Programs: Fall 2015

Registration is required for all programs. All programs are free for Connecticut College students! For further information, please call 860-439-5020 or email

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Campus Landscape Tour: A Century of GrowthConnecticut College, New London Hall Historical Picture
Saturday, September 5, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Maggie Redfern, Arboretum Assistant Director
Meet at the blue sculpture near New London Hall.
Connecticut College was founded on a windy hilltop farm overlooking the city of New London. The first class of students arrived in the fall of 1915 and the campus consisted of just two residence halls and one academic building; it was nearly a treeless place, still without walks or roads. Tour the campus with an eye toward the century-long evolution of buildings, trees and views on the landscape.

Foraging for Native PlantsForaging for Native Plants
Saturday, September 12, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Walker Cammack, Class of ’16
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free members, $10 general public
Join Environmental Studies and Ethnobotany student Walker Cammack to learn about plants growing in our local woods and responsible harvesting methods. Early fall is a great time to harvest greens and herbs, roots and tubers, nuts and seeds, mushrooms and fruits.

Bolleswood Ravine Walk‌Bolleswood Ravine Walk
Tuesday, September 22, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Doug Thompson, Professor of Geology; Chair of the Physics, Astronomy, Geophysics Department
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free members, $10 general public
Doug Thompson will lead a walk through the ravine in the Arboretum’s Bolleswood Natural Area, one of the most picturesque locations on the College’s property. Beyond the Native Plant Collection, rocky ledges extend for nearly half a mile. This will be a rugged walk; participants should dress in long pants and wear appropriate shoes.

Decoding Botanical Names TourDecoding Botanical Names Tour
Saturday, September 26, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Mary Villa, Arboretum Curator
Meet at the blue sculpture near New London Hall.
Demystify the Latin sounding names and learn a basic plant vocabulary on this tour in the Native Plant Collection. Most people are introduced to plant names from friends, seed catalogs and plant labels using invariably common names. Common names may be applied to different plants locally, as well as around the world. Botanical names have the advantage of referring to one and only one plant and the use of these names makes communication about plants more precise.

Painting the Landscape
Wednesday, October 7, 4 -6 p.m.  (Please arrive a little early)
Julie Garvin Riggs, Florence Griswold Museum Art Educator
Meet at the Outdoor Theater, use Williams Street Entrance of the Native Plant Collection.
$15 members, $20 general public
Capture the beauty of the Arboretum with plein-air painting. This outdoor workshop begins with an introductory lesson about the tools and techniques of the American Impressionist painters. Students then paint a landscape using authentic artist’s materials (acrylic paints, palette, brushes, canvas board, smock) down by the Arboretum Pond or in Buck Lodge (inclement weather option). Each participant will leave with a completed landscape painting. For artists of all levels and students of all ages. All supplies included. 

Full Moon Walks‌laurel walk at night, full moon tour
Sunday, September 27, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 27, 7 to 8 p.m.
Maggie Redfern, Arboretum Assistant Director
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Experience the Arboretum in a new light, under the full moon. This night tour will explore the Native Plant Collection and Arboretum pond. Stargaze as you take in the sights and sounds. Bring your family, your favorite person to watch the moon with and a flashlight.

Fall Plant Swapfall plant swap
Friday, October 9, 2 to 5 p.m.
Meet at 33 Gallows Lane.
Bring plants from your garden (perennial divisions, seedlings or something you’re just ready to give away) to swap and containers to carry them home! You’re invited to exchange, donate or simply take home plants. We encourage you to bring native plants. Please label any plants you bring. If you’re a new gardener and don’t have plants to share, come meet other gardeners and go home with plants and gardening advice. Arboretum staff reserves the right to refuse donations of invasive or unhealthy plants.
Co-sponsored by UConn Master Gardener Program and the Mountain Laurel Chapter of Wild Ones

Invasive Plants Talk and WalkInvasive Plants
Saturday, October 10, 2 to 4 p.m.
Leigh Knuttel, Arboretum Horticulturalist
Meet at 33 Gallows Lane.
Invasive plants have replaced native species in many different habitats in Connecticut. When native plants are displaced, the diversity of native birds, insects, animals and plants may be decreased and ecosystem functions may be affected. Learn to identify the most common invasive plants in eastern Connecticut and techniques to eradicate or control them.

