Workshops

artists paint during the 'Painting Nature' Workshop

Below is a list of workshops from January to December. Please be aware of the year listed with each date. For example, the January programs may have a later year than the November programs depending on when you are checking.

NOTE: The Arboretum may cancel any event when the minimum number of registrants is not achieved by the Early Bird registration deadline. Registrations are welcome after the Early Bird registration deadline (at a higher fee) as long as the program is not full or cancelled.

Locations: There are three buildings that we use for workshops. The location of a workshop will be in your confirmation information e-mail that you will receive after you register.

Registration Information.


JANUARY

Owl Workshop

Owl Workshop : A Who's Whoo in Ontario

TBA 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Owl Prowl: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Discover how to use your eyes and ears to identify Ontario's Owls.  Through a wide variety of hands-on activities you'll learn about owl plumage, calls and behaviour, habitat requirements, migration patterns and owl folklore.  An evening "Owl Prowl" in the evening in the Guelph area is planned.  Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley - author of Hawks & Owls Eastern North America.  Early Bird Fee: $95.00 if done on or before Thursday, January 4. Registrations after this date will cost $105.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

Animal Tracking Workshop

Animal Tracking

TBA 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Have you ever wondered what made those marks in the snow? In this full day program we will be learning how to track animals. We will be studying the tracks and signs of Ontario mammals and other types of wildlife. By the end of the day you will learn to identify and interpret animal tracks by looking at foot morphology, track patterns and gait analysis.  The workshop will also include an introduction to scat identification.  There is an outdoor component that will have us looking for and following animal tracks and trails. Each participant will receive a copy of The Mammals of The Arboretum booklet which includes many tracks. Guest Instructor: Tamara Anderson.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Friday, January 19. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

Owl Prowl

Night Stalker's Owl Prowl (adults only)

TBA, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Learn about the behaviour and adaptations of owls in the Guelph area.  The introduction to this program will take place indoors, but dress warmly in preparation for a walk outdoors. This program is for adults and teens age 14+.  Guest Naturalist: Wild Ontario staff.  Fee:  $15.00. Registration Deadline for January 26th date is Thursday, January 18 (or January 25th for the February 3 date). *Maximum 25 people.

Owl Prowl

Night Stalker's Owl Prowl (family night)

TBA, 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Learn about the behaviour and adaptations of owls in the Guelph area.  The introduction to this program will take place indoors, but dress warmly in preparation for a walk outdoors. This program is for adults and children under 14.  Guest Naturalist: Wild Ontario staff. Fee: $15.00/adult - $8.00/child - $40.00/family of 4. Registration deadline for January date: Thursday, January 18 (or January 25th for the February 2 date). *Maximum 25 people.

winter landscape photography

Winter Landscape Photography

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

Don't Hide Inside! Ah, winter.  A time of pristine snow, sparkling icicles and snow covered trees.  So put down that hot drink, leave the cozy fire, and join us for a winter landscape photography course.  Photographer Sylvia Galbraith will host a discussion and visual presentation on the unique challenges of winter photography.  Topics include determining exposures & lighting in bright snow, protecting your equipment from the cold, equipment best suited for landscape photography & more.  We'll explore choosing winter subjects and study creative compositions.  Then we'll head outside to the woods and meadows of The Arboretum to practise. Dress warmly and bring a tripod if possible. All skill levels, film or digital.  Highly recommended for those who love the outdoors and for artists who take reference photos. Guest instructor:  Sylvia Galbraith.  Early Bird Fee:  $55.00 if done on or before TBA. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

FEBRUARY

owl prowl

Night Stalker's Owl Prowl (adults only)

TBA 2019, Friday, January 26, 2018 OR Saturday, February 3, 2018, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m

Learn about the behaviour and adaptations of owls in the Guelph area.  The introduction to this program will take place indoors, but dress warmly in preparation for a walk outdoors. This program is for adults and teens age 14+.  Guest Naturalist: Wild Ontario staff.  Fee:  $15.00. Registration Deadline for January 27th date is Thursday, January 19 (or January 26th for the February 4 date). *Maximum 25 people

owl prowl

Night Stalker's Owl Prowl (family night)

