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.

To redeem a LEARN Gift Certificate with a promo code, click here.
Get inspired and learn new skills through one of our programs in art, gardening, photography, history, 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.
History and 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.

Mexican Gray Wolves and Coyotes
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday | Nov. 19 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Coyotes and wolves are intelligent social canines that live in family groups and play important roles in Arizona’s ecology. Jeff Meyers, from the Arizona Game and Fish Department, discusses the various distinguishing features, habitats, ecological niche and life history of these amazing canines. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Tue, Nov 19, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   CLOSED

Wild West Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Dec. 1 | Noon - 2 p.m.

Arizona’s Wild West era parallels the rest of the American West, featuring fur trappers to mineral prospectors to the farthest west Civil War battle at Picacho Peak. Take a journey looking back at the wild story of Arizona with instructor Jim Turner. Hear the tales of U.S Army forts, Native American conflicts with pioneer communities, and the Rough Riders of the Spanish-American War. This broad-brush approach will look at causes and effects from the macro to the micro views, with plenty of quotes, anecdotes, and gee-whiz facts. Limit 30. 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sun, Dec 1, 2019 12:00PM - 2:00PM   OPEN

Magma's Last Gasp
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Dec. 4 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Learn the story of the molten rock that hardened deep underground into the granite rocks and mountains that blanket our area. Find out about a variety of special rocks with a complex but fascinating tale to tell. Instructed by Dan Gruber of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and Central Arizona Conservation Alliance. Limit 30. 
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Wed, Dec 4, 2019 6:00PM - 7:30PM   OPEN

Ecology of the Boojum Tree
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday | Dec. 12 | 6 – 8 p.m.

Rising above the desert scrub, the boojum tree is a true desert survivor and perhaps the oddest of our desert-adapted plants. While boojum trees are common in some parts of this desert, most people have never seen one, and even research on the plant is thin. Learn what is known, and what is suspected, about the ecology and relationships of this unique tree. Instructed by Ken Sweat from ASU's School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Dec 12, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Birding 101
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Saturday | Jan. 4 | 8 - 11 a.m.

Fly through a quick review of bird anatomy and terminology, get briefed on binocular use and then train your eagle eyes on the skies. The instructor also covers field guides, apps, websites, guided field trips and books about birding locations. The field experience will help participants find birds, as well as develop a vocabulary of field marks for identification. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sat, Jan 4, 2020 8:00AM - 11:00AM   (7 AVAIL)

Endangered Species of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday | Jan. 7  | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

This program will highlight the unique and endangered animals that call Arizona home, including charismatic fauna such as the Mexican wolf and California condor. The class will also discuss the reasons biodiversity is threatened today and highlight conservation efforts here and throughout the Southwest. Instructed by Dr. Ken Sweat from ASU’s School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Tue, Jan 7, 2020 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Desert Wildlife and Safety
Regular Price: $27.00
Member Price: $20.00
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Monday | Jan. 13 | 6 – 7 p.m. OR
Tuesday | Feb. 4 | 10 – 11 a.m. 

Hear from the Arizona Herpetological Society about how to be safe with native Arizona desert animals and to respect them in our environment. The demonstration will feature many critters including a Sonoran Desert tortoise, California king snake, Gopher snake, Western Diamondback rattlesnake, and a Gila monster. By showing people these animals in a safe setting, it helps to eliminate fear of these animals and to be more compassionate towards them. The class will also get to pet and interact up close with the three nonvenomous reptiles. Limit 30. 

 

Arizona's Reptiles
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday | Jan. 16 | 6 – 8 p.m.

Dinosaur descendants are regular inhabitants of desert backyards, but most of us know little about even the most common lizard species. Which one rids us of unwanted insects? Which ones are venomous? Learn the basics about Arizona’s reptiles from Jeff Meyers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Limit 30. 
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Jan 16, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

History of Gardening in the United States
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday | Jan. 21 | 6 – 8 p.m.

Investigate the history of the American garden and its transformation from ancient times to the present. How and where did our love of gardening and growing plants all begin? What ancient techniques do we still use today? Where are the oldest gardens in the USA? Join Carol Stuttard in this fascinating journey from 10,000 BC to 2020 AD. Instructed by Carol Stuttard. Limit 30.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Tue, Jan 21, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Shelter Dogs: A New Life
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Jan. 22 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Learn more about how your dog is really feeling. Dr. Lisa Gunter will discuss new research from the Canine Science Collaboratory that explores the canine experience in animal shelters. Learn what we can do to reduce stress for these dogs in their forever homes. Limit 30.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Wed, Jan 22, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Scorpions of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday | Jan. 23 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Take a black light into your backyard at night and you might discover a few scorpion neighbors. While some are poisonous, most of these crawly critters prefer to keep to themselves, and some even rid us of other insect pests. Learn more about this misunderstood insect from Jeff Meyers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Limit 30.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Jan 23, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Global Warming: A Look at Scientific Evidence
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Jan. 27 | 2 – 4 p.m.

