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.


Walks With Matt: Early Spring Wildflowers & Bird Migration

960-04-27-19
Saturday, April 27
10 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!
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
Limit 25, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

Sold out. Add your name to the waitlist and/or register for a different walk.
$14 member/$29 non-member,
includes Arboretum admission


photo: Don Olson/APS

Evening Walks with Alan: Crabapples and Hawthorns

960-05-09-19
Thursday, May 9
6:30 p.m. - 8 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! 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!
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 (specific directions will be emailed before the class).
Limit 20, Meet at Wildlife Garden Parking Lot

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


photo: Jill Leenay

Walks With Matt: Introduction to the New Lake Tamarack Property

960-05-11-19
Saturday, May 11
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

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

Meet the newest part of the Arboretum- the Lake Tamarack Property! Together you will caravan from the Arboretum over to the recently opened Lake Tamarack. Matt will introduce you to the woodland, waterfront, and meadow areas as you are immersed in late spring wildflowers and migrating birds! 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.
NOTES
  • Please note that this walk takes place on the same day as the popular annual Arboretum Plant Sale! Allow extra time to 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!
  • 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

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


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: Amazing Azaleas

960-05-23-19
Thursday, May 23
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

Azaleas offer stunning spring color, and our premier collection includes some of the first hardy cultivars for zone 4! Join Alan and other azalea devotees as you visit the collection in full bloom and learn more about this amazing shrub. Alan will give you a botanical overview of azaleas, how they are related to rhododendrons, and background of the University of Minnesota cultivars.
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 Maze Parking Lot (specific directions will be emailed before the class).
Limit 20, Meet at Maze Parking Lot

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

 

Special Access: Minnesota Native Orchids

150-06-01-19
Saturday, June 1
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

David Remucal, curator of endangered plants and the Native Orchid Conservation Program at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

The lady's slipper is not Minnesota's only orchid- far from it! Our 48 orchid species can be found in forest, wetland and prairies, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and flower colors. 
Discuss In the classroom
  • Ongoing conservation efforts- especially the 10 species listed as endangered
  • Fascinating lessons about orchids' complex biology
Explore In the Gardens
  • "Special access" knowledge of the best locations for orchids at the Arboretum. You'll likely see some of the Arb's showy and yellow lady's slippers in bloom!
  • Get a first-hand view of some of the new beds and orchids introduced in 2018 and 2019
Limit 20, Oswald Visitor Center - Teaching Classroom

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

 

Evening Walks with Alan: Peonies and Their Companion Plants

960-06-06-19
Thursday, June 6
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

The Arboretum has one of the best peony collections in the country, and they are a beloved icon of Minnesota gardens everywhere. On this evening stroll with Alan and other garden enthusiasts, you will learn more about their fascinating history and cultivation as you enjoy seeing them in full bloom. You will see a great cross section of types and cultivars, including some reliably hardy tree peonies and their new hybrids! Alan will also highlight companion plants growing in the garden.
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 Snyder Lobby
Limit 20, Meet at Snyder Building - Snyder Lobby

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

Walks With Matt: Bobolinks, Bluebirds & Meadowlarks

960-06-08-19
Saturday, June 8
8 a.m. - 10 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.
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, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

Sold Out! Add your name to the wait list.
$14 member/$29 non-member
, includes Arboretum admission

 

Special Access Tour Behind-the-Scenes: Rare Plant Conservation at the Arb

150-06-29-19
Saturday, June 29
9 a.m. - 11 a.m.

David Remucal, curator of endangered plants at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Learn more about how a botanic garden can work to save rare plants during this tour of the current research! The Arboretum is a proud partner with the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC), an organization founded in 1984 that seeks to prevent the extinction of US native plants. As a partner in the CPC, the Arboretum is responsible for leading conservation efforts for nine species, which include
  • Orchids such as Platanthera praeclara, the western prairie fringed orchid
  • Dwarf trout lily endemic to Minnesota (Erythronium propullans)
  • Fassett's locoweed endemic to Wisconsin (Oxytropis campestris var. chartacea)
In addition to an outline of the current research projects, you will receive special access to areas that are normally off-limits for public viewing:
  • Tour the research greenhouse
  • View the research plots
  • Visit the research hoop houses
Limit 20, Horticulture Research Center

$20 member/$35 non-member, includes Arboretum admission


photo: Todd Mulvihill/APS

Walks With Matt: Sights, Sounds & Songs of the Prairie

960-07-27-19
Saturday, July 27
8 a.m. - 10 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.
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, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

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

Walks With Matt: Wood Ducks and Wrens of Spring Peeper Meadow

960-08-17-19
Saturday, August 17
9 a.m. - 11 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!
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, Meet at Ordway Picnic Shelter

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

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 Snyder Lobby.
Limit 20, Wildlife Garden Parking Lot

$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

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

See more information on other Guided Public Arboretum tours.

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