TBA 2019, 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m

Learn about the behaviour and adaptations of owls in the Guelph area.  The introduction to this program will take place indoors, but dress warmly in preparation for a walk outdoors. This program is for adults and children under 14.  Guest Naturalist: Wild Ontario staff.  Fee: $15.00/adult - $8.00/child - $40.00/family of 4. Registration deadline for January date: Thursday, January 19 (or January 26th for the February 3 date). *Maximum 25 people.

basic DSLR photography

Basic DSLR Photography

TBA 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Please note this is one workshop that will take place on the two dates; you need to attend both dates. Are you new to D-SLR photography? Are you unsure how to use the various settings and controls on a D-SLR camera?  Then join us for this full day workshop, where we'll look at how to get the most out of your camera.  You'll learn about shutters, apertures, exposures, using different lenses and zoom settings, composition, lighting, and more. Part of this class will be outside, where we'll practise in the woods and meadows of The Arboretum, so dress for the weather.  Bring your camera, extra batteries, warm gloves, and be ready for two fun afternoons of photography. Guest Instructor: Sylvia Galbraith (www.sylviagalbraith.ca).  Early Bird Fee: $100.00 if done on or before Thursday, February 1, 2018 . Registrations after this date will cost $110.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults.

winter tree id

Winter Tree Identification

TBA 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

No leaves? No problem! In this workshop you will learn about the variety of tree features that are useful for winter identification of deciduous trees. From bark to buds to leaf scars…you will get hands-on experience in reading these winter clues to tree ID. We will focus on native Ontario trees, and we’ll be spending part of the session outdoors, so please dress for the weather! Arboretum Director: Shelley Hunt.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00. Registration deadline: Monday, February 12. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. *Maximum 16 adults.

MARCH

Planets stars galaxies and the universe

Planets, Stars, Galaxies and The Universe

Mondays, March 5, 19, 26, April 2, 9 and 16, 2018, 7:00 p.m. - 9:15p.m

Who has ever looked up into the night sky and not felt a sense of awe? Throughout this series of twelve lectures (2 per evening for 6 weeks), we’ll explore many of the wonders of the night sky. We’ll examine every day phenomena, such as night and day, seasons, and the motions of the Earth, planets and Sun. We’ll also probe the origin and fate of the stars (and ourselves), including our own Sun, the Milky Way, and our universe. With each step taken toward understanding our place in the universe we are closer to understanding planet Earth - our fantastically rare and incredible home.  Note: on clear nights the schedule will be modified as we will be outside looking up so the evening may end a little later.  Guest Instructor: Trevor Chandler.  Early Bird Fee: $125.00 if done on or before Sunday, February 25. Registrations after this date will cost $140.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 30 adults per session.

the art and practice of pruning

The Art & Practice of Pruning

TBA, 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

This half-day indoor/outdoor practical workshop will teach you the principles of easy and correct pruning in the home landscape.  We will cover how to choose the correct equipment and how to keep it sharp and clean.  Pruning techniques will be shown and practised on a variety of shrubs and small trees.  This is a very popular course, so register early!  Arboretum Horticultural Staff: Polly Samland.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before Monday, March 12. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 16 adults per session.

winter invertebrates

Winter Invertebrates: Cold and Spineless

TBA 2019, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

In winter’s frigid grasp, insects, spiders and other invertebrates seem to vanish from the surface of the earth.  Knowing what to look for and where to find these hidden creatures make cold-weather expeditions far more enjoyable.  During this half-day program, we will search for goldenrod gallfly larvae and caterpillars that hide in burrs, learn how woolly bears forecast the severity of winter’s blast, and discover a great variety of other “bugs” that are surviving their most challenging season.   Photographs, hands-on bio-artifacts, and especially outdoor exploration and discovery will allow participants to become familiar with our cold and spineless neighbours. Please bring clothing and footwear for trekking in cold and hopefully snowy conditions.   A hand lens would also be an asset if you already have one.  Guest Instructor: Dan Schneider.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before Tuesday, March 13. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

gardening fundamentals

Gardening Fundamentals

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

Gardening Fundamentals is a series of courses designed for both the beginner and experienced gardener. Course material covers basic information to provide a good grounding and then goes on to introduce advanced topics that are normally not found in gardening books.  The presenter has over 35 years of gardening experience, most of it in the Guelph area.

