Homeschool Days: Pollinators (Ages 5-12)

Friday, May 19, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., noon-1:30 p.m., & 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

We’ll introduce students to our different pollinators and their flower preferences, knowledge that will be reinforced through observations together in the Gardens. Students will also have the opportunity to dissect a flower to understand its parts, gaining a better understanding of the process of pollination and the critical role pollinators play in a plant’s life cycle. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. A discount will be given to families who register multiple children or for multiple programs.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Homeschool Days: Decomposers (Ages 5-12)

Monday, May 22, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. & noon-1:30 p.m.

Students will investigate life underground, discovering the important role decomposers play in helping our gardens grow. Students will learn to identify these living organisms, learn about the anatomy of a worm, and understand how decomposition works. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. A discount will be given to families who register multiple children or for multiple programs.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Homeschool Days: Sense of Wonder (Ages 5-13)

Tuesday, May 9, noon-1:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. & Monday, May 22, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Students will explore the web of life in our forest ecosystem through the lens of author, marine biologist, conservationist, and seasonal Maine resident, Rachel Carson. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. A discount will be given to families who register multiple children or for multiple programs.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Gardens of Memory: Poetry and Book Arts (Cancelled)

Tuesday & Wednesday, May 23 & 24, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Visiting Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers sensory stimulation and inspires personal reflection. In this two-day workshop, students will draw on CMBG gems like the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, the Alfond Children's Garden, and the Vayo Meditation Garden in order to explore the dynamic space of sight/insight. Both days will be devoted to creating new, expressive forms in poetry and book arts. Day one will begin with a paperback accordion book to be used as a journal, then we’ll venture into the Gardens. Students will write about both what’s in front of them and what that experience of seeing brings up in the memory. On day two, we’ll experiment with collage. After lunch, we’ll construct a single-sheet diorama book. As the day closes, students will have the opportunity to appreciate one another's work with a round-table exhibit and reading.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $225 / $245

Home Composting for All

Whether you live in an apartment building, on a suburban lot, or on a rural property, this class will address the opportunities everyone has for composting at home. Instead of adding to the food waste that makes up 1/3 of America's trash, you can learn how to effectively turn it into a treasure, whether the method is indoor vermiculture or outdoor bins or piles. Join Don Morrison, Master Gardener and compost aficionado, to learn about the different methods, containers, and materials that both accommodate your lifestyle and successfully compost food waste and garden debris. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $32 / $38

Homeschool Days: Maine Woods Walk (Ages 9-18)

Monday, June 5, noon-1:30 p.m. & 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Students will learn how to identify common Maine trees and distinguish a conifer tree from a deciduous one. Students will also gain an understanding of the ecology and cultural history of our native trees. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. A discount will be given to families who register multiple children or for multiple programs.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Member Insider: Bees and Honey Tasting (Sold Out)

This tour is perfect for those who want to experience the sweetness of nature. Join us and learn about native bees and their importance to our environment. After touring the Native Bee Exhibit, we’ll visit the Learning Apiary where you can observe our native bees' non-native cousins--honey bees--in action. Afterwards, we’ll taste a variety of honeys from around the world, from light to dark, sweet to savory.

Location: Lerner Visitor Center
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: Free

Introduction to Printmaking: Session I for Ages 8-12

Monday-Wednesday, July 10-12, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Does your child have an interest in learning printmaking? Join local artists Debra Arter and Kay Miller as they share their love of the art and various unique printing styles with young artists. Students will visit different parts of the Gardens each day, drawing inspiration and gathering natural materials to use for plant rubbings and botanical monotypes. Students will also experiment with gelli and collagraph plates to make cards, nature books, and framed work. All materials will be provided. Parents/Guardians are welcome to take this class alongside their young artist.

Debra Arter has earned a BA in art education and MFA in fine art. She has been teaching adults and children for over 30 years, both in Maine and internationally—but her favorite is printmaking. Her work will be featured in several curated shows this summer. When not teaching or traveling, she enjoys spending time in her own gardens in Damariscotta. She is a founding member of the Midcoast Printmakers.

Kay Miller's daily interactions with nature provide the starting point for her compositions. Using color and an array of natural materials she has picked and pressed, Kay is able to express how she feels about living on the coast of Maine. The process of monotype printing provides instant satisfaction, while offering a complexity in the layering and changing of form and color.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $160 / $200

Family Member Tour: Summer Tree Walk

Join us for a scavenger hunt through the woods as we learn how to identify some of Maine’s native trees. Participants will also learn how to distinguish a coniferous tree from a deciduous one. During our walk, we’ll collect leaves to make a leaf-rubbing banner to help us remember our native trees. This program is intended for children with an adult caregiver. Please register ONLY for the number of children in your group. This program meets at the Timber Frame behind the Education Center.

