Certificate in Native Plant Studies Program

Adult & Family Classes | Discovery Field Trips | Children's Summer Camps

The Certificate in Native Plant Studies program has as its goal, to raise awareness of the importance of native plants and their value to our environment. Its curriculum consists of core classes, electives, field trips and volunteer service, which together provide a well-rounded education balanced among botany, taxonomy, ecology, conservation and uses of our native Southeastern flora. Classes are held at The Gardens and at other appropriate locations

Program events will be offered throughout the year. Students may begin their earning their certificate at any time, with any course. Certificates will be awarded to those who fulfill requirements within three years, however – anyone is welcome to register for any of the classes.


Click here for a PDF of brochure.

Click here to view some of the past class offerings in the program.

For more information about registration:

Contact 205.414.3950

For more information about the program:
Contact Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion at 205.414.3985 or jmanion@bbgardens.org.

Current Students: Volunteer Service Hours Form


Upcoming Classes, Field Trips and Volunteer Opportunities


NOTE: If you are unable to register using one of the Register Online buttons below, the class may be full,

contact Rona Walters at 205.414.3950 or rwalters@bbgardens.org.

Due to high call and email volume you should expect a response within 24-48 hours.



Growing Native Trees from Seed – Oaks, Hickories and Others – Part I (new elective)
Instructor: Henry Hughes, Director of Education, Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, October 10 | 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members
Where do you get a blackjack oak or shagbark hickory when you really need one; or how about a longleaf pine or a black gum? Using classroom instruction and field observation, this class will provide information about parent tree selection, seed collection, storage and germination of local native trees. The class is aimed at both home gardeners and small-scale nursery production. We will discuss the importance of locally-sourced native trees from the standpoints of history, ecology and landscape aesthetics. Part II of this class will be in spring, 2016, and will involve planting spring-germinating stratified seed, transplanting small seedlings into larger containers and observing seedling field establishment.


Turkey Creek Nature Preserve (field trip)
Leaders: Charles Yeager (Turkey Creek Land Manager) and John Manion
Location: Near Pinson
Sunday, October 11 | Noon-5 p.m.
Members $40|Non-Members $45

This 466-acre preserve, established through a partnership between the state's Forever Wild Program and the Freshwater Land Trust, is co-managed by the Southern Environmental Center at Birmingham-Southern College. The preserve has a rich natural and cultural history, dating back to prehistoric Native American inhabitants. Whenever we visit Turkey Creek, we always see a fascinating array of ecosystems and their corresponding flora.


Autumn Identification of Native Woody Plants (elective)
Instructor: Fred Spicer, Director, Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, October 24 | 8:30-12:30 p.m.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members

Using The Gardens' extensive living collections as a hands-on resource, we will focus on attributes and identification features of species found naturally or in cultivation in Alabama. Participants will examine and learn to identify about 20 trees, shrubs and vines, whose key traits are evident in autumn, as well as learn which of these plants make good sense to use in your landscapes. We will have the opportunity to observe some good autumn color and learn about the dynamics that cause it.




Disclaimer: We appreciate your interest in Birmingham Botanical Gardens' classes for adults and children. Some of our classes may cover the edible, medicinal, cosmetic and aromatic uses of plants. The information presented in our classes, whether delivered by Gardens' staff, volunteers or instructors, is derived from numerous sources which include folklore as well as more authoritative sources. This information is intended solely for educational purposes. We believe this information to be accurate, interesting and useful within an educational context, but any information we may provide about the various uses of plants is not intended to advocate any specific use. Due to the very personal nature of individual chemical tolerances, allergies and other possible negative reactions, you accept full responsibility for any use you may choose to undertake of the plants covered in our classes.