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.


Nighttime on the Cahaba – by Canoe! (field trip)
Trip Leaders: Randy Haddock & John Manion
Saturday, September 6 | 6 -10 p.m.
Location: Carpool from The Gardens
$45 Members | $55 Non-Members (includes canoe and all associated equipment)
What better way to escape the heat of summer than participating in a leisurely moonlight paddle on the Cahaba River? This unique and relaxing way of enjoying a flat water portion of the Cahaba River will allow us to experience the Cahaba in a different light; we will see some familiar plants not normally viewed at night, as well as see and hear a variety of wildlife (imagine: beaver tails slapping water and the calls of night birds.), including hundreds of glowing firefly larvae. (The majority of proceeds will benefit the Cahaba River Society.)


September Service Madness (volunteer opportunity)
Event Leaders: Taylor Steele & John Manion
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, September 6 | 9 - 3 p.m.
Registration required

This special volunteer opportunity will be held in conjunction with students and faculty from UAB. We will work on a variety of tasks and only ask that if you participate, you commit to at least three hours. Tools and refreshments will be provided.


Introduction to Native Plant Conservation (core)
Instructor: Bob Boyd, Ph.D.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, October 11 | 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.
$80 Members | $90 Non-Members

This course is a general introduction to plant conservation, focusing particularly on Alabama plants. We will cover a broad set of topics, including rarity ranking systems, invasive species, restoration ecology, conservation ethics, plant conservation legislation, and conservation techniques such as safeguarding. Alabama Plant Conservation Alliance projects will be emphasized as examples where possible and time will be spent in The Gardens.


Alabama’s Amazing Ecology (core)
Instructor: Scot Duncan, Ph.D.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, October 25 | 8:30 - 4:30 p.m.
$80 Members | $90 Non-Members

With sixty-four types of terrestrial ecosystems shaped by an unusual climate and rich geological history, Alabama's native plants number nearly 3,000 species. They are an important part of our state's biodiversity, which ranks fifth in the nation overall. This class explains how ecosystems work, reviews how they are classified and mapped, and gives an overview of the state’s ecological diversity. An easy hike through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens – with a focus on Alabama’s endemic plants – will illustrate many of the in-class concepts.