Welcome
The Garden classroom stays open year-round and hosts an array of programs led by experts who draw inspiration from our plant collections and the desert environment. Mobile users: Find the members login in the menu to the right.
Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, science, travel and wellness.
Gain skills and confidence to get the job done in all aspects of desert landscaping, plus earn a credential after you successfully complete all the certificate programs.
Families engage in hands-on, nature-based experiences in a fun and safe environment, and teachers can participate in professional development opportunities.
Science
If you are intrigued by your environment and the living things that comprise it, explore the Garden's interactive science programs. The Garden offers classes designed to illuminate topics from Arizona geology and history to celestial objects in the desert sky. Discover the remarkable characteristics and behavior of desert animals or enjoy the history of desert people. Many classes are hands-on lectures or with trips full of adventure and excitement.

Astronomy at the Garden
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | May 29 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Spend a celestial evening experiencing the night sky at the Garden, of the best locations in the city for stargazing. We will walk to an ideal location in the Garden to explore and learn about the Sonoran sky. Weather permitting, we will spend part of the evening observing Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Instructed by Mario Gonzalez. Limit 30.
Session Spring 2019: Wed, May 29, 2019 6:30PM - 8:30PM   WAIT LIST

Arizona Stories
Regular Price: $60.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Monday and Wednesday | June 3 and 5 | 6 - 8 p.m.
Note: Class consists of two sequential sessions.


Eduardo Pagán, the Bob Stump Endowed Professor of History at Arizona State University, shares recent studies on little-known, but significant, moments in Arizona history. Hear about Linda Gordon’s “The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction,” which tells the story of the clash between religions, cultures and races in Clifton, when Irish-Catholic orphans from New York City were placed with Mexican-Catholic families. Another is described in Karl Jacoby’s “Shadows at Dawn,” which looks at the tensions behind the massacre of Apache Indians at Camp Grant, near Tucson, by a militia of Mexican settlers, American settlers and their Tohono O’Odham allies. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Mon, Jun 3, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

If Rocks Could Talk
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | June 10 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Study the geology of the McDowell-Sonoran Preserve and broader Phoenix area. Learn how the local rock outcrops reveal an amazing story about the world in which they were formed, their subsequent history, and about the impact of regional geology on the formation of the Sonoran Desert. Instructed by geologist Mike Nolan. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Mon, Jun 10, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (9 AVAIL)

Arizona's Owls
Regular Price: $63.00
Member Price: $50.00
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Two sequential sessions:
Thursday | June 13 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Saturday | June 22 | 6 - 8 a.m. (field trip)


Mostly denizens of the night, owls have fascinated people for eons. We will discuss their adaptations for their nightly haunts and look closely at the five species of owls found in Arizona. Then take a field trip to Zanjero Park, a successful burrowing owl relocation site in Gilbert. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Summer: Thu, Jun 13, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   (1 AVAIL)

Poisons and Provisions
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | July 17 | 6 - 8 p.m.

For centuries, many plant species found in the Sonoran Desert have been used for food, as components in religious ceremonies and as poisons for benign and diabolic purposes. Covering plants from the highly nutritious mesquite bean to the hallucinogenic and often fatal sacred datura, this class will explore a collection of the local plants used for such purposes by both native and modern cultures. Instructed by Ken Sweat from ASU’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Wed, Jul 17, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Arizona Outlaws
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | July 21 | Noon - 2 p.m.

Tombstone had the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but 18-year-old Billy the Kid also killed his first man out by Willcox, and Sheriff Commodore Oliver Perry Owens killed three men while attempting a singlehanded arrest near the Bucket of Blood Saloon in Holbrook, Arizona. The territory was also home to future Senator Carl Hayden (the first Arizona lawman to pursue train robbers in an automobile), some crooked politicians and Pearl Hart, Arizona’s feminist stage robber. Historian Jim Turner’s thoroughly researched stories prove that when it came to Arizona’s outlaws truth was definitely stranger than fiction. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Sun, Jul 21, 2019 12:00PM - 2:00PM   OPEN

Packrats
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday | July 25 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Also known as woodrats, packrats are renowned for their hoarder-style method of home improvement. In truth, this is just one of the many adaptations these mammals use to survive in the Sonoran Desert. Dig deeper with Jeff Meyers of Arizona Game and Fish. Limit 30
Session Summer 2019: Thu, Jul 25, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Dragonflies and Damselflies
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday | July 27 | 8 - 10 a.m.

Learn about the brutal and brief lives of dragonflies, megafauna of the insect world whose exceptional flight and jewel-like colors have captivated humans for centuries. Join Pierre Deviche from ASU’s School of Life Sciences as he shares his enthusiasm and knowledge of the order Odonata. Learn about dragonfly anatomy, life cycle, behavior, diversity of Arizona species, and how, where and when to find them. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Sat, Jul 27, 2019 8:00AM - 10:00AM   OPEN

Gems and Minerals of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday | Aug. 10 | Noon - 2 p.m.

Rock out as you learn about Arizona’s tremendous wealth of gems and minerals, such as turquoise, peridot and malachite. Discuss the geological history that led to the formation of these gems and minerals and where they are located. Instructed by Ray Grant. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Sat, Aug 10, 2019 12:00PM - 2:00PM   OPEN

Bird Migration
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Aug. 12 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.

This interactive class explores the basics and some unusual aspects of bird migration. Why do birds migrate? How do they find their way? What kind of preparation do birds need before migrating? What are the hazards? Gain some birding vocabulary as you learn about some amazing feats of bird migration and how to spot migratory birds in Arizona. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 20.
Session Summer 2019: Mon, Aug 12, 2019 6:30PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Medicinal Plants of the Sonoran Desert
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Aug. 19 | 6 - 8 p.m.

The plants of the Sonoran Desert are not only beautiful and unique, but also have many practical applications. This class takes you on a journey through native Sonoran Desert plants and their medicinal uses. Ken Sweat from ASU’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences reviews some of the most commonly seen plants and discusses their ethnobotanical uses, current applications, which parts are used and more. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Mon, Aug 19, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Bats
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Aug. 21 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Though bats may seem scary, they are actually quite beneficial, eating a vast number of harmful insects. There are more than 28 species of bats in Arizona, where bat populations appear stable and even at times increasing. Join Jeff Meyers, from Arizona Game and Fish Department, and learn more about these fascinating flying friends and how we can protect them. Then we will head out to the Garden to see these flying creatures at dusk. Limit 30.
Session Summer 2019: Wed, Aug 21, 2019 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Birds of the Salt River
Regular Price: $68.00
Member Price: $55.00
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Two sequential sessions:
Thursday | Aug. 22 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.
Saturday | Aug. 24 | 6 - 8 a.m. (field trip)


In the summer, the natural riparian habitat of the Salt River is alive with local desert birds and several colorful neo-tropic migrants including orioles, flycatchers and warblers, many of which are still actively nesting in August. Learn what species populate this lovely area and see how many you can spot during the field trip. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Summer 2019: Thu, Aug 22, 2019 6:30PM - 8:00PM   (10 AVAIL)

CLASS CANCELLATIONS | Desert Botanical Garden reserves the right to cancel programs at its discretion. Programs will run as scheduled, regardless of weather, unless participants are contacted directly by Garden staff either by phone or email. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

REFUND POLICY | To receive a refund, you must send a written request at least 14 days before the scheduled date of your class or program. Please send your written request to registrar@dbg.org. For more information call 480.481.8146/480.481.8121.