Each course is approximately 2.5 hours in length and is designed to be independent of each other allowing you to take only the courses that are of interest to you. The full set of 6 courses will give you a very solid understanding of Gardening Fundamentals. At the end of the courses you will be able to plant and maintain the best garden on your block. You will also have an opportunity to have all of your gardening questions answered by local Master Gardeners. Guest Instructor: Robert Pavlis. Early Bird Fee: $70.00 for all six evenings (register on-line) or $15 at the door per evening (this at the door fee includes tax). Registration deadline: n/a.  This workshop will be run at The OAC Centennial Arboretum Centre.

For more details on what is covered, please click here.

To see a video clip of Robert being interviewed about the course, please click here.

APRIL

building ponds

Building Ponds and Waterfalls

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME.

This course will teach you everything you need to know to build simple water features, ponds and waterfalls. It will start by looking at design considerations to help you select the right kind of feature for your garden. Detailed information will be provided for building the structure and adding pumps and filtration systems. Plants, fish and maintenance issues will also be discussed. At the end of the course you will have the knowledge and confidence to build your own water feature. 
Guest Instructor: Robert Pavlis.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before n/a. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults

warbler workshop 1

Warbler Workshop Level I: Butterflies of the Bird World

Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Through a wide variety of hands-on activities you'll learn about the plumage, song and behaviour of warblers.  We'll also investigate habitat requirements and timing of migration. Participants will receive an information booklet.  Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley - author of Warblers of the Great Lakes Region and Eastern North America. Early Bird Fee:$75.00 if done on or before Tuesday, April 3.  (Note:  If you also take Warbler II - Early Bird fee of $125.00 for both). Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

Owl Workshop

Warbler Workshop Level II: The Less Common Ones

Thursday, April 12, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop covers 15 less commonly seen southern Ontario warblers which are not covered in the Level I Warbler Workshop.  Participants will receive an information booklet.  Keeners can take both warbler courses to cover all of Ontario's breeding species ($125.00 for both).  Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Tuesday, April 3. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

smartphone photography

Smartphone Photography: Who Needs A Camera Anyway?

Friday, April 20, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

With technology nowadays, the smartphone has become an incredibly powerful device in which we can access the world at our fingertips. Almost every smartphone is equipped with a camera, and they aren’t bad ones either! This workshop is designed as an introduction for beginners who want to learn how to better use and navigate their smartphone camera to capture nature, moments and memories. We’ll learn the basics, get creative and spend time snapping photos on our Arboretum grounds! iPhone or Android, no matter what level you’re at, all are welcome to join us! **note: phones are not provided… please bring your own.  Instructor: Jason Chan and Rachel Irwin, Interpretive Naturalist Interns.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Thursday, April 12, 2018. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

photographing designs in nature

Photographing Designs in Nature *NEW*

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Nature is the most amazing artist… if we take the time to look closely, we discover complex designs and colour combinations, shifting shapes, or movement in the landscape.  This class is perfect for the photographer looking for inspiration and fresh ideas…. We’ll look at new ways to photograph abstract patterns, and create impressionist effects. Through a short lecture, we’ll study compositional techniques and camera settings, then we’ll head outside for a field trip to practice.  The class finishes with a (gentle!) critique of your photographs.  Bring a tripod if possible, and dress for the weather….this is a “rain or shine” class, wet weather can work wonders on the landscape.  Suitable for all skill levels with tips for both beginner and advanced photographers.  Ages 16+,  or younger if accompanied by an adult. Guest Instructor:  Sylvia Galbraith (www.sylviagalbraith.ca).  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before Thursday, April 12, 2018. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum 18 participants.

