Programs & Summer Camps

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April 27

Budding Naturalist: Vernal Pools, Session 2 (Ages 10-14)

In April, Maine’s amphibians migrate to vernal pools to breed and lay eggs. During this session, participants will return to some of the vernal pools visited during the last session and visit some new pools to observe changes in the wood frog and salamander egg masses. Participants will learn how to tell the difference between these eggs as they help count egg masses for our annual survey. They will also learn what makes vernal pools unique and important, gaining an understanding of their role in the forest ecosystem. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 12:30pm-3:00pm

Instructor: Bridget VerVaet

Cost: $10

May 3 - 31

Spring Explorations: Grow a Garden with Us! (Ages 4-10)

Does your child love to grow things and explore the outdoors? Interested in learning how to garden as a family? Join us as we combine gardening and learning in a fun new program for homeschoolers and remote/hybrid learners. This parent-led program will guide participants ages 4-10 through growing a garden through explorations and investigations at the Gardens, plus lessons, games, and experiments at home. Lessons combine gardening with science, math, English, art, social studies, and history. Beginning the week of May 3, participants can visit the Visitor Center to pick up their first week’s activities and supplies (packed in accordance with CDC guidelines for COVID safety). Every week after, new activities will be made available each Monday for a total of six weeks. Families are welcome to join the program at any time this spring. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Cost: $35

May 4

Young Birders Club (Ages 10-18)

Inviting all young and aspiring birders to join us for our first ever Gardens birding club! Youth ages 10 and up can join our resident birders every other week this spring to identify birds migrating through Maine as well as those spending the season nesting and raising their young here. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 8:00am-10:00am

Instructor: Andy Brand

Cost: $10

May 6

Meet the Artist: Thomas Dambo and his Trolls (Ages 10-18)

Do you have a young artist or woodworker who would like to learn from a world-renowned sculpture artist? Danish artist Thomas Dambo, who is building five trolls at the Gardens, all constructed from salvaged wood and other recycled materials, will offer a tour of these larger-than-life sculptures and a discussion of his design and building process.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 10:00am-11:30am

Instructor: Thomas Dambo

Cost: $10

May 12

Signs of the Seasons Youth Volunteer Training (Ages 10-18)

Calling all young citizen scientists! Do you look forward to seeing the first songbirds and flowers in springtime? Do you enjoy listening to the peepers on spring evenings, or the tree frogs calling on hot summer afternoons? Volunteers of all ages are helping scientists to understand the local effects of global climate change through the Signs of the Seasons community science program by recording the timing of seasonal changes like these.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Instructor: Beth Bisson

Cost: $Free

May 13

Budding Naturalist: Wild Edibles (Ages 10-14)

Spring is a great time to forage for wild edibles; fresh shoots are readily available and tastier than their older counterparts. Local forager and restaurateur, Nikaline Iacano, will lead participants through the Gardens and surrounding woodlands in search of edible greens, tasty weeds and shoots, mushrooms, flowers, roots, tubers, and even pine pollen. Bring your taste buds and a sense of adventure! We will end the session by making a tea with our collections. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Instructor: Nikaline Iacano

Cost: $10

May 18

Young Birders Club (Ages 10-18)

Inviting all young and aspiring birders to join us for our first ever Gardens birding club! Youth ages 10 and up can join our resident birders every other week this spring to identify birds migrating through Maine as well as those spending the season nesting and raising their young here. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 8:00am-10:00am

Instructor: Andy Brand

Cost: $10

May 20

Budding Naturalist: Mosses & Lichens (Ages 10-14)

Though small, the impact of mosses and lichens on the forest ecosystem is big. From helping to filter water to making new soil and providing nutrients to nearby plants, there is more to these amazing organisms than meets the eye. During this session, participants will gain a better understanding of mosses and lichens, learning to identify common specimens in the Maine woods. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Instructor: Anna Hunt

Cost: $10

May 27

Budding Naturalist: Macroinvertebrates (Ages 10-14)

Calling all bug lovers! Let’s delve into macroinvertebrates and get our hands dirty, catching and identifying some of the smallest members of the animal kingdom. As we explore garden, forest, and fresh/saltwater habitats, we’ll discover that macroinvertebrates encompass a lot more than just insects; some can even be used as indicators of pollution. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 12:30pm-3:00pm

Instructor: Bridget VerVaet

Cost: $10

June 1

Young Birders Club (Ages 10-18)

Inviting all young and aspiring birders to join us for our first ever Gardens birding club! Youth ages 10 and up can join our resident birders every other week this spring to identify birds migrating through Maine as well as those spending the season nesting and raising their young here. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 8:00am-10:00am

Instructor: Andy Brand

Cost: $10

June 3

Budding Naturalist: Spring Wildflowers (Ages 10-14)

During this session, participants will expand their botany skills as they learn to identify spring wildflowers with Gardens’ Research Botanist, Melissa Cullina. Skills acquired during this session will help participants identify plants on their own in the future. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

Instructor: Melissa Cullina

Cost: $10

June 15

Young Birders Club (Ages 10-18)

Inviting all young and aspiring birders to join us for our first ever Gardens birding club! Youth ages 10 and up can join our resident birders every other week this spring to identify birds migrating through Maine as well as those spending the season nesting and raising their young here. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 8:00am-10:00am

Instructor: Andy Brand

Cost: $10

Jun - Jul 28 - 23

CMBG Summer Camp Club: Animal Kingdom (Ages 4-9)

