Botany & Ecology Classes

Study aspects of botany in the classroom and in the field including topics like seasonal plant identification, classification, nomenclature, plant behavior and other topics helpful to professionals and backyard gardeners alike. Explore biodiversity, human-caused impacts to ecosystems and strategies for conservation through the Garden’s ecology courses.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content. Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.

Class Schedule January – April 2024

Winter Botany | January 8, 9 IN-PERSON

Join Dr. Douglas DeBerry for an in-depth overview of the tools and techniques used by botanists to identify woody plants to the species level using winter characteristics. Attendees are exposed to the key characters that differentiate woody plants at different taxonomic levels, including growth form (habit), habitat, bark and the various characteristics of the twigs such as bud size and orientation, bud scales, leaf scars, bundle scars, stipule scars, branch/fruit scars, pith structure, lenticel configuration, spur shoots, armament, fruits and others.

Protecting the James River Watershed | March 5, 12 IN-PERSON

With outdoor educator Sarah Croscutt as your guide, explore the environmental history and ecological diversity of the James River. With a focus on non-point source stormwater runoff and pollution, we’ll discuss why it is important for each of us to do our part in mitigating the effects of runoff pollution in our own little corner of the watershed. We’ll take excursions into the Garden to see watershed ecosystems in action. 

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