introduction to birds

Introduction to Birds

Thursday, April 26, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Are you a want-to-be bird watcher, but don't know where to begin?  This course is for you!  We will be covering topics from identifying birds to choosing and using binoculars.  We will also cover basic ornithology by studying anatomy, breeding biology, classification and habitat requirements.  Over lunch we will watch Arboretum birds and study their behaviour.  Bring a lunch and, if you have them, a bird book and binoculars.  Guest Instructor: Richard Tofflemire.  Early Bird Fee : $75.00 if done on or before Wednesday, April 18. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

welcoming trees into our gardens and neighborhood

Welcoming Trees into our Gardens and Neighborhood

Saturday, April 28, 2018, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Trees seem to be mysterious and often leave us with more questions than answers. During our 3 hours together, we will explore more recent knowledge about trees and come to an understanding of how trees prefer to live when given a choice. How can we help trees to be healthy and long lived? We will be introducing the concept of a Pocket Woodland – what it is and the benefits it offers. This will give each of us a picture of how to create our own personalized Woodland (any shape or size) in an urban environment.  For further information on Martin please visit his website: https://www.urbancottagelandscapes.com/ Guest Horticulturalist / Aborist:  Martin Ford.  Early Bird Fee:  $55.00. Registration deadline: Thursday, April 19. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 16 adults.

shooting the moon - night photography

Shooting the Moon - Night Photography

Sunday, April 29, 2018, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Join photographer Sylvia Galbraith for an evening of fun in this hands-on field trip. This course is timed to take advantage of the (almost) full moon - the first hour will be spent inside, for a lesson on shooting in low light - we'll cover using timed exposures and night settings, composition, equipment, shooting city lights & more.  Then it's out to the meadows of the Arboretum to photograph the setting sun, and night photography by the light of the moon. We'll also try some fun flash effects. This course requires a tripod for best results, and is suitable for all skill levels.  Bring a flashlight, and dress for the weather. Guest Instructor: Sylvia Galbraith (www.sylviagalbraith.ca).  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before Thursday, April 19. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

MAY

Songbird Families of Ontario

Songbird Families of Ontario

Tuesdays, May 8, 15, 22, 29, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. and a Guided Walk at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Songbirds, also know as the 'perching birds' or 'passerines', are by far the most diverse bird group accounting for 60% of known bird species on earth! Looking for a powerful way to simplify songbird identification? Want to become more familiar with the lifestyles of Ontario's passerines? Want to learn how an old world sparrow differs from a new world sparrow and why our perching birds are so diverse? In this workshop, you will learn how to use shape and other key characteristics to greatly simplify your choices when identifying songbirds.  Learning how to ID different passerine families makes exciting and interesting connections between different species and helps to build a story around a group of birds rather than memorizing individual species.
The workshop will involve four lectures covering all of Ontario's songbird families including interesting stories about the various survival strategies of this amazing group of birds.  There will also be an optional guided walk to practice songbird family ID! Guest Instructor: Dylan White.  Early Bird Fee: $70.00 if done on or before Monday, April 30. Registrations after this date will cost $80.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum: 40 adults

the intriguing world of spring wildflowers

The Intriguing World of Spring Wildflowers

Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This is really two workshops in one. In addition to learning to identify our springtime flora we will go "beyond the field guide" to delve into these plants' natural history, ecology, lore, and uses. Following a brief classroom session, the remainder of our time will be spent exploring the Arboretum's nature preserves engaged in hands-on exercises and stimulating discussions. By the end of the day you will have learned more about our spring wildflowers than you ever imagined. Bring lunch, your favourite wildflower field guide, and a hand lens if you have one. Spare hand lenses and field guides will be available for use. Guest Instructor: Richard Aaron.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Thursday, April 26. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum: 16 adults.

spring into astronomy

Spring into Astronomy

Monday, May 7, 2018, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Summer’s coming! The days are longer and the evenings warm and perfect for stargazing. And as if that was not enough incentive, the planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be strung like pearls in the summer sky in 2018, just begging to be explored with a backyard telescope. But where to begin? A telescope is a terrific idea, and never before have there been so many different types available. There are big ones, little ones, some requiring a knowledge of the night sky, and others capable of finding celestial objects with the push of a button. Which telescope is right for you? The first two hours of this presentation will introduce the most common types of telescopes, what they do, how they do it, and what you can expect to see. Some of the challenges to stargazing will be discussed, such as light pollution, and an unfamiliarity with the night sky, and how these obstacles might be overcome. In the third hour, participants will be invited to look at – and through - a selection of small telescopes to see what each these instruments can do. If you have your own small telescope and would like to learn more about it, bring it in! Now’s your chance to spring into astronomy! Guest Instructor: Trevor Chandler.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before Sunday, April 29. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 30 adults.