CMBG’s Summer Camp Club is back! Starting any day the week of June 28, campers can pick-up their first week of “Animal Kingdom” camp activities exploring the relationships between the flora and fauna of Maine. A new week of activities will be made available each Monday for a total of four weeks. Activities will include secret stashes, scavenger hunts, games, experiments, art projects, recipes and more. Campers will be invited to attend small-group outdoor learning sessions with CMBG staff throughout the summer based on camp themes. Each camper will receive a special bag to keep filled with tools for investigation and discovery as well as a camp hat. Families who sign up a child for both sessions of Summer Camp Club (“Animal Kingdom” and “Minibeasts!”), will receive a 15% discount at checkout. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Cost: $80

June 29

Summer Naturalist: Forest Bathing (Ages 10-17)

"Forest bathing" is the act of using your senses to take in your surroundings while slowly moving through the woods. Enhance your happiness, creativity, and wellbeing during this easy walk that covers less than one mile in 1 hour.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-11:00am

Instructor: Tracey Hall

Cost: $10–12

July 6

Summer Naturalist: Medicinal Plants, Session 1 (Ages 10-17)

In this session, CMBG horticulturalist Lesley Paxson will show participants which plants in our gardens and surrounding woodlands can be used safely to treat headaches, colds, upset stomach, stress, anxiety, and so much more. Participants will learn some herbal folklore as well as how to make a flower essence.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-11:30am

Instructor: Lesley Paxson

Cost: $10–12

July 12

Nature Illustration Camp: Aquatic Life (Ages 7-11)

Young artists will study, explore, and compare the fresh and saltwater habitats at the Gardens. Participants will develop a strong foundation in observation, drawing, and painting skills using pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, and watercolor. By the end of the week, students will have a portfolio of drawings and paintings based on daily discoveries.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-3:30pm

Instructor: Hillary Parker

Cost: $235–295

July 15

Summer Naturalist: Marine Life (Ages 10-17)

During this two-part, shore-based marine science program, participants will investigate how geology, climate, and weather change over time and how these changes impact the organisms living in the Back River and the Damariscotta River. They will perform net tows and, using secchi discs, refractometers, and other scientific equipment, gain a better understanding of the marine life that makes its home in these rivers.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens / Boothbay Sea and Science Center

Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm

Instructor: Boothbay Sea and Science Center

Cost: $30–38

July 19

Nature Illustration Camp: Aquatic Life (SOLD OUT)

Monday-Friday, July 19-July 23 | Young artists will study, explore, and compare the fresh and saltwater habitats at the Gardens. Participants will develop a strong foundation in observation, drawing, and painting skills using pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, and watercolor. By the end of the week, students will have a portfolio of drawings and paintings based on daily discoveries. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-3:30pm

Instructor: Hillary Parker

Cost: $235–295

Jul - Aug 26 - 20

CMBG Summer Camp Club: Minibeasts! (Ages 4-9)

CMBG’s Summer Camp Club is back! Starting any day the week of July 26, campers can pick-up their first week of “Minibeasts!” camp activities exploring insects and other invertebrates. A new week of activities will be made available each Monday for a total of four weeks. Activities will include secret stashes, scavenger hunts, games, experiments, art projects, recipes and more. Campers will be invited to attend small-group outdoor learning sessions with CMBG staff throughout the summer based on camp themes. Each camper will receive a special bag to keep filled with tools for investigation and discovery as well as a camp hat. Families who sign up a child for both sessions of Summer Camp Club (“Animal Kingdom” and “Minibeasts!”), will receive a 15% discount at checkout. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:00am-5:00pm

Cost: $80

July 26

Nature Illustration Camp: 3D Nature Art (Ages 8-14)

Monday-Friday, July 26-30 | Young artists will work together to create art from nature, including botanical-, woodland-, and edible-plant mandalas, fairy houses, stone and stick sculptures, nature people, and leaf insects. Some of the work will be built in place and reclaimed by nature, and some will be created in our outdoor studio and taken home by students. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-3:30pm

Instructor: Hillary Parker

Cost: $235–295

July 29

Summer Naturalist: Dragonflies (Ages 10-17)

During this session, participants will get an up-close look at dragonflies and damselflies and learn how to tell the difference between them, as well as how to identify a few specific species within the groups. Participants will also learn about their life stages as they explore the ponds of CMBG in search of the larvae that transform into the adults we all know so well.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Instructor: Andy Brand

Cost: $10–12

August 5

Summer Naturalist: Bees (Ages 10-17)

Learn to see the world from a bee’s-eye view! During this session, Sarah Callan will teach participants how to identify common native bees. Participants will visit the Gardens’ two bee-themed exhibits and go behind the scenes at our apiary to learn about the differences between native and non-native bees.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-11:30am

Instructor: Sarah Callan

Cost: $10–12

August 12

Summer Naturalist: Medicinal Plants, Session 2 (Ages 10-17)

In this session, participants will explore new garden areas in search of medicinal plants with CMBG horticulturalist, Jen Dunlap. Participants will be introduced to a wide variety of medicinal plants that can be used safely to treat colds, wounds, stress, headaches, and so much more. Participants will also learn what part of the plant to harvest, how to harvest, and how to dry and prepare medicinal plants.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 9:30am-12:00pm

Instructor: Jen Dunlap

Cost: $20–25

August 19

Summer Naturalist: Caterpillar Lab Visit and Walk (Ages 10-17)

Spend time with naturalist Sam Jaffe on a special tour of The Caterpillar Lab exhibit. Hone caterpillar-identification skills and learn some of the different unique adaptations caterpillars take followed by a guided walk in the Gardens to look for caterpillars.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Time: 2:30pm-5:00pm

Instructor: Sam Jaffe

Cost: $10–12