Adkins Arboretum Announces Adult Education Programs

Adkins Arboretum is offering a full slate of programs for spring and summer, including nature photography, birding and gardening that reflects the local landscape. Programs include:

Feed the Birds
Thurs., May 14. Bird walk 8–9:30 a.m.; classroom program 9:30–11:30 a.m.
Learn to attract birds by enriching habitats with native plants that support insects and produce berries, seed and nectar that provide food for birds. The program will begin with a bird walk to observe birds in nature, followed by a classroom presentation of native plants that benefit birds. An overview of supplemental feeding and bird feeder care will also be covered in this program.

Nature and the Great Outdoors Photography Workshop
Saturdays, May 16 and 23, 8 a.m.–noon
Learn to hone your photography skills while capturing images of the Arboretum’s natural world. Participants will learn techniques for capturing striking images of flowers, animals and landscapes, as well as compositional elements and strategies for obtaining the best images possible. The May 16 program will feature orientation and an outdoor shooting session. The May 23 program will include an outdoor shooting session, photo critique and an introduction to photo editing software.

Instructor Joshua Taylor Jr. has presented photography workshops at the Smithsonian National Orchid Show, the U.S. National Arboretum and the U.S. Botanic Garden, as well as for public gardens, preserves and horticultural societies across the region. In addition to teaching in the Smithsonian Studio Arts Program and at the Corcoran School of Art and Design, he exhibits his work regularly and speaks at camera and garden clubs. He is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association, Garden Writers Association, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Fujifilm Talent Team and a member and past president of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. He was voted best garden club speaker in 2005.
Bird-watching: Migratory Birds
Sun., May 17, 8–10:30 a.m.
Sat., May 30, 8–10:30 a.m.
Join birder Karen Harris on a walk through the Arboretum’s rich landscape of woods, meadows, streams and wetland to discover its diverse bird population. You will see native and nonnative bird species. Whether you’re a beginner or just want to brush up on your skills, choose one of these sessions to learn to distinguish birds by habitat, color and head and body markings. Bring binoculars and field guide.

The Authentic Garden
Wed., May 20, 3 p.m.
What makes a garden “authentic”? This question can be vexing for American gardeners. Because America is a fairly young nation that has not yet defined its own garden style, gardeners often turn to the styles of other nations for inspiration. The result of this stylistic borrowing is gardens that bear little relationship to local landscapes and history and that hold little connection to our daily lives.

Claire Sawyers shows how to reverse this tendency—how to create gardens that are rooted in their surroundings and satisfying to the gardeners who tend them. Drawing on her knowledge of a wide array of American and foreign gardens, she will identify the five principles that help instill a sense of authenticity and make a garden that is true to a specific time, place and culture, and that captures and reflects an authentic spirit so that the garden, in turn, nurtures the spirit of those who cherish and dwell in it.
Sawyers has been director of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College since 1990. She holds master’s degrees from both Purdue University and the University of Delaware, where she was a Longwood Fellow. She is an avid lecturer and has spoken at Arnold Arboretum, New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Morris Arboretum, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and many others.

Plant Local—Know Your Place
Thurs., May 28, 10 a.m.–noon
Join a presentation on the Plant Local approach to land management that creates human habitat in concert with natural systems and supports wildlife.

Plant Local is an initiative of the Chesapeake Land Stewardship Institute, a partnership between Adkins Arboretum and Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage that provides consultation, site inventory, analysis and design services, installation and technical oversight, ongoing maintenance or maintenance support and recommendations to meet the client’s needs and interests.

Plant Local builds upon the eat local and buy local community sustainability movements, and broadens the native plant gardening movement with a vision of human habitat that enhances and restores natural systems for a healthier and more beautiful environment. It encompasses best land management practices that reflect the local ecology.

Bird-watching: Summer Birds
Sat., June 20, 8–10:30 a.m.
Sat., July 11, 8–10:30 a.m.
Join birder Karen Harris on walks through the Arboretum’s rich landscape of woods, meadows, streams, and wetland to discover its diverse bird population. Summer walks will provide an opportunity to see who is nesting here. Whether you’re a beginner or just want to brush up on your skills, choose one of these sessions to learn to distinguish birds by habitat, color and head and body markings. Bring binoculars and field guide.

Pre-registration is required for all programs, and fees for each class vary. To register, call 410-634-2847, extension 0 or e-mail for additional information.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the Arboretum will build a new LEED-certified Arboretum Center and entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. For additional information about Arboretum programs, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.