photo walk in wild goose woods

Photo Walk in Wild Goose Woods *NEW*

Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Wild Goose Woods comes alive in the spring, and there is no better time to photograph it.  Frogs are hopping, birds are singing, and fresh spring foliage adds colour combinations that beg to be photographed.  In this class, we’ll be inside for a brief lecture on camera techniques for interesting ways of shooting nature and landscapes, as well as compositional techniques.  Then it’s off to the woods for a walk along the boardwalk...…we’ll find reflecting pools, nesting birds, animals, and gentle evening light dancing through fresh spring foliage.  After our walk, we’ll head back inside for a review of our photos.  Bring a tripod if possible, and dress for the weather.  Suitable for all skill levels, with tips for both beginner and advanced photographers.  Ages 16+, or younger if accompanied by an adult. Guest Instructor:  Sylvia Galbraith (www.sylviagalbraith.ca).  Early Bird Fee:  $55.00. Registration deadline: Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults.

stone all building

Stone Wall Building

TBA 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

We are offering a unique walling course with ‘tons’ of hands on experience for the beginner as well as intermediate builder. Several fun elements will be provided for the enthusiast looking to be creative using only random local fieldstone.
Participants will have two days of instruction building a traditional dry laid wall, learning ‘first hand’ many practical walling concepts such as batter, throughstones, coverbands, hearting, bonding and coping with DSWAC president and dry stone artist John Shaw-Rimmington (thinking-stoneman.blogspot.ca). Printed material will be provided and there will be an indoor audio visual presentation if there are especially rainy periods. Guest Instructor: John Shaw - Rimmington.  Early Bird Fee: $300.00 if done on or before TBA. Registrations after this date will cost $320.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum: 10 adults.

photographing woodlands and meadows

Photographing Woodlands and Meadows (formerly Garden & Wildflower Photography)

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

Spring is when the woods come alive, and at the Arboretum, plants and animals are everywhere. If you love the outdoors, join us for a workshop that will show you how to create inspired photographs of nature - spring flowers, frogs and other creatures, as well as landscapes of the meadows and forests. We’ll look at composition, lighting, camera settings & equipment best suited for nature photography, then head outside for most of the class to practice. Bring your camera and dress for the weather. Suitable for all levels, SLR or point & shoot cameras. Guest Instructor: Sylvia Galbraith.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before TBA. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults

bird sounds

Bird Sounds

Thursday, May 24, 2018, 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will start off with an early morning Arboretum hike to get you tuned in to bird sounds. Participants will learn how to develop their listening skills to identify that bird "way up there behind all those leaves." A variety of techniques will be used to help you describe and remember the different songs and calls of birds such as flycatchers, vireos, thrushes and woodpeckers. Guest Instructor:  Richard Tofflemire.  Early Bird Fee: $80.00 if done on or before Wednesday, May 16, 2018. Registrations after this date will cost $90.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults.

sparrow workshop

Sparrow Workshop: Those Little Brown Jobs

Friday, May 25, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will help you identify and study 19 species of sparrows found in Ontario.  We will use hands-on activities to learn plumages, songs and habitat use of this difficult-to-identify group.  Over lunch we'll be hiking through The Arboretum looking for our resident sparrows (so please pack a lunch).  An information booklet will be provided. Arboretum Naturalist:  Chris Earley, author of Sparrows and Finches of the Great Lakes Region and Eastern North America. Early Bird Fee : $75.00 if done on or before Thursday, May 17. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults. Maximum 18 adults.

