Registration is required for all programs (except where noted). Please call 860-439-5020 or email

Once you have confirmed your registration with the Arboretum office by email or phone, you can use our secure online payment for program registration fees. Be sure to include the program name in the "Item(s) Purchased" field.

Most programs are free for current Connecticut College students (advance registration is required).

PROGRAM IS FULL **Shades of Green in Winter
Sunday, February 2, 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Leigh Knuttel, Arboretum Horticulturalist
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, registration required
Are you looking to add year round interest to your garden? Explore the Arboretum’s native conifer collection on a winter walk and discover the many shades of green in the winter landscape. Conifers display a great diversity in foliage, size, shape and color. Learn about important clues for identification and ecological adaptations of “cone bearing” trees and shrubs.

PROGRAM IS FULL ** Low Tide Walk to Mamacoke Island
Sunday, February 9, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Beverly Chomiak, Senior Lecturer in Geology and Environmental Studies
Meet and park at the east end of Benham Avenue (Waterford) just before the railroad tracks.
$10 (free members), registration required
Join us for a walk to Mamacoke Island during the spring tide. Spring tides occur during the periods of the new and full moon (not necessarily the spring season). We are planning to take advantage of the lowest predicted tide of the year to investigate features that are normally submerged below water.

Great Backyard Bird Count
Wednesday, February 12 (Info Session), 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, 90 Halls Road, Old Lyme
Sunday, February 16 (Field Session), 9 to 11 a.m.
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, registration required
Since 1998, people all over the world have participated in the first citizen science project to collect wild bird data, the Great Backyard Bird Count! Join us at the RTP Estuary Center for an informational session about the history and background of the count, as well as how to conduct your own Great Backyard Bird Count! On Sunday, February 16 come practice your skills in the field at the Arboretum, a designated important bird area. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a novice, this is a great opportunity to learn how to identify and count birds in the wild, and be a part of a worldwide citizen project.

PROGRAM IS FULL **  Tap into Maple Syrup Production
Saturday, February 22, 10 a.m. to noon
Jim Luce, Retired Supervisor of Grounds
Meet in Olin Science Center Lounge.
$10 (free members), registration required
Enjoy time outdoors 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 different species of maple trees, install a spile and safely produce syrup.

Emerald Ash Borer in New London
Monday, February 24, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Claire Rutledge, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Meet at the Public Library of New London, 63 Huntington Street in the Community Room.
Free, no registration required
Do you know about Emerald Ash Borer? The beetle is native to Asia and has become a serious pest in North America since the early 2000s. It was discovered in New London in 2019 and is likely to decimate the city's ash trees, if left unchecked. Claire Rutledge will talk about how to identify ash trees, signs of the beetles, treatment approaches and replacement strategies.

For detailed information, visit:

Heirloom Apple Grafting Workshop
Thursday, February 27, 6 to 9 p.m.
Adam Wheeler, Broken Arrow Nursery
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$45/person ($35 members + Friends of Harkness)
This hands-on workshop will explore the world of grafting heirloom apples. Participants will be given a presentation that describes the methods and intricacies of this time-tested craft. Following the lecture, participants will put this newfound knowledge to work by grafting a few specimen apples of their own to take home.

Introduction to Vegetable Gardening
Wednesday, March 4, 6 to 8 p.m.
Eric Vukicevich, Visiting Professor of Sustainable Agriculture
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$15 ($10 members), registration required
Are you interested in starting a vegetable garden this spring? Learn the basics in this informative seminar including how to pick the right site for your garden, select which vegetables to grow, care for your soil and avoid losing your crop to pests. Participants will also be introduced to planning a full growing season and valuable resources to continue learning as you go.

Winter Tree Identification Workshop
Saturday, March 7, 10 a.m. to noon
Mary Villa, Arboretum Curator
Meet in New London Hall, Classroom 101.
Free, registration required
It is fairly easy to identify many trees by their leaves but once the leaves have fallen, it can be challenging. This workshop starts indoors with a brief introduction to plant identification using keys. Then we will head outside to look at deciduous, native trees while they are dormant. Observing trees as a whole, with their unique bark and branching patterns, twigs, buds, any leftover fruit and persistent leaves, helps them become recognizable – even during the winter.

