Programs and Activities

For further information or to register for any of the following programs, please call 860-439-5020 or email


Tap into Maple Syrup ProductionTap into Maple Syrup Production
Saturday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m.-noon
Jim Luce, Supervisor of Grounds
Meet in Olin Science Center Lounge.
Free members, $10 general public

Enjoy time outdoors on Valentine’s Day making one of nature’s sweet treats. Maple syrup starts to run in late winter when temperatures climb above freezing during the day and drop back below freezing at night. Participants will learn how to identify the different species of maple trees, install a spile and safely produce maple syrup.



The Art and Science of Pruning
Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.-noon
Jim Luce, Supervisor of Grounds
Meet in New London Hall, Classroom 101.
$10 members, $15 general public

Trees and shrubs thrive with judicious pruning. This workshop will cover what, when, how and why to prune. Topics covered will include training young trees and shrubs to avoid future problems, renovating overgrown shrubs and pruning hedges. After a brief lecture inside, participants will go outside to view pruning demonstrations on campus plantings.


Botanical Illustration of grapes by Sarah Saltus SiddigBotanical Illustration
4 Thursdays, April 2 – 23, 6-8 p.m.
Sarah Saltus Siddig
Meet in Olin Science Center, Geophysics Lab, Room 113.
$100 members, $125 general public

Are you a plant person, an art person or both? Botanical illustration combines fine art technique and scientific observation to capture the beauty of the natural world. Using techniques of observation, instructor Sarah Saltus Siddig will explore the concepts of light source, value, and shading to create form. Learn to create the illusion of depth and space to your work. Techniques in drawing, water color and colored pencil will be explored during this four week course. A list of basic supplies will be sent to students before the first session.


Growing Plants from Seed
Saturday, April 11, 9 a.m.-noon
Maggie Redfern, Assistant Director and Leigh Knuttel, Horticulturalist
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 annuals and perennials to trees and shrubs, success can be achieved if you understand what triggers germination. This workshop is for beginners and those who have been frustrated in past attempts to transform seed to seedling. Students will leave class with a selection of potted seeds.


Orchids in the Arboretum's greenhouseOrchids for Beginners
Wednesday, April 15, 7-9 p.m.
Lydia Pan, Arboretum Volunteer and Leigh Knuttel, Horticulturalist
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$5 members, $10 general public

Growing orchids in your home can be easy and rewarding with their long-lasting flowers. Participants will learn about their light and water requirements, tour the Connecticut College Greenhouse orchids, and take part in a repotting demo. Registrants are invited to bring in their own plants to learn how to repot or diagnose plant problems.


Mamacoke Mysteries Revealed
Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m.-noon
Beverly Chomiak, Lecturer in Geology and Environmental Studies
Meet and park at the east end of Bentham Avenue (Waterford) just before the railroad tracks.
$5 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. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants appropriate for hiking. This walk covers rugged terrain.


trilliumAnnual Wildflower Walk
Friday, May 1, noon-1 p.m.
Glenn Dreyer, Arboretum Director
Meet in the Outdoor Theater of the Native Plant Collection on Williams Street.

On a slope just south of the Laurel Walk lies the Edgerton and Stengel Wildflower Garden, containing over 75 species of wildflowers. Some of the flowers you can expect to see include: Jack-in-the-pulpit, Virginia Blue Bells, Wild Geranium, Solomon’s Seal and Wild Columbine. Bring a picnic lunch to eat by the pond, and then enjoy a 45-minute walk in the woodland garden.


Secret Garden Tour
Saturday, June 6, 2-3:30 p.m.
Mary Villa, Curator
Meet at the blue sculpture near New London Hall.
Free members, $10 general public

Take a tour of several gardens on the Connecticut College campus to gain inspiration for your own garden. From the perspective of a landscape designer, learn how to evaluate the landscape with examples of what works and what doesn’t. Topics covered will include combining plants for beauty and four seasons of interest, enhancing wildlife habitat, drought tolerance and low maintenance.


Annual Members and Friends Night
Friday, June 12, 7-9 p.m.
Meet in Olin Science Center.

Oak and Us

Professional arborist and award-winning nature writer William Bryant Logan deftly relates the delightful history of the reciprocal relationship between humans and oak trees since time immemorial—a profound link that has almost been forgotten. From the ink of Bach’s cantatas, to the first boat to reach the New World, to the wagon, the barrel, and the sword, oak trees have been a constant presence throughout our history. In fact, civilization prospered where oaks grew, and for centuries these supremely adaptable, generous trees have supported humankind in nearly every facet of life. 

Bill Logan is a certified arborist and president of Urban Arborists, Inc., a Brooklyn-based tree company. Logan was recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture as a True Professional of Arboriculture in 2012 and has won numerous Quill and Trowel Awards from the Garden Writers of America. He is on faculty at the New York Botanical Garden and is the author of Oak and Dirt, the latter of which was made into an award-winning documentary. 

Also on the evening’s schedule:

  • Highlights of the Arboretum year
  • Capturing the Beauty of Nature2015 Photo Contest Exhibition and Awards Presentation
  • Recognition of Volunteers
  • Reception in Olin Lounge


Bolles Farm site chimney foundationAn Archaeology Walking Tour of 18th Century Farmsteads and Social Landscape in New London
Saturday, June 13, 2-3:30 p.m.
Anthony Graesch, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology
Meet at 33 Gallows Lane.
Free members, $10 general public

North of Gallows Lane, the landscape is laced with stonewalls which is one visible legacy of the land’s history. Samuel Bolles started his homestead here in 1763, and it was occupied through 1944 when the house burned to the ground. A large foundation and unusual chimney base, barn foundation and other outbuilding remnants now mark the site. Participants will visit several archaeological sites featuring the remains of residential architecture that are the focus of ongoing research projects and learn about eighteenth century colonial uses of the landscape, social dynamics, class and slavery.


Senior Lecturer Beverly Chomiak GIS class

Finding Your Way with Map and Compass
Saturday, Aug. 22, 9 a.m.-noon
Beverly Chomiak, Lecturer in Geology and Environmental Studies
Meet at 33 Gallows Lane.
Free, Registration Required

Participants will explore the Goodwin Natural Area of the Arboretum, north of Gallows Lane. After learning a few basics of navigation, explorers will set out in groups on self-designated hikes to visit 8 points of interest. A prize will be awarded to the first group that makes it back with treasures scavenged from the locations. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants appropriate for hiking. Ages 8 through adult; children under 16 must be accompanied by adult.



Contact Information:
Connecticut College
Box 5201
270 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320