JUNE

invasive species workshop

Invasive Species Workshop - Animals and Plants

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

In this workshop we will learn about biology, identification, and control of invasive plant and animal species. What makes them more successful than native species? We will also learn about the best practices for preventing the spread and introduction of invasive species. Parts of the workshop will be outside, where we will explore the woods and gardens of  the Arboretum in search for invasive species. Participants will receive an information booklet.  Guest Instructor: Dirk  Steinke.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Thursday, TBA. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

sketching nature

Sketching Nature

Friday, June 15, 2018, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Focusing on sketching techniques and note taking, this workshop is for those who want a permanent record of their observations of nature.  It is designed for beginners, so don't be shy!  Sketch books and pencils provided.  Arboretum Interpretive Naturalist Intern:  Jason Chan.  Early Bird Fee: $35.00 if done on or before Thursday, June 7, 2018. Registrations after this date will cost $45.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 20 adults.

look see paint

Look, See, Paint

Friday, June 15, 2018, 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m

A watercolour course that's different!  This program helps you discover the natural world and the fun of painting.  A course for beginners, but those with experience will enjoy it, too.  Supplies will be provided for the session.  Guest Intructor: Jason Chan.  Early Bird Fee: $40.00 if done on or before Thursday, June 7, 2018. Registrations after this date will cost $50.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 10.

plant propagation

Plant Propagation

Saturday, June 16 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This course will introduce you to the wonderful world of creating new plants. The morning session will focus on growing from seeds and include topics like collecting, cleaning, storing, dormancy, and stratification. It will then use these basic tools of the trade to show you how to use various techniques for starting seeds. Growing under lights in pots, winter sowing and germination using the baggy method will all be discussed. In the afternoon we’ll focus on vegetative propagation including division, cuttings, layering and budding. This course will provide the foundation you need to propagate thousands of different plants, including perennials, shrubs and trees. As part of the hands on portion you will receive new babies to take home.  Guest Instructor: Robert Pavlis.  Early Bird Fee: $80.00 if done on or before Thursday, June 7. Registrations after this date will cost $90.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 20 adults.

medicinal plants

Medicinal Plants

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

In Herbal Medicine, plants from the forest, garden and meadow are valuable in the treatment a variety of health conditions. Join Guelph naturopathic doctor, Elizabeth Cherevaty ND for this guided “herb walk” through the Gosling Wildlife Gardens, woods and meadows of The Arboretum as she highlights uses and habitats of important medicinal plants including motherwort, mayapple, blue cohosh, bloodroot, red raspberry, Joe Pye weed, hawthorn and black walnut. Each participant will receive a colour booklet detailing the plants and their uses. The tour starts outside and then will be followed by an introduction to Herbal Medicine and ways to use the plants at home. Please note this course is not intended to provide instruction in harvesting or preparation of medicinal plants. Guest Instructor:  Elizabeth Cherevaty.  Early Bird Fee: $35.00 if done on or before Monday, June 6. Registrations after this date will cost $45.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 20 adults.

ontario insects

Ontario Insects

Monday, June 25, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop will introduce you to all the major groups of insects in Ontario. The focus will be on how to recognize major groups or families, with special reference to common species you’re likely to encounter in both the backyard and in the field. A great introductory course for educators, field researchers, and those who wish to simply become familiar with the mini-wildlife of Ontario. Guest Instructor: Andalyne Tofflemire. Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Sunday, June 17. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults.

mysterious world of moths

The Mysterious World of Moths

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

If you have ever wondered about those close cousins of the butterflies, then this introductory class will open your eyes to the amazing and mysterious world of moths. We'll start off with an introduction to the "moth world" and what makes a moth so unique. Then we'll go through the families or groups of moths that you'll commonly encounter in our area. We'll also do some exploring outside to look for roosting moths, day-flying moths and moth caterpillars. Learn how to identify, find and appreciate the beautiful moths that are all around us. Guest Instructor: Andalyne Tofflemire. Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before TBA. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults. We may possibly do a night mothing outing as well. Stay tuned!

