Signature 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.


Shinrin-yoku at the Arboretum 
Various Dates

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 per session

view date/time options & register


Evening Walks with Alan: Exploring the Wildlife Garden

960-08-22-19
Thursday, August 22
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

Gardens can be beneficial to wildlife, and visa versa! Join Alan for a walk in the Wildlife Garden to:
  • Understand the complex symbiosis between plants and animals, from insects to mammals
  • Look for wildlife, such as Monarch butterflies nectaring on blazing stars or sphinx moths coming out at dusk
  • Get tips on what plants to grow in your own garden to invite wildlife such as pollinators and song birds
  • Learn the basics of deterring unwanted wildlife
NOTES:
  • 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

Limit 20, Wildlife Garden Parking Lot

Sold out. Add your name to the waitlist, we will contact you if a spot opens!

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


photo: Johanna DeBuhr

 

Walks With Matt: Mushrooms, Migrations & More!

960-09-07-19
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.
NOTES
  • 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, click Waitlist to add your name to the waitlist 
$14 member/$29 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission
 

 

Walk with Mary: Ornamental Grasses

150-09-19-19
Thursday, September 19, 2019
4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Mary Meyer, University of MN Professor and Extension Horticulturist

Ornamental grasses provide year-round beauty, are low maintenance and provide fabulous habitat! Join Dr. Meyer for an introduction to the grass collection at its peak, and learn: 
  • More about the 200+ species in the Arboretum's collection- one of the largest in the country!
  • The seasonal peaks of beauty for various cultivars
  • The important habitat and forage grasses provide for local birds and insects
  • How to select varieties or cultivars for your home landscape
Dr. Meyer's book, Ornamental Grasses for Cold Climates, is available in the Arboretum Gift Store. NOTE Be sure to come dressed for the weather and ready to spend time outdoors!

Limit 25, Maze Parking Lot

register

$15 member/$30 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

 

Walks with Alan: Oak and Nut Tree Collection

960-09-26-19
Thursday, September 26, 2019
2 p.m.-4 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 oaks and other nut trees, it means dropping thousands of seeds to grow next spring! On this walk:
  • Discover the distinctive botany behind these trees
  • Enjoy an evening walk through a lesser known collection
  • Soak in the beautiful architecture of the oaks and nut trees
  • Learn 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.
Park and meet in the Old Azalea Parking Lot (specific directions will be emailed before the class).

Limit 25, Old Azalea Parking Lot
register

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

 

Walks With Matt: Fall Foliage

960-10-05-19
Saturday, October 5, 2019
10 a.m.-noon

Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

An October morning is one of the most perfect times to walk the woods at the Arboretum, especially with Arboretum Naturalist Matt Schuth. As you stroll together, you will:
  • Learn about the changing colors of foliage in autumn
  • Search for mushrooms and learn more about their growth and biology
  • See late autumn flowers still in bloom
  • Discover insects, birds and animals on the move
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
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.

Limit 25, Ordway Picnic Shelter
Sold out. Add your name to the waitlist, we will contact you if a spot opens!
register

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

 

 Walks with Alan: A Blaze of Autumn

960-10-10-19
Thursday, October 10, 2019
2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

Pop quiz: why do some trees and shrubs turn brilliant colors in the fall? Learn this and more as you appreciate the gorgeous warm hues on this walk:
  • Discover our "Big Woods" Maple Collection and Bailey Shrub Walk
  • Be amazed by the diversity of cultivars, colors, textures and shapes in these collections
  • Gain inspiration and information for your landscape and future Arboretum visits

Limit 25, Wildlife Garden Parking Lot

register

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

 

 Walks with Alan: Crabapples in Fall

960-10-31-19
Thursday, October 31, 2019
2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

Forget the jack-o-lanterns, crabapples are our most colorful garden fruit after the leaves fall! On this walk:
  • Appreciate the colorful punch these trees add to the fall landscape
  • Get a botanical overview of this tree and its relative, the hawthorn
  • Learn about the 60+ cultivars grown at the Arboretum, the research and history behind the trees
  • Understand the ecological role these trees play
  • Learn 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!
Park and meet at the Wildlife Garden Parking Lot (specific directions will be emailed before the class).

Limit 25, Wildlife Garden Parking Lot
register

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

 

 Walks with Matt: Ready for Winter?

960-11-02-19
Saturday, November 2, 2019
10 a.m.-noon

Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

Matt will uncover the mystery and beauty of the ways that plants, animals, and insects at the Arboretum adjust and prepare for the oncoming cold. On this walk:
  • Learn more about Matt's recently collected treasures and their stories
  • Explore the science behind this seasonal change
  • Understand the impact of this change on the local environment
  • Return to the Visitor Center for a warming cup of hot chocolate
SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: binoculars, magnifying glass, practical shoes for walking over uneven paths, and dress for the weather.
NOTES 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.

Limit 25, Oswald Visitor Center - Teaching Classroom
register

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

 

Walks with Alan: Plants of Winter Interest

960-12-05-19
Thursday, December 5, 2019
2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

As much as we love our gardens in the summer, there is an undeniably long winter season in which we still wish to enjoy them. On this walk:
  • See firsthand what plants and cultivars really stand out in the winter
  • Discover the Arboretum's best cold-weather beauties, from woody and herbaceous to flowering and fruiting
  • Collect inspiration, plant lists, and a renewed motivation to enjoy your winter garden
Limit 25, Oswald Visitor Center - Carlson Dining Room
register

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

 

Walks with Matt: The Arboretum on Ice

960-12-21-19
Saturday, December 21, 2019
10 a.m.-noon

Matt Schuth, Naturalist, Author, and Minnesota Landscape Arboretum expert for more than 30 years

By now, winter is in full sway and with a little luck, the Arboretum has become a winter wonderland. On this walk:
  • Begin with a show-and-tell about some of the Arboretum's fauna and flora
  • Track animals and identify trees and plants in their winter form
  • Learn more about the history and mystery of the plants and animals you see
  • Return to the Visitor Center for a warming cup of hot chocolate
Many have made this winter walk with Matt one of their holiday and year-end traditions!
NOTES 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, Oswald Visitor Center - Azalea Classroom
register

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

See more information on other Guided Public Arboretum tours.

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Questions?

Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Sat - Sun, noon - 4 p.m.
Email Arboretum Education at
          arbedu@umn.edu
Call Arboretum Education at
          612-301-1210


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


Waitlist

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

FREE & LOW COST
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