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Events & Classes

Classes, Field Trips & Workshops  |  Wayne Roderick Lectures  |  Special Events  |  Tours  |  Calendar

Our schedule of fun and informative classes, field trips, and workshops offers something for every native plant lover. Choose from our changing selection of classes on botany and natural history, field trips to wild California, and hands-on workshops on gardening, art, and photography.

To receive email notices of classes and other garden events, please join our email list.





CLASSES: JAN - JUNE 2015

To enroll, print out the Class Registration Form and send it with your check to:

Linda Blide, 3249 Monterey Blvd., Oakland, CA 94602-3561

For additional information call Linda Blide at 510-384-2873 or
email at bgardenreg@gmail.com

(Advance registration is required for all classes. Drops in are not permitted.)


  • Native Plant Habitats: A New Class Series
        Wednesdays, Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, Apr 15, May 13, 10 am–3 pm

  • Botanizing California: Oat Hill Mine Road Class is full
        Saturday, March 28, 10 am–4 pm

  • Botanizing California: Hite Cove in the Foothills near Yosemite
        Saturday, April 11, 10 am–3 pm

  • Native Botanicals: Color Studies in the Garden
        Saturday, April 25, 9:30 am–3:30 pm

  • Native Botanicals: Watercolors in the Garden
        Sunday, April 26, 9:30 am–3:30 pm

  • Botanizing California: Table Mountain and Feather Falls from Oroville in the Northern Sierra Foothills
        Friday-Saturday, May 1–2

  • Gardens All Abuzz: Partnering with Pollinators
        Saturday, May 9, 10 am–12 pm

  • On-the-Trail Nature Journaling
        Saturday, June 6, 10 am–4 pm




    Native Plant Habitats: A New Class Series
    This new course is a series of local Bay Area field trips to sample our diverse native plant habitats and plant communities, focusing on adaptations, composition, and features of each one. We’ll visit droughty chaparral, lush riparian forests, open oak woodlands, soaring redwood forests, wind-blown sand dunes and bluffs, and more. This is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the diversity that the Bay Area offers and to learn the plants. Hikes will be between four and six miles.

    Five Wednesdays in Jan-May, 10 am–3 pm
    Instructor: Glenn Keator
    Destinations: Mitchell Canyon on Mount Diablo (Jan 21), Montara Mountain (Feb 18), Annadel State Park (Mar 18), Samuel P. Taylor State Park (Apr 15), Mines Road south of Livermore (May 13). Directions will be provided upon registration
    Members: $50 per session or $200 for all 5 sessions / Nonmembers: $60 per session or $250 for all 5 sessions
    Please bring a lunch




    Botanizing California: Oat Hill Mine Road Class is full
    Oat Hill Mine Road is among the most beautiful hikes for spring wildflowers in the Bay Area, wending its way from the edge of Calistoga up to the Palisades region of old volcanic cliffs east of Mount St. Helena. Besides a variety of woodlands and forests, there are broad swaths of grassland, chaparral, and rock scree full of special plants. Not only is there great diversity, but also a number of special rare plants such as Mount St. Helena fawn-lily (Erythronium helenae), Purdy’s fritillary (Frtillaria purdyi), and bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva). The hike is a gentle uphill on a rugged, rocky road bed, so good foot gear is essential. We’ll hike three to five miles up the road, depending on participants’ energy, for superlative views.

    Saturday, March 28, 10 am–4 pm
    Instructor: Glenn Keator
    Location: Oat Hill Mine Road, head of Napa Valley—meet at the trailhead by Hwy 29 and Silverado Trail (directions will be provided upon registration)
    $50 members / $60 nonmembers
    Please bring a lunch




    Botanizing California: Hite Cove in the Foothills near Yosemite
    The Hite Cove Trail follows the middle fork of the Merced River just south of Yosemite National Park, and it is a renowned wildflower hotspot. Steep grassy slopes and open woodlands support a great variety of wildflowers, including many kinds of lupines, larkspurs, blazing stars, daisies, gilias, brodiaeas, and much more. We’ll hike between three and five miles, with moderate grades on a narrow trail that starts by an old trading post. We suggest an overnight stay at a motel in Mariposa on Friday night for an easy drive on Saturday morning. We will return to the Bay Area early Saturday evening.

    Saturday, April 11, 10 am–3 pm
    Instructor: Glenn Keator
    Location: Meet at the trailhead on Hwy 140 east of Mariposa (directions will be provided upon registration)
    $50 members/ $60 nonmembers
    Please bring a lunch




    Native Botanicals: Color Studies in the Garden
    In this hands-on class, we’ll carefully observe native spring flora for an in-depth study of pure color. The instructor will cover painting wet into wet, glazing, and using gouache to build layers of accurate color. Exercises will demystify color theory and build a reference source for color mixing and painting strategies applicable to watercolor, gouache, ink, acrylic, and oil. We’ll discuss color theory, paint properties, and other art materials. You’ll head home with a series of powerful color studies for future reference and inspiration. No previous art experience is required.