JULY

identification and biology of butterflies

Identification and Biology of Butterflies

Thursday, July 5, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop has been designed to educate you on butterflies and help you develop your  identification skills.  We will focus on butterfly natural history, capture techniques, field identification, tagging, migration and creating and maintaining butterfly habitat.  Be prepared for the weather of the day as we spend time outside catching and identifying the butterflies of The Arboretum.  Guest Instructor:  Jessica Linton.   Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Wednesday, June 27. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults.

dragonflies and damselflies

Dragonflies and Damselflies

Wednesday, July 11, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Ontario is home to over 150 species of Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), many of which are common in the Guelph area.  Most species can be identified with a field guide and pair of binoculars.  Learn about these beautiful creatures, their fascinating lives and see why they are an important part of our local ecosystems. Be prepared for the weather of the day as we spend time outside catching and identifying the dragonflies of The Arboretum. Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Tuesday, July 3. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 18 adults.

tree id

Tree Identification

Tuesday, July 17, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This program will help you refine your skills at identifying trees in Ontario. The focus will be on learning important identification characteristics.  Difficult groups such as the cherry, oak and walnut families as well as the easier groups such as ash and maple will be explored.  The afternoon will be spent outside, identifying trees in the forest as well as young cultivated trees with their Eurasian counterparts in the World of Trees collection.  Bring your field guide and binoculars. Arboretum Director: Shelley Hunt.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00. Registration deadline: Monday, July 9. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. *Maximum 16 adults.

shrub id

Shrub Identification

Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Neither great trees nor a carpet of bloom, the often overlooked but ecologically important shrubs and vines in our landscape will be our focus. Fresh specimens and an easy to use key for shrubs will be used. We will be outdoors for half of the day discovering southern Ontario's native and naturalized shrubs at The Arboretum. Bring a magnifying glass. Arboretum Horticulturist: Sean Fox. Fee: $75.00  Registration deadline: Tuesday, July 10. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 16 adults.

AUGUST

shorebirds

Shorebirds

NOT OFFERED AT THIS TIME

Yup, a workshop on one of the most difficult groups of birds to identify. Using plumage, shape, size, calls and behaviour, we will try to figure out all of those confusing sandpipers, plovers, phalaropes, turnstones, knots, godwits and whimbrels.  If you are up for the challenge, this is the workshop for you!  They really aren't that bad. Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Tuesday, July 25. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

SEPTEMBER

hawk workshop

Hawk Workshop: Those Magnificent Raptors

Friday, September 14, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop has been designed to help you develop your skills in identifying migrating hawks, falcons, vultures, eagles and osprey.  Through a wide variety of hands-on activities you'll learn about plumage, body shape, foraging techniques, flight patterns and migration times of 15 species.  An information booklet will be provided.  Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley, author of  Hawks and Owls of Eastern North America. Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Thursday, September 6. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

spider workshop

Hunters, Fishers and Trappers:  The Amazing Life of Spiders

TBA 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Learn fascinating life stories and identification tips about our most important invertebrate predators:  Spiders.   We’ll venture outside for part of the day, learning how to discover and identify some of our amazing local arachno-fauna (be prepared for current weather).  We’ll find outdoor “web-sites,” but also many free-ranging spiders that hunt like cats, wolves or eight-legged anglers.  Discover first-hand why most insects are arachnophobic, and how we can (and should) help our local spider population.   Guest Instructor: Dan Schneider.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Friday, September 1. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

ecopsycology

Ecopsychology

Mondays and Thursdays, September 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, 27, October 1, 4, 2018, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage in an 8-week programme that explores the principles of Ecopsychology and Eco Art Therapy. Walking through this program, participants gradually gain a deeper sense of self-value, one’s relationship with nature, and a desire to engage with Nature as a trusted and valued aspect of one’s own life. Each week, participants will be introduced to new concepts which they will then apply to practical activities and then reflect both collectively and individually.
Explore ways to gain a deeper understanding of how nature communicates, and what we can learn from this in our own lives.  Challenge yourself to think beyond the 5 senses and stimulate your inner green. Get creative as we explore Eco-Art activities that go beyond the barriers of artistic techniques.  Integrate yourself with Nature and the numerous life systems that intricately flow all around us. Guest Instructor: Memona Hossain.  Early Bird Fee: $190.00 if done on or before Thursday, August 30. Registrations after this date will cost $205.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 16 adults.