Location: Timber Frame
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: Free

Member Insider: Dragonfly Adventures

Join Andy Brand and Bridget VerVaet, our resident dragonfly experts, for an insider look at these fascinating insects. With Andy and Bridget's expertise, participants will learn a great deal about dragonfly behavior, habitat, and life cycle, not to mention the opportunity to observe dragonflies up close in their natural environment.

Location: Lerner Visitor Center
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: Free

Wildlife in the Backyard: Lazy Days of Summer

Ever wondered what wildlife is living in your backyard? In our seasonal series of field-study classes (register separately for each), participants will learn more about the creatures that live in or around their garden, looking for shelter, food, and water. Join us and see summer animalactivity first-hand, an experience that will provide deeper insight into and appreciation for their roles in the ecosystem, better informing us how humans and wildlife can live together more harmoniously. This month, we’ll primarily focus on the diverse world insects, especially pollinators and beneficials, then learn about the mammals that are feeding and starting their families during these lazy days of summer.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25 / $30

The Art of Pressed Flowers

Drying and pressing plants is not only a mindful, restful activity, it’s also one that produces beautiful compositions. From artfully matted notecards to printmaking, botanical research to herbarium use, pressing plants has so many applications. Join us for two sessions at the Gardens where we’ll begin by learning how to collect and press plants. Then, in session two, we’ll create a customized mounted project using the pressed plants, such as a set of notecards or a matted print.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $55 / $70

Garden Explorers Camp for Ages 4-7 (Sold Out)

Monday-Friday, August 14-18 | Budding gardeners will spend the week digging, planting, watering, and harvesting fruits and veggies in our Learning Garden. Campers will investigate the inner workings of the garden from the ground up and get the real “dirt” on plants, life cycles, composting, garden critters, and more! Join us for a week filled with games, explorations, snack making from the garden, and take-home garden projects. Plus, new for 2023, aftercare will be available for campers participating in this camp through our Extended Explorations.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $150 / $187

Discussing PFAS Contamination: A Community Forum

Soil and water quality are critical for human and wildlife welfare. In Maine, where we rely greatly on these two resources, it’s critical to protect them. With the recent scientific evidence that PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) have been found as a contaminant in Maine’s soils and waters, there is a growing concern and lots of unanswered questions. In this community forum hosted at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, and in partnership with Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and Boothbay Region Clean Drinking Water Initiative, representatives specializing in PFAS research, findings, policy, and problem-solving practices will share their knowledge. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions. We hope this event will provide a better understanding of what PFAS/PFOS are and what options we have available to protect our soils, water, and well-being.

A community forum with Meagan Hennessey, Gary Fish, Christoph Aeppli, Molly King, Thomas Simones, Jon Ziegra and Caleb Goossen.


A logo with a water droplet in the center, surrounded by the text "Clean Drinking Water Initiative, Boothbay Region."

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors

Homeschool Days: Life of a Butterfly (Ages 9-18)

We'll introduce students to native butterflies and moths in all stages of their life cycle as we visit our Native Butterfly House. Participants will learn about the unique adaptations of these insects, their role in the food web, and their key differences. We'll also discuss how to grow a garden to support these pollinators. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Homeschool Days: Life of a Butterfly (Ages 5-10)

A native Maine butterfly sits on a smiling child's cheek.Tuesday, September 19, 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Monday, September 25, 2-3:30 p.m.

We'll introduce students to native butterflies and moths in all stages of their life cycle as we visit our Native Butterfly House. Participants will learn about the unique adaptations of these insects, their role in the food web, and their key differences. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. Families who register for more than one Homeschool Days program or register more than one child for the same program receive a special discounted rate at checkout.

Erika Huber is the Youth and Family Program Manager at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She holds degrees in forestry and horticulture and has over fifteen years of experience working with children in environmental and gardening education.

Bridget VerVaet is the Youth Programs Educator and has worked at the Gardens since 2018; you can most often find her leading youth groups and families in nature-based education programs. She holds a degree in biology and enjoys sharing the wonders of the natural world with guests of all ages.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Wildlife in the Backyard: Winter Preparation

Ever wondered what wildlife is living in your backyard? In our seasonal series of field-study classes (register separately for each), participants will learn more about the creatures that live in or around their garden, looking for shelter, food, and water. Join us and see autumn animal activity first-hand, an experience that will provide deeper insight into and appreciation for their roles in the ecosystem, better informing us how humans and wildlife can live together more harmoniously. This month, we’ll discuss preparing your garden for winter while also supporting the wildlife that migrates or overwinters locally. We’ll primarily focus on the ways birds, mammals, and insects are starting to prepare for winter.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25 / $30

Homeschool Days: Apple Cider Pressing (Ages 4-12)