Grow Your Own Bar: How to Create Herbal Cocktails
Sunday, March 29, 2 to 5 p.m.
Jenny Hauf, Muddy River Herbals
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$25 ($15 members), registration required
Herbs are oft-celebrated for the magic they provide in the garden, stovetop, and teapot, but what about the heady delights they serve up in a mixed drink? Take a delectable dive into one of New England's most treasured libations, the shrub. Brought to America by the English, this wonderful syrup provides the key ingredient in a drink that is just as at home with spirits such as bourbon and gin as it is when mixed alone into a bubbly (and non-alcoholic) seltzer. Participants will learn the ins-and-outs of this time-honored drink, from growing techniques for a selection of the herbs that suit it best to how to ferment them to perfection with honey and fruit. We will also discuss general tips for a well-tended botanical bar and treat ourselves to a variety of drinks.

Growing Native Plants from Seed
Wednesday, April 1, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Maggie Redfern, Assistant Director and Leigh Knuttel, Horticulturalist
Meet in New London Hall, Botany Lab, Room 112.
$25 ($15 members), registration required
From annuals and perennials to trees and shrubs, success can be achieved if you understand what triggers germination and the growing process. 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.

Full Moon Walk
Tuesday, April 7, 8 to 9 p.m.
Leslie Brown, Associate Professor of Physics and Maggie Redfern, Assistant Director
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, no registration required
Experience the Arboretum in a new light, under the full moon. This tour will explore the Campus and Native Plant Collection. Star gaze as you take in the sights and sounds. Bring your favorite person to watch the moon with and a flashlight.

Vernal Pool Walk
Saturday, April 25, 9 to 11 a.m.
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
$10 ($5 members + CT Audubon), registration required
Save The Frogs Day takes place annually on the last Saturday of April and is the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation action. Join a teacher-naturalist from the CT Audubon Society’s Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, as we listen for frogs and look for egg masses in the vernal pools of the Arboretum which is home to numerous amphibian species. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Annual Wildflower Walk
Friday, May 1, noon to 1 p.m.
Miles Sax, Director and Leigh Knuttel, Horticulturalist
Use Williams Street entrance to the Arboretum; meet at the Outdoor Theater.
Free, no registration required
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 Trillium. Bring a picnic lunch to eat by the pond, and then enjoy a 45-minute walk in the Wildflower Garden.


Just for Kids: Wildflower Walk
Friday, May 1, 4 to 5 p.m.
Caroline Driscoll, Arboretum Volunteer
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, registration required
Through interactive play, children will learn the identity of several types of wildflowers. They will then test their newly acquired skills on a walk in the Wildflower Garden to find the real living flowers. Appropriate for ages 4 to 10, accompanied by an adult.

Annual Arboretum Friends Celebration: Urban Forestry in Connecticut’s Smallest Big City
Thursday, May 7, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Chris Donnelly, Urban Forestry Coordinator, CT DEEP
Meet in Blaustein Humanities Center, Ernst; reception in Hood.
Free, registration required

Migration Madness Bird Walk
Saturday, May 16, 8 to 10 a.m.
Joe Attwater, Teacher – Naturalist, Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center
Meet at Arboretum entrance on Williams Street.
Free, registration required
Join the Connecticut Audubon Society for the third year of Migration Madness, an annual celebration of Connecticut’s birds! May is the time to experience the best of birding in Connecticut, as spring migrants pass through the state to make their way to their breeding grounds further north, and summer species start to settle in. This walk will lead participants through the diverse habitats of the Arboretum in search of warblers, ducks and woodpeckers!  This is a great walk for all levels of birders.

To register, call 860-598-4218 or visit


9th Annual Music in the Meadow
Friday, June 19, gates at 6 p.m.
Meets in the Arboretum Outdoor Theater.
$10 adults, $5 kids (cash only)
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for an enjoyable, family-friendly outdoor concert! A food truck will be on site and/or bring your own picnic.