shinrin-yoku walk

Shinrin - Yoku Walk

Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The newly launched Canadian Chapter of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides is proud to hold one of its first high-profile walks in Canada at The Arboretum, University of Guelph. Forest Therapy originated from Japan's Shinrin-Yoku, which literally translates into“forest bathing” (taking in the air of a forest). It is a gentle way of moving mindfully through nature. Led by experienced guide Ben Porchuk, the walk will open your senses and connects you to different ways nature can help align and heal you. Guest Instructor: Ben Porchuk.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00.  Registration deadline: Tuesday, September 11. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum 20 adults.

growing native woody plants from seed

Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed

Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Diversity is the emphasis of this full-day course. Grow your own native trees and shrubs.  Characteristic seeds for the workshop will be collected while touring part of The Arboretum.  We will carry out the techniques for cleaning, treating and sowing seeds and how to protect them as seeds and young plants.  A tour of The Arboretum's native plant nursery will help you set up your own project. Arboretum Horticulturist: Sean Fox.  Early Bird Fee:  $75.00.  Registration deadline: Monday, September 10. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum 16 adults

OCTOBER

intro mushrooming

Introductory Mushrooming

Saturday, September 29, 2018, 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Explore the mysterious, weird and wonderful world of fungi!  From giant puffballs emerging from the ground to strange little bird's nests growing on wood.  Learn to distinguish editble Agaricus from deadly Amanita.

The morning will begin with a short classroom discussion of general categories of fungi: slime moulds, moulds, sac, club, jellies, corals, toothed, puffballs, stinkhorns, polypores, boletes and mushroom.  We will then set out for a morning foray in the deciduous forested areas of The Arboretum.  After a few hours of collecting, we will return to the classroom to sort, identify and assemble the species list, noting habitat and host substrate for each species.  In the afternoon we will do another foray into the cedar - spruce - hemlock dominated forest on the nature reserve of The Arboretum and then assemble a species list for this area.  At this time of year, in the autumn, it is likely that we will encounter 75 - 100 or more different species representing a wide range of both slime mould and fungi.  There will also be discussions ranging from the crucial roles mushrooms play in the environment to cool natural history facts.

Each person will be provided with checklists to record the day's finds and a list of suggested resources.  Please bring a collecting basket of some sort.  You are encouraged to bring a field guide, such as George Barron's field guide, Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada as well as a digital camera and jump drive for sharing photos. You should also bring sunscreen, insect repellent, water, snacks and a lunch.  Guest Instructor: Tim Myles.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00.  Registration deadline: Thursday, September 20. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.   Maximum 16.

NOVEMBER

gull workshop

Gull workshop: Graceful, Gregarious & Simply Gorgeous

TBA 2018, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This workshop has been designed to help you develop your skills in the identification of wintering gulls.  Through a variety of hands-on activities, you will learn about gull plumage, size differences, bill shapes and behaviours of 13 different gull species.  We will also discuss the best places to watch gulls and how some gull species have adapted to the urban environment.   Arboretum Naturalist: Chris Earley.  Early Bird Fee: $75.00 if done on or before Thursday, November 9. Registrations after this date will cost $85.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled. Maximum 18 adults.

selecting a first telescope for astronomy

Selecting a First Telescope for Astronomy

TBA 2018, 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

We live in a great time to take up the hobby of astronomy.  Never before have there been so many different types of telescopes available.  However, buying a telescope for the first time can be a little intimidating.  There are big ones, little ones, some requiring knowledge of the night sky, and others capable of finding celestial objects with the push of a button.  Which telescope is right for you?
The first two hours of this presentation will introduce the most common types of telescopes, what they do, how they do it, and what you can expect to see.  Some of the challenges to stargazing will be discussed, such as light pollution and an unfamiliarity with the night sky, and how these obstacles might be overcome.  In the third hour, participants will be invited to look at - and through - a selection of small telescopes to see what each of these instruments can do.  Hopefully exploring the night sky will be made a little less intimidating and a lot more exciting.  Guest Instructor: Trevor Chandler.  Early Bird Fee: $55.00 if done on or before Wednesday, November 15. Registrations after this date will cost $65.00.  Note: If we don't have enough registrations by the early bird deadline the course may be cancelled.  Maximum 30 adults.

DECEMBER

No workshops have been scheduled for this month.

Click here for registration information.