Students will learn about the botanical and cultural history of apples as they participate in making apple cider with an old-fashioned press. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Homeschool Days: Plant Adaptations (Ages 9-15)

Understand plant adaptions by learning about Earth’s biomes. Through in-depth classroom investigations and field explorations, students will be able to identify the physical traits that help plants survive in nature. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Homeschool Days: Maine Woods Walk (Ages 9-18)

Students will learn handy tricks for remembering the Maine woods' coniferous and deciduous trees during this session. Participants will also gain an understanding of the ecology of our native trees as well as the science behind fall foliage. Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Ecological Landscape Design

Friday, October 20, Friday-Saturday, October 27 & 28 | To design landscapes inspired by—and inclusive of—nature, study essential design principles through the lens of natural systems. In this three-day course led by landscape architect Lisa Cowan and landscape designer and horticulturist Irene Barber, students will learn to identify and incorporate the components of ecological landscape design. Online and onsite, examine the systems influencing design decisions, practice environmental site analysis, and design conceptual plot plans for a selected site.

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $155 / $180

Winter Light Design: Inside the Process

Thursday, November 9, 2-5 p.m.

Nights can be long in Maine—so why not introduce a little festive night light into your world? That’s exactly what we do every year during Gardens Aglow, an annual event that attracts visitors from all over the Northeast. Because we get many questions about our design and process, we're offering this lecture and walking tour. Join Brent McHale, Horticulturist & Gardens Aglow Program Manager, and Alison Webb, Horticulturist, and light-display specialist, to learn about creative and inspiring lighting design, color selection, and practical advice for your light display. We’ll discuss sustainable choices and practices, resourcing and repurposing materials for design concepts, set-up considerations, and more. After an introductory indoor presentation, we’ll go outside to see the light display and observe intricate details like the electrical components that make the display work successfully.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $30 / $38

Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments: Plants and Practices

Tailored to emerging or current professionals in the green industry, Plants and Practices guides students through the valuable process of landscaping with native plants and working in harmony with nature to achieve high-performance, resilient landscape systems. The four-part course features detailed instruction about native woody plants and native herbaceous plants for specific environmental applications; instruction and discussion about effective implementation and long-term management practices for various projects; and how to establish comprehensive, functional, and successful communication between clients and contractors. We will discuss biodiversity in plant communities, plant adaptation, successional design and growth, erosion control, installation of green infrastructure, building trust and establishing landscape programs that include long-term management and design, and much more. These interactive virtual sessions are designed to help native-plant-savvy students plan for the next level of design and management.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $275 / $325

Make a Winter Wreath: Session 1 (Sold Out)

Friday, December 1, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Creating a wreath from sustainably harvested, fresh, and aromatic evergreen materials, berries, decorative twigs, fuzzy flower buds, and more is the perfect addition to your winter decor. Wreaths come in all shapes and sizes and represent various holidays, celebrations, and themes, and this class will inspire you to think outside the box. During this in-person workshop at the Gardens, cocoa, tea, and sweet & savory snacks will fuel you as you develop your wreath-making skills. Please bring garden clippers or pruners (scissors are not recommended). All other materials are supplied.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $44 / $55

Make a Winter Wreath: Session 2 (Sold Out)

Saturday, December 2, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. 

Creating a wreath from sustainably harvested, fresh, and aromatic evergreen materials, berries, decorative twigs, fuzzy flower buds, and more is the perfect addition to your winter decor. Wreaths come in all shapes and sizes and represent various holidays, celebrations, and themes, and this class will inspire you to think outside the box. During this in-person workshop at the Gardens, cocoa, tea, and sweet & savory snacks will fuel you as you develop your wreath-making skills. Please bring garden clippers or pruners (scissors are not recommended). All other materials are supplied.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $44 / $55

Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments: Design & Structural Components

Resilient landscapes in built environments are connected to the larger, evolving environment. Incorporating low-maintenance design and high-performance results, resilient landscapes sustain and regenerate under stressful environmental conditions rather than falling victim to stressors. These are aesthetic powerhouse systems providing ecological services, giving the landscape professional the opportunity to evolve their business and adapt to the changing environment. In Section I, Design and Structural Components, we will identify and assess the design process and factors, including ecological principles, processes, and materials, in order to create systems that are resilient and regenerative. Four separate online sessions focus on: Ecological Design for Resilience, Applied Soils: Restore and Engineer, Systematic Solutions to Water Management, and Sustainable Materials. Class Level: Advanced

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $275 / $350

Plant Nurseries in New England: Experiences on How to Start & Succeed

If you've ever considered starting a plant nursery, this one's for you. Whether your goals are driven by a passion for plants, frustrations with supply, or a desire to meet local needs, our panel of three nursery growers and owners will share recommendations for success. Leveraging their different business models, we'll cover everything from sustainability, the changing business climate, lessons learned, and motivations and goals for owning a nursery.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $15 / $18

Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 1

Growing native plants from seed secures stronger genetic diversity and adaptability to our changing climate. This class covers the basic set-up and the correct steps and considerations to grow native woody plants from seed. Through a hands-on workshop, we will explain and demonstrate the ins and outs, including the processes of collection, seasonal timing, germination rates, materials, and the steps of caring for the plant collection to the point they're sold or planted in your clients' gardens or landscapes. Instructors will teach the content according to the plants' natural communities, from coastal maritime to freshwater wetlands and other communities throughout Maine and New England. Please note that the March 6 session will cover different plants from the February 15 session (Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 2). It is recommended that you take both classes. Class Level: Intermediate - Advanced

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $60 / $75

Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 2

Growing native plants from seed secures stronger genetic diversity and adaptability to our changing climate. This class covers the basic set-up and the correct steps and considerations to grow native woody plants from seed. Through a hands-on workshop, we will explain and demonstrate the ins and outs, including the processes of collection, seasonal timing, germination rates, materials, and the steps of caring for the plant collection to the point they're sold or planted in your clients' gardens or landscapes. Instructors Shawn Jalbert, owner of Native Haunts Nursery, and Nikki Lively Savage, from New England Wetland Plants, will teach the content according to the plants' natural communities, from coastal maritime to freshwater wetlands and other communities throughout Maine and New England. Please note that the March 6 session will cover different plants from the February 15 session (Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 1). It is recommended that you take both classes. Class Level: Intermediate-Advanced

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $60 / $75

Staff Top 20 Evergreen Plants

Evergreens offer our New England landscape contrast, depth, and year-round appeal. Staff horticulturists Kelsie Birney, Courtney Locke, and Alicia Miller introduce 20 of their favorite evergreen species. From groundcovers to trees, broadleaf to conifers, they'll highlight a variety of species that will fit small or large garden spaces.

Class Level: All Levels

Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $15 / $28

Orientation to the Certificate in Native Plants & Ecological Horticulture

For prospective and current students of the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture course. This session initiates a student's enrollment and provides a detailed overview of the comprehensive curriculum. We will explain the different tracks for completing the program, including specific information about core and elective courses, the instructors, and the schedule that can be adapted to students' budgets and availability. Experienced hobbyist gardeners or professional gardeners interested in building their proficiency in New England native plants and horticulture practices that support ecology are encouraged to attend the orientation session to learn more about the entire program.

Class Level: Intermediate

Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25

Homeschool Days: Meet a Horticulturalist (Ages 9-18)

Tuesday, May 7, 10-11:30 a.m.
Monday, June 3, 2-3:30 p.m.

Calling all green-thumbed youth looking to find out more about the field of horticulture! Participants will meet three Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens horticulturalists in their garden spaces. Through informal conversation, learn how and why they became horticulturalists, how they choose the plants for their garden spaces, what their favorite plants are, and some of the challenges they experience as a caretaker of plants.

Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. Families who register for multiple programs or register more than one child for the same program, receive a special discounted rate at checkout. Financial Aid is available. Please email Erika Huber at ehuber@mainegardens.org for an application.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Member Insider: Bird Exploration

Wednesday, May 8, 7-8:30 a.m.
& Wednesday, May 15, 7-8:30 a.m.

The early bird gets the worm! Join us at 7 a.m. before the Gardens open to explore our fascinating bird population at the peak of the spring migration season. Enhance your experience with binoculars. All skill levels are welcome.

Location: Lerner Visitor Center
Instructor: Multiple Instructors

Homeschool Days: Climate Stories Tour (Ages 10-18)

Monday, May 13, 10-11:30 a.m.
Thursday, May 30, 10-11:30 a.m.

Explore how climate change is impacting the places we live and how we can come together to make our communities stronger. Join us on a walk through Slater Forest Pond and down the Haney Hillside to the Shoreland Trail; we will share stories about the natural world and practice observing the plants and animals around us. With the understanding of our relationship with our environment and how climate change impacts us all, we'll discuss how we can use our interests and talents to make those relationships more resilient to change. Enjoy sharing your perspectives and practicing problem-solving in this unique, conversational format.

Registration for this program includes admission for one child and one adult. Families who register multiple children for one program or one child for multiple programs receive a special discounted rate at checkout. Financial Aid is available. Please email Erika Huber at ehuber@mainegardens.org for an application.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $10 / $12

Member Insider: Bird Exploration

with Andy Brand and Bridget VerVaet
Wednesday, May 15, 7-8:30 a.m.

The early bird gets the worm! Join us at 7 a.m. before the Gardens open to explore our fascinating bird population at the peak of the spring migration season. Enhance your experience with binoculars. All skill levels are welcome.

Location: Lerner Visitor Center
Instructor: Multiple Instructors