For the Birds
Classes & Workshops

From bird-watching walks to bird-themed arts and crafts, let your inspiration take flight at the Arboretum.

photo: Johanna DeBuhr


Walks With Matt: Mushrooms, Migrations & More!

Saturday, September 7
10 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. 
  • 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

Sold out. Add your name to the waitlist, we will contact you if a spot opens!
$14 member/$29 non-member,
 includes Arboretum admission

photo: Sue Isaacson

Raptor Photography: Exclusive Camera Access

Saturday, October 5
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Carlyn Iverson, internationally acclaimed botanical artist and illustrator for more than 200 textbooks and publications

Level: All levels 
Owls, vultures, and eagles, oh my! Experience a unique opportunity to photograph mighty raptors in a controlled, safe and natural setting at the Arboretum. The University of Minnesota Raptor Center will bring an assortment of live birds for your photographing pleasure, and will teach about each one. Popular photography instructor and professional artist, Carlyn Iverson, will provide techniques to help you capture stunning images of these magnificent creatures. You will learn how to control your camera for wow-worthy images from distances of 5-20 feet (in class) as well as longer distances in the field. This special shoot is for all levels - the instructor will work personally with each participant. This class is designed for adult learners and we suggest a minimum age of 16. There will be a break for lunch, so please bring your own food and drink or plan to purchase lunch at the Arboretum Cafe. A portion of the course fee benefits the Raptor Center. 
Required Equipment 
  • Any digital camera
Suggested Equipment
  • DSLR or mirrorless camera
  • 90mm or higher focal length lens
  • Tripod/monopod (optional)
  • Sturdy shoes for walking and shooting over uneven ground 
Limit 20
Saturday, October 5
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
$119 member/$139 non-member, includes Arboretum admission
Marion Andrus Learning Center - Tree Place


Bird Notecards in Watercolor

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Georgia Kandiko, longtime educator, award winning professional watercolor artist

All Levels 
All Supplies Included

Are you interested in watercolor but intimidated by the full size canvas or put off by the amount of time it takes to finish? Try a smaller project, a notecard!

  • Learn and practice a variety of watercolor techniques including composition, values, colors and shapes
  • Produce two different bird images in class which you can then replicate on other watercolor paper provided
  • Enough supplies for 8 unique hand painted cards
Georgia's classes are warm and welcoming. Come prepared for an engaging experience! 
Bring from Home 
Bag lunch, beverages and/or snacks (Visitor Center Cafe will also be open for purchases)

Limit 20, Oswald Visitor Center - MacMillan Auditorium A/C

$59 member/$79 non-member, includes Arboretum admission and all supplies

Winter Bird Photography

Select a session
Saturday, February 1, 9 a.m.-noon (750-02-01-20)
Saturday, February 1, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. (750-02-01-20-01)

Don Tredinnick, professional nature photographer, instructor and owner of Frozen Hiker Photography

Intermediate: familiarity with the settings and functions of your camera, and an understanding of exposure and light

Create amazing photos of birds this winter! With the techniques presented in this class, you will be able to photograph birds on snow-covered branches, on the feeder, and in flight. You will learn:

  • Basic techniques for photographing birds in winter
  • Equipment needs for photographing birds
  • Insights into winter bird behavior
  • How to capture birds in flight
  • How to build a backyard bird photography studio
Class will also spend time outside at the Arboretum's feeders to practice these techniques. The instructor will be available to answer questions and offer tips during your practice time.

  • DSLR or Mirrorless camera
  • Your longest lens (ideally 300mm or longer)
  • Clothing appropriate for the winter weather
  • Monopods or Tripods (optional)
Limit 12, Oswald Visitor Center - Azalea Classroom


Saturday, February 1, 9 a.m.-noon
$99 member/$119 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Saturday, February 1, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
$99 member/$119 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Creating Habitat for Birds and Butterflies in your Yard & Garden

Select a session
Saturday, February 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon 150-02-15-20-02
Saturday, March 14, 1-2:30 p.m. 150-03-14-20
Julie Boden, Gardener and Nature Enthusiast

Are you interested in attracting more birds and butterflies to your garden or patio? Come learn everything you need to know to invite a stunning variety of these winged visitors into your own backyard sanctuary!
  • Food, water and shelter
  • Which plants will best fit your location to provide food or shelter
  • Which species are attracted to different plants
  • Simple non-plant additions are helpful to meet the needs of birds and butterflies
Limit 50, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab

Saturday, February 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon
$25 member/$40 non-member
includes Arboretum admission 

Saturday, March 14, 1-2:30 p.m.
$25 member/$40 non-member
includes Arboretum admission 




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Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Sat - Sun, noon - 4 p.m.
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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.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy


The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.

Program Quick Links

          PlantMaker Studio
          NaturePlay for Wee Ones
Garden Fun Stops
1-Hour Tram Tour
          Guided Walking Tours 
          Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk

Youth+Adult Together Programs
       Ages 3-5 with adult
       Ages 5-12 with adult

Summer Youth Programs
       Ages 6-12 Groups/Summer Field Trips
       Ages 5-13 Weekly Children's Garden
       Ages 5-7 Day Camps
       Ages 7-11 Day Camps

Gardening & Horticulture Classes
Gardening - General
       Edible Gardening
       Landscape & Design
Floral & Botanical Crafts
      Seasonal Holiday
       Pollinators - Misc
       Special Access Experiences
Fine Art & Crafts Classes

Painting & Drawing

       Mixed Media
       Floral & Botanical Crafts
       Jewelry & Wearable Art
       Fiber Arts
       Stone Balancing & Sculpture
       Open Art Studio
       Seasonal Holiday
Photography Classes
       Special Access Experiences
Food & Wine Classes
       Dine with a Chef
       Cooking Classes

       Book Club
Nature Appreciation
       Signature Guided Walks
Nature-Based Therapeutics

       Arboretum Staff
       Education Department Statistics

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