks, participants will learn details about the Arboretum's bluebird program and perhaps even get up close and personal with baby bluebirds. NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

register  $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission


 

Evening Walks with Alan: Pine Collection (960-07-12-18)
Thursday, July 12, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

Have you ever wandered through pines after a hot summer's day? The evening breeze carries the distinctive scent of the resin, and rustles through the needles... what better time to explore our nationally renowned pine collection! Alan will start by distinguishing pines from other conifers and evergreens, and why the distinction matters. As you meander through the trees, you will learn more about the geographic origins of the species, and how the Arboretum amassed such a spectacular collection. Alan's unique and engaging style will give you a new appreciation for trees, and inspiration for your landscape and future Arboretum visits. NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. Park and meet at the Chinese Garden Parking Lot (specific directions will be emailed before the class).
Limit 20, Meet at Hsiao Chinese Garden

register  $10 member/$25 non-member, includes Arboretum admission

 

Walks With Matt: Sights, Sounds & Songs of the Prairie (960-07-28-18)
Saturday, July 28, 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

The Arboretum prairie will be in its glory at the height of summer, from tall grasses to flowering plants, along with the variety of winged friends- birds and insects! Walk, explore the Prairie, and learn from Matt's wealth of wisdom, trivia, and wit through his show-and-tell style... this walk will set out to examine the unique butterflies and blooms of this ecosystem. This walk will be also "a-buzz" with insights into the prairie that once covered our region. NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

register  $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission 

  
  Walks With Matt: Wood Ducks and Wrens of Spring Peeper Meadow (960-08-18-18)
Saturday, August 18, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

Immerse yourself in the lush growth and wildlife of a summer wetland meadow! Matt's wealth of wisdom, trivia, and wit will allow you to see the natural world in new light. Through his show-and-tell style, you will look and listen for the various birds that make a home in Spring Peeper Meadow, such as goldfinches, bluebirds, and swallows. Learn about the history of the restoration of this unique site, and why wetland meadows are so important to our region. Delight in the rich diversity found in this precious pocket of the Arboretum! NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

register  $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission 

  Walks With Matt: Mushrooms, Migrations & More! (960-09-08-18)
Saturday, September 8, 10:00 a.m. - noon
Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

The advent and duration of the mushroom season are the result of a seemingly mysterious combination of components. Participate in a hunt for the wide and amazing assortment of mushrooms and fungi in the Arboretum's Bog area and the Green Heron Trail, and learn from Matt's wealth of wisdom, trivia, and wit through his show-and-tell style. But don't keep your eyes on the ground too long, as birds also begin their migration at this time, including ducks, sparrows and shorebirds. Whether you find abundance or scarcity, you will gain an appreciation for the fragile life cycle of these important organisms and learn how to respect and preserve their environments. NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable! What may begin as a mushroom hunt may turn into warbler watching...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

register  $14 member/$29 non-member, includes Arboretum admission 

  Evening Walks with Alan: Oak and Nut Tree Collection (960-09-13-18)
Thursday, September 13, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

The days are growing shorter, the nights are cooling- we've reached the end of the summer. For us, that means bringing the houseplants back inside, winterizing the garden... for oaks and other nut trees, it means dropping thousands of seeds to grow next spring! Join Alan and other nature enthusiasts as he shares more about the distinctive botany behind these trees- what evolutionary tactic lies behind such large seeds? Enjoy an evening walk through a lesser known collection, soak in the beautiful architecture of the oaks and nut trees, and learn more about the best species and cultivars to grow yourself. Alan's unique and engaging style will give you a new appreciation for trees, and inspiration for your landscape and future Arboretum visits. NOTE: As Minnesotans know, Mother Nature can be unpredictable...that is the joy and spontaneity of nature, and of these explorations. Be prepared for the weather and a possible change of subject matter based on what Mother Nature has in store for participants during this session. Park and meet in the Old Azalea Parking Lot (specific directions will be emailed before the class).
Limit 20, Meet at Old Azalea Parking Lot

register  $10 member/$25 non-member, includes Arboretum admission 
 

See more information on other Guided Public Arboretum tours.

Browse eVersion
Adult Classes Catalog Fall-Winter 2017-2018

Request a hard copy in the mail
Email your request to leen0014@umn.edu

Browse Quick Links

FREE & LOW COST
           PlantMaker Studio
         Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk

YOUTH & FAMILIES
Youth+Adult Programs
          Ages 3-5 with adult
          Ages 7-12 with adult
Summer Youth Programs
          Ages 5-13 Weekly Children's Garden
          Ages 5-7 Day Camps
          Ages 7-11 Day Camps
          Ages 7-11 Day Camps *Fridays*
          Ages 5-10 Groups: Summer Field Trips
          Ages 12-15 Counselor-In-Training Program     

ADULTS
Gardening & Horticulture Classes
          Gardening - General
          Edible Garden Year
          Landscaping & Design
          Science of Plant Propagation
          Pollinator-Friendly Planting         
          Pruning Essentials
          Fungi & Mushrooms
          Botanical/Floral Design
          Schoolyard Gardens Conference
          Master Gardener Regional Conference
Pollinators
          Pollinator-Friendly Planting
          Beekeeping
Fine Art & Crafts Classes
          Drawing
          Painting
          Sculpting & Sculpture
          Crafts
          Jewelry & Wearable Art
          Mixed Media
          Fiber Arts & Embroidery
          Botanical/Floral Design
         
Willow Furniture
          Open Art Studio
Photography Classes
          Photography
          Digital Editing & Organization
Food & Wine Classes
          Dine with a Chef
          Saturday Cooking in the Kitchen
          Wine: Making, Tasting & Appreciation
          
Fungi & Mushrooms
          Herbs
          Edible Garden Year
Health & Home

          Natural Soap & Beauty
          Healthy Living
          Herbs
          
Shinrin-yoku
          Book Club
          Botanical/Floral Design
          Willow Furniture
          Animal-Assisted Interventions Trainings
Nature Appreciation
          Birds
          Naturalist-Guided Walks
          Shinrin-yoku
Nature-Based Therapeutics
          Animal-Assisted Interventions Trainings


 

Member Perk!
Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

Share your feedback
Your opinions are important! 
The Arboretum strives to create classes that are relevant, useful and provide value. Use this form to share anonymous feedback about educational programming with the Arboretum Education Team.

Education Staff Bios
Click here to see brief profiles of Arboretum Education staff members.