The topic of climate change is a fascinating one, both in terms of its history and its implications for the future. Did you know the theory of global warming was invented back in the 1800s by a Swede who’d recently been dumped by his girlfriend? Have you heard the notion of global warming rejected on the grounds that in the 1970s, a few scientists predicted we were headed for a new ice age? This lecture will take you on a roller coaster tour through the global warming science, obfuscations, politics, and likely outcomes. Bring an open mind, a skeptic’s eye, and a genuine interest in what’s going on in the world: you’ve never heard a global warming talk done like this before. Instructed by Kirstin Hendrickson, Director of the ASU Initiative for Science Literacy. Limit 30.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Jan 27, 2020 2:00PM - 4:00PM   OPEN

A Geological Narrative of Arizona
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday | Jan. 28 | 6 - 8 p.m.

The complex landscapes of Arizona are geologically quite young, but they reveal rocks and fossils that record a history of almost two billion years. Explore the geology of Arizona and the origins of the Grand Canyon, the red rocks of Sedona, Mogollon Rim and the low deserts. Instructed by Dr. Steven Semken of Arizona State University's School of Earth and Space Exploration. Limit 30
Session Winter 2019-2020: Tue, Jan 28, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Woodpeckers and Wrens
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Thursday | Jan. 30 | 8 - 11 a.m.

We often take woodpeckers and wrens for granted, but they are really remarkable birds. The program will introduce both families of birds (think about why they are showcased together), and offer some uncommon facts about five common AZ species of woodpeckers and wrens. This program is interactive, with the hope that participants will share their own woodpecker and wren stories. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Jan 30, 2020 8:00AM - 11:00AM   (6 AVAIL)

Discover Local Fauna: McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday | Feb. 6 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Discover what mammal life is known to live in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and the looming urban stressors that could compromise their existence. Ralph Lipfert, Master Steward of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, will introduce you to diverse species from ground squirrels to mountain lions and the concept of regional connectivity. Learn about the recent deer collaring project by Arizona Game and Fish Department and ongoing camera trap work by the Conservancy. Limit 30. 
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Feb 6, 2020 6:00PM - 7:30PM   OPEN

The Mighty Colorado River
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Feb. 9 | 10 a.m. – Noon

Travel down one of the world’s great rivers from the first trickle to the final delta through this fascinating presentation. Trace the Colorado and Green rivers through millions of years of geology and numerous natural habitats. We’ll look at the rich past from dinosaurs and prehistoric cultures to fur trappers, prospectors, and river runners in this epic exploration of the Mississippi to the West. Instructed by Jim Turner. Limit 30.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sun, Feb 9, 2020 10:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

Esteban: Original Explorer of the Southwest
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Feb. 16 | 2 – 3:30 p.m.

February is African-American history month and not many people realize that the first Post-Colombian explorer to reach what is now Arizona was a Black Muslim man named Esteban. A member of the ill-fated Narvaez expedition to conquer Florida, Esteban arrived as a slave. Shipwrecked in east Texas, Esteban experienced Native American slavery and became the slave of a slave. Led by Cabeza De Vaca, four of the conquistadors escaped their servitude and fled westward. Along the way, as they travelled through plague-filled lands, the four surviving explorers became the leaders of a spontaneous religious cult. Once back in Mexico City, Esteban was given a choice offered to few in history – whether to remain in the colonial capitol as a celebrity slave or return to Spain’s barbarous northern frontier as a rogue deity.  Esteban chose to return. Instructed by Gary Every. Limit 30. 
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sun, Feb 16, 2020 2:00PM - 3:30PM   OPEN

Arizona: A Natural History
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Feb. 17 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The environment of the Sonoran Desert engenders many extraordinary adaptations in the living beings that inhabit it. Dr. Ken Sweat introduces students to the geology, flora, fauna and human history of Arizona. Using biology, ecology, geology and archaeology, this class explores adaptations of desert animals, plants and other desert-dwelling life forms. Limit 30.
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Mon, Feb 17, 2020 6:30PM - 8:30PM   OPEN

Hummingbirds
Regular Price: $50.00
Member Price: $40.00
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Thursday | Feb. 27 | 8 - 11 a.m.

Learn about more than a dozen species of hummingbirds found in Arizona, where to find them and the anatomy of a hummingbird feather. We will spend time in the Garden looking for hummingbirds and unusual migrants. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Feb 27, 2020 8:00AM - 11:00AM   (5 AVAIL)

Phoenix Peregrine Falcons
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Thursday | Feb. 27 | 6 – 8 p.m.

Peregrines make cheetahs look slow. They are not only the fastest vertebrate on the planet; they are incredible predators in their own right. Listed as an endangered species just a few decades ago, peregrines have made an incredible recovery and were removed from the endangered species list. Learn about these amazing falcons and why Arizona was one of the first states to support robust populations. Instructed by Jeff Meyers of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Limit 30. 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Thu, Feb 27, 2020 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Writers of the Purple Sage
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Mar. 1 | Noon – 2 p.m.

The Western fiction genre is unique to America and cherished worldwide. We’ll examine the popular authors, James Fenimore Cooper, Zane Grey, Max Brand, Louie L ’Amour and Larry McMurtry. Follow the evolution of the genre, as well as how contemporary events influenced changes in reader’s viewpoints with unusual tidbits, anecdotes, and quotes from the authors about their work. Instructed by Jim Turner. Limit 30.    
 
Session Winter 2019-2020: Sun, Mar 1, 2020 12:00PM - 2:00PM   OPEN

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. We reserve the right to substitute any instructors.
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.
AGE REQUIREMENTS | Children under 10 may not attend. Ages 10-14 may attend education programs with an adult and both must pay fees. Those 15 and older may attend without an adu