    Saturday, April 25, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Instructor: Andie Thrams
    Location: Visitor Center (back deck)
    $95 members / $105 nonmembers
    Please bring a lunch


    Class materials (to be provided by student):
    Sketchbook with good quality watercolor paper or individual watercolor sheets with a board and clips to hold them fast (suggested size: 8X10, 10X11, 10X12 inches, or any size you like)
    1 piece manila file folder paper, trimmed to same size as your sketchbook pages or watercolor sheets
    Pencil & sharpener
    Kneaded eraser
    Fine or extra fine black felt tip pen (Pigma micron in size .01 is good)
    No. 4 and no. 8 or 10 round watercolor brushes
    Script, rigger or liner brush
    Container for paint water (such as a yogurt container or jar)
    Rags or paper towels
    Water bottle for drinking and for paint water
    Watercolors: field set of paints with mixing palette or tube watercolors in these as many of these suggested colors as possible: quinacridone rose, cadmium red, ultramarine blue, phthalo blue, lemon yellow or hansa yellow pale, cadmium yellow deep, sap green, oxide of chromium green, burnt sienna, and quinacridone gold. If it is hard to find or afford all these colors, just do your best. I will have extra paint to share.
    Small tube of white gouache (Winsor & Newton permanent white is suggested)
    Folding mixing palette with ample mixing space
    Prismacolor “cream” pencil
    Rucksack for comfortably carrying your supplies
    Warm hat and sun hat or visor, clothing layers for warm or cool weather, sunglasses, sunscreen, rain gear, etc. Please note that it is very important to be prepared for all weather conditions, as we will be outdoors all day
    Sitting pad, fold-up stool or Crazy Creek chair, for sitting comfortably on the ground (and that can be carried with ease)



    Native Botanicals: Watercolors in the Garden
    Inspired by individual plants in bloom, we will paint a sequence of meditative watercolor studies to conjure up the magic of spring in our painting. We’ll build on Saturday’s color studies, using watercolor and gouache to create shimmering surfaces and evoke the luminosity, complexity, and botanical details we see in the Botanic Garden. You’ll complete a series of studies that evoke native spring flora and inspire future painting in the field. Saturday’s color studies class or previous color mixing experience is suggested.

    Sunday April 26, 9:30 am–3:30 pm
    Instructor: Andie Thrams
    Location: Visitor Center (back deck)
    $95 members / $105 nonmembers
    Please bring a lunch


    Class materials (to be provided by student):
    Same as for Native Botanicals: Color Studies in the Garden, above



    Botanizing California: Table Mountain and Feather Falls from Oroville in the Northern Sierra Foothills
    This is one of the all-time favorite botanical hotspots, a place to return to many times for its displays of vernal pool wildflowers, bulbs, and, a plethora of beautiful shrubs on the Feather Falls Trail, which culminates in an overview of the sixth-highest waterfall in the U.S. Highlights include snowdrop bush, western spicebush, California pipevine, wild ginger, several lupines, many brodiaeas, mariposa tulips, azalea-flowered monkeyflower, and much, much more. On Friday, we’ll take a moderate, all-day hike of 9+ miles to Feather Falls, carpooling from our meeting place and returning around 5 pm for an overnight in Oroville. On Saturday morning, we’ll meet at the same starting place at 8:30 am and spend half of the day on Table Mountain, with a short hike at the top. We’ll return to the Bay Area in the early afternoon. We suggest an overnight stay in Oroville on the night before the class.

    Friday-Saturday, May 1–2
    Instructor: Glenn Keator
    Location: Meet both days at 8:30 am at the Montgomery Street exit off Hwy 70 in Oroville, and be ready to carpool
    $100 members / $115 nonmembers




    Gardens All Abuzz: Partnering with Pollinators
    Learn the basics of how to create a habitat garden for pollinators: hummingbirds, butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. The focus is California natives and other drought-tolerant Mediterranean plants for seasonal food and nectar. Following an indoor presentation, we’ll take a walk in the garden to look at a variety of top habitat plants for pollinators, what they attract, and how to grow them.

    Saturday May 9, 10 am–12 pm
    Instructor: Nancy Bauer
    Location: Visitor Center and Garden
    $35 members / $40 nonmembers




    On-the-Trail Nature Journaling
    This watercolor nature journaling workshop is a safe space where beginners and experienced nature journalers alike will gain the skills to create pages that recall the experience of a day in nature. You’ll learn how to mix colors using a very select palette, and explore drawing and painting techniques that quickly capture the subject. We’ll continue by talking about how to call in and record our impressions of the environment, including time of day, weather, creature visitors, questions, prose, and poetry. Finally, you’ll get tips on how to arrange these elements on the page of your nature journal to create a lasting memory. A compact kit keeps your nature journaling practice alive and well, and the workshop fee includes the $55 kit, with watercolors, a waterbrush, special pencils, a gel pen, and a 5.5 x 8 inches hardbound landscape journal.

    Saturday, June 6, 10 am–4 pm
    Instructor: Kristin Meuser
    Location: Visitor Center and Garden
    $145 members / $155 nonmembers ($90 / $100 plus $55 kit)
    Please bring lunch




    INSTRUCTORS

    Nancy Bauer is a wildlife habitat gardener and author of The California Wildlife Habitat Garden (UC Press, 2012), which won two book awards. She has been teaching and writing about wildlife habitat gardens for over 10 years.

    Glenn Keator is a popular freelance instructor of botany in the Bay Area. He currently teaches, leads field trips, and provides docent instruction in botany for the Regional Parks Botanic Garden. He is the author of a number of books on native plants.

    Kristin Meuser has been painting the land in various mediums for over 35 years. Her career as a graphic designer gives her journal pages a sense of variety and structure, taking the emphasis off each element, thus giving the whole a delightful and cohesive presence. She has been teaching watercolor nature journaling for the past five years at art and retreat centers in Northern California. Her work has been shown regionally, is found in private collections, and has been represented by the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite.

    Andie Thrams is a California-based visual artist working in painting and the book arts. Her lifelong devotion to creative work in wilderness locations has evolved into artist’s books and paintings that are widely exhibited, collected, and honored. She earned a BA in art practice from the University of California at Berkeley and teaches throughout the west.



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