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 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.

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   (10 AVAIL)

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   (7 AVAIL)

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   (8 AVAIL)

Pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Sept. 8 | 10 a.m. - Noon

This course traces the prehistoric empires of the Olmec, Mayan, Aztec, Toltec and other cultures examining their religions, lifestyles and folkways, drawing on a century of anthropological studies. The course features beautiful examples of pottery, jewelry, carvings, writings and sculptures, and well as fascinating illustrations of ancient cities and temples created by artist-explorer Frederick Catherwood in the 1830s. Instructed by Jim Turner. Limit 30
Session Fall 2019: Sun, Sep 8, 2019 10:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

Native Bees of the Sonoran Desert
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Sept. 18 | 6 - 8 p.m.

More than 1,000 species of bees call Arizona home. Learn about their traits, behaviors and habitats, which include our own backyards and the farms that grow our local foods. Leave with a few ideas about how you can support this vital species through planting beneficial species and doing a few citizen science experiments at home. Instructed by Madeleine Ostwald. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Sep 18, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Backyard Birding
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Saturday | Sept. 28 | 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Unlike most wildlife, birds freely enter and explore human habitats. Kathe Anderson guides you through creating a habitat that attracts a variety of birds and keeps them safe. In addition, learn to identify a number of common local backyard species you can hope to attract. Limit 20.
Session Fall 2019: Sat, Sep 28, 2019 10:00AM - 11:30AM   OPEN

Southeast Arizona Specialty Birds
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Tuesday | Oct. 1 | 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Southeast Arizona is considered one of the biggest hotspots in the country to find unusual birds. Find out why this area attracts such rare birds, where to go and what species you might see there. Get tips on planning a trip to this birding area and learn about the Arizona woodpecker, elegant trogon, sulfur-bellied flycatcher, violet-crowned hummingbird, two sparrows found only in Arizona and more. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 20.
Session Fall 2019: Tue, Oct 1, 2019 6:30PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Clean Energy for a Better World
Price: $34.00
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Thursday | Oct. 3 | 6 - 8 p.m.

New technology is constantly transforming the energy and transportation sectors, revolutionizing the ways we produce and consume electricity and move people and products. Dr. Paul Hirt explains the characteristics, causes and likely consequences of this exciting energy transition that is sweeping the world. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Oct 3, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Captivity of the Oatman Girls
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Sunday | Oct. 6 | 10 a.m. - Noon

In March 1856, Olive Oatman arrived at Fort Yuma wearing a borrowed dress and indigo blue triangles tattooed around her mouth and chin. She and her sister Mary Ann had been captured by Yavapai Indians in 1851 and lived with the Mohave Indians for the next five years. Missionary Oliver Stratton published a bestselling book about their work in 1857 and Olive became one of America’s first women celebrities when she went on a coast-to-coast lecture circuit for the next six years. Drawn from “The Blue Tattoo“ by Margot Mifflin, this class also uses military records, memoirs, newspaper articles, illustrations, historic photographs and maps. Instructed by Jim Turner. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Sun, Oct 6, 2019 10:00AM - 12:00PM   OPEN

Geology of the Phoenix Basin
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Oct. 21 | 6 - 8 p.m.

Learn about the geologic history of the Phoenix Basin: the comings-and-goings of ancient oceans; volcanoes both apocalyptic and calm; the stretching and thinning of the Earth’s crust; mountains created, destroyed, or subsumed into new mountains; and traces of relatively recent Ice Age megafauna. We will take an imaginary tour of the local Phoenix geology in a bull’s eye fashion, beginning inside the Phoenix Basin then to the mountains that rim the basin, and finally to the more distant, yet visible, mountains outside of the basin. Class includes a brief outdoor component. Instructed by Gavin McCullough. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Mon, Oct 21, 2019 6:00PM - 8:00PM   OPEN

Bird Journaling
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Wednesday | Oct. 23 | 9 - 11 a.m.

This interactive program introduces bird journaling through a series of short exercises. With a small class size, and lots of encouragement, you can confidently dabble with journaling techniques. Supplies will be available to borrow, or bring your own. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Wed, Oct 23, 2019 9:00AM - 11:00AM   OPEN

All Arizona Halloween Storytelling
Regular Price: $34.00
Member Price: $27.00
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Monday | Oct. 28 | 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Spend a ghoulish evening immersed in Halloween stories rooted in Arizona’s history, folklore and legends. Hear of ghosts, conquistadors, monsters, heroes, villains and tragic love stories derived from a variety of historical eras and the diverse regional cultures. You might not want to come alone. Instructed by Gary Every. Limit 30.
Session Fall 2019: Mon, Oct 28, 2019 6:00PM - 7:30PM   OPEN

Raptors
Regular Price: $94.00
Member Price: $75.00
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Thursday | Nov. 7 | 10 - 11:30 a.m. AND
Thursday | Nov. 14 | 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (field trip)

This class provides an overview how to identify raptors not only by size and shape but by behavior, habitat and season. You will learn the different categories of raptors, as well as species like osprey and northern harrier, plus turkey and black vultures. The accompanying field trip to the West Valley gives participants experience with identifying some of these species in the wild. Transportation to the field trip site is not provided. Students are encouraged to bring binoculars. Instructed by Kathe Anderson. Limit 12.
Session Fall 2019: Thu, Nov 7, 2019 10:00AM - 11:30AM   OPEN

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   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 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.