All About Autumn Color TourAutumn Color in the Arboretum - Native Plant Collection Entrance
Saturday, October 17, 10 to 11:30 a.m.
Glenn Dreyer, Arboretum Director
Meet at the blue sculpture near New London Hall.
New England is one of the best places in the world to enjoy the annual color show that happens before our deciduous forests drop their leaves for winter. Arboretum Director Glenn Dreyer will walk you across the campus and through the Native Plant Collection, reviewing the processes that lead to the brilliant reds, yellows, oranges and purples. He’ll also point out some of the best, most reliable species for adding fall color to your garden.

Drawing and Painting with Walnut InkDrawing and Painting with Walnut Ink
Wednesday, October 21, 6 to 9 p.m.
Kathy Rubado, Artist
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, room 112.
$20 members, $30 general public
A unique brown ink can be made from the husks of black walnuts. This workshop will start with an explanation of the ink making process and a painting demonstration. As she paints, Kathy will talk about tips for working with walnut ink including different tools and papers. Participants will then paint a still life to take home. For artists of all skill levels. All supplies included. If you have watercolor brushes, bring a variety: 1/4”- 1/2” - 1”.

Collecting Seeds for PropagationCollecting Seeds for Propagation
Saturday, October 24, 9 a.m. to noon
Maggie Redfern, Arboretum Assistant Director
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, room 112.
$15 members, $25 general public
There’s nothing more satisfying to a gardener than growing plants from seed. From wildflowers and perennials to trees and shrubs, success can be achieved if you understand what and when to collect to make it happen. Following a lecture and demonstration in the classroom, we will collect seeds from the Arboretum grounds. Bring hand pruners if you have them. You will leave class with numerous seeds to care for.

Mamacoke Mysteries RevealedMamacoke Island Tour: Mamacoke Mysteries Revealed
Saturday, October 24, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Beverly Chomiak, Senior Lecturer in Geology and Environmental Studies
Meet and park at the east end of Bentham Avenue (Waterford) just before the railroad tracks.
Free members, $10 general public
Through the study of geology, we come to understand how the earth came to be. On this two hour hike, Beverly will uncover Mamacoke Island’s long and complex history. Participants will climb the island, from sand flats to rock-strewn summit, and learn the origins of many of its remarkable features. This will be a rugged walk; participants should dress in long pants and wear appropriate shoes.

Learn to Homebrew WorkshopLearn to homebrew workshop
Saturday, November 7, 9 a.m. to noon
Beto Zuniga, Senior Computer Tech and Homebrewer
Private residence in New London; location will be given to registrants.
Free members, $10 general public
Learn to Homebrew Day was established by the American Homebrewers Association in 1999 to encourage homebrewers to introduce their non-brewer friends and family to the most rewarding hobby, obsession and lifestyle since the beginning of time. Join Beto at his home for a demonstration of his all-grain brewing system. Beer tasting and lunch provided. Registration required for address.

KILL YOUR LAWN: SALT* Seminar for Homeowners
*Smaller American Lawns Today
Saturday, November 14, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location: Connecticut College, Blaustein Humanities Center
Registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and two breaks.
Members $45 before Oct 23, $55 after; General Public $60 before Oct 23, $70 after
Co-Sponsored by: Connecticut Master Gardener Association and The Connecticut Mountain Laurel Chapter of Wild Ones
See full program description and speaker topics here.

Holiday Wreath Making Workshopwreath making workshop
Saturday, December 5, 9 a.m. to noon
Leigh Knuttel, Arboretum Horticulturalist and Mary Villa, Arboretum Curator
Meet at 33 Gallows Lane.
$30 members; $40 general public
This festive Arboretum event takes place every year during the holiday season. After a brief demonstration, participants will begin practicing the craft of wreath-making. Each participant will go home with an extraordinary wreath for holiday decorating. Bring hand pruners and any other embellishments you wish to incorporate. Everything else will be provided.