The Arboretum offers workshops all year round covering a wide variety of topics from birds to mushrooms to gardening to art. Virtual programs are offered live on Zoom, and recordings are made available for registrants to access for a limited time. Details on registration policies can be found on our Registration Information page.
View a complete list of The Arboretum's programs on our Workshop Descriptions page.

Upcoming & Current Workshops

Nature Throughout the Seasons for International Students and New Canadians Series

aerial of Arboretum

Facilitated quarterly (12 noon - 1:00 PM)
Online via Zoom
Instructors: Kitty and Jenny Lin, Arboretum Interpretive Interns
Fee: FREE!
This online series is catered to University of Guelph international students and other community members new to Canada. New to the area? Come with us to explore The Arboretum and learn about what you can find in nature throughout the winter, spring, summer, and fall!
Visit the Nature Throughout the Seasons for International Students and New Canadians Series program page to learn more and register for upcoming dates.

Eco-Art Therapy

rocks in a cocentric spiral in sand with a feather in the center.

Tuesdays, September 14 - November 2, 6:30 - 8 PM
Online via Zoom
Instructor: Memona Hossain

This is not an arts-technique-based course, but rather an opportunity to freely create without any boundaries and be inspired by nature’s beauty!

Though nature does not speak to us through words, it has a way of touching us deeply, and inspiring us to self-explore and creatively express ourselves in unique ways through a path of personal growth. Through this 8-week course, participants will explore introductory concepts of Eco-Art Therapy and participate in hands-on learning experiences that are embedded in our nature-connective relationships. No previous learning or experiences required! The only requirement is that you are open to engage, unleash your inhibitions and let nature guide you!

Fee: $150 (plus HST) per person.

Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Trees as Participants in Theatre and Performance

Megan De Roover, Writer In Residence 2021 - 2022

Tuesday, October 19, 12 - 1 PM
Format: Online via Zoom
Presenter: Dr. Megan De Roover, Writer-in-Residence

Join us for a free public talk by Megan De Roover, Writer-in-Residence affiliated with The Arboretum this year! She is conducting archival and on-site research for her new book Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Trees as Participants in Theatre and Performance (McGill-Queen's University Press). Using a theatre and performance lens, her research monograph explores the relations we already have with trees - in lived and mediated encounters - and how we can aim to build better ones. Readers will be pushed to reconsider the ubiquitous yet overlooked tree, and thereby the nonhuman world more generally, through new theoretical frameworks.      

Fee: Free

Virtual Bird Identification

image of 8 birds

Fridays, October 22 to December 10, 2021, 12 noon - 1 PM
Format: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Chris Earley

Birding has become an even more popular hobby now that more people are home and enjoying nature. Why not take it to the next level? This workshop series includes eight noon-hour lectures on eight different bird groups: hawks, ducks, sparrows, sandpipes, gulls, spring warblers, fall warblers, and spring migrants. ID techniques, field marks, shapes, behaviour clues, and more will be covered. Each workshop includes a 10-15 minute discussion period for bird-related questions.

Fee: $8 (plus HST) per person, per session or book all 8 and get one free ($56 instead of $64).

Northern GoshhawkWeek 1 - October 22 - Hawks
Everyone loves raptors but they can be a bit challenging as they fly by overhead.  We will be covering what to look for to ID our 16 regular species.  A special emphasis will be learning how to tell Cooper's Hawks from Sharp-shinned Hawks as they are common backyard predators that can be confusing! $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Mallard DuckWeek 2 - October 29 - Ducks
This colourful group of waterfowl is full of interesting shapes, patterns and lifestyles.  And, while the males are usually pretty straightforward to identify, the females can be quite challenging!  We will dabble with dabblers and dive into divers in this web-footed workshop. $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Fox sparrowWeek 3 - November 5 - Sparrows
"Uh oh, a sparrow!"  If this statement has ever left your lips, then this talk is for you!  They may seem drab and dull at first, but these LBJs (little brown jobs) really aren't that hard once you know what to look for.  And since there are different species depending on the season, they are really worth knowing! $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Spotted sandpiperWeek 4 - November 12 - Sandpipers
There's nothing like looking at a bird that is standing right out in the open and still not being able to identify it.  Sandpipers definitely fall into this category.  We will cover beak and body shape, leg and neck length, colour placement and behaviour so you will have a better chance to id that shorebird the next time you see it. $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Ring-billed GullWeek 5 - November 19 - Gulls
Did you know that southern Ontario (and specifically the Niagara River) is often considered the Gull Capital of the World?  In late fall/early winter, we can find many species of gull in this region, so it is time to get to know our french fry-loving friends.  We will focus on adults but also cover some immature stages to try and get a handle on this interesting group of birds. $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Magnolia WarblerWeek 6 - November 26 - Spring Warblers
Mention the words "spring warblers" to birders in the depths of February and you'll see longing, wistful looks on their faces.  That's because spring warblers rock!  And southern Ontario in spring is an amazing place to see over 30 species of these colourful little rays of sunshine.  But this abundance of species does mean a lot to remember, so we will be covering ways to help with that. $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Black-throated Green WarblerWeek 7 - December 3 - Fall Warblers
While "spring warblers" will bring a smile to a birder's face, "fall warblers" might turn that smile upside down.  This bird group is especially tricky during their fall migration when some species transform miraculously into seemingly different birds altogether!  But don't worry, we will get them sorted out. $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Baltimore OrioleWeek 8 - December 10 - Spring Migrants
This hodge podge of bird groups makes May migration a special time for nature lovers.  We will cover some easy to id species (male Baltimore Oriole!) and some not-so-easy ones (ack, a little greenish flycatcher!) to help you be prepared for next spring. $8.00 (plus tax) per session or register for all 8 for $56.00 (plus tax)

Fee: $8 (plus HST) per person, per session or book all 8 and get one free ($56 instead of $64).

Ask the Arb

decorative collage for colour photos of a bird, a butterfly on a flower, plants in a nuresey and a flowering tree.

Tuesday, October 26, Noon - 1 PM.
Instructors: Arboretum Staff

Bring your garden, nature, and wildlife related questions to our free one-hour live session on Zoom. Our September and October will have our horticultural staff on-line to answer your questions.


Virtual Constellation "Walk"

colour image of stars in the night sky

Thursday, October 28 OR Thursday, November 25, 8:00 - 9:00 PM
Format: Online via Zoom
Instructor: Trevor Chandler

Learning the night sky is like getting to know a new neighborhood. At first, it may seem big and confusing, but as you strike out and become more and more familiar with prominent landmarks, the day comes when you realize that the neighborhood is no longer new. It’s home.

Join us for monthly sessions as we get to know the night sky a little better. Participants will be introduced to prominent stars and constellations, where to look for them and how the motions of planet Earth cause them to appear to shift from hour to hour and month to month. You will receive a downloadable star map to help you make your way through the stars. We’ll learn a half dozen or so constellations every month and you will be invited to discuss your observations with the group as we each get to know the neighborhood a little better. 

October is Moon Month!  In addition to our leisurely wanderings among the constellations, a little time will be spent in this month’s session discussing our closest neighbour in space: the Moon.  Participants are encouraged to observe the Moon over one month to track its passage through various constellations and monitor its changing lunar phases. If you own a small telescope, then a whole new world awaits discovery.     

Fee: $10 (plus HST) per person, per session (evening).