The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers a full range of classes for adults in horticulture and gardening. Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum offers opportunities for seniors to continue growing and expanding their knowledge in gardening and horticulture classes and workshops.
Calling all plant people: The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, known for its lush displays, protected natural areas, horticultural research, and education, offers gardening and horticulture classes and workshops for people of all ages, including seniors.
Founded in 1958, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a member-driven nonprofit organization featuring more than 1,200 acres of gardens, rare plant collections, and accessible walking paths perfect for every nature lover. For the second time in three years, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, part of the University of Minnesota’s College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, was named the 2019 Best Botanical Garden by USA Today.
“Every year, more than 55,000 children participate in Arboretum education programs, including field trips, Plantmobile classes, and summer camps. Adult classes and lectures attract nearly 4,000 participants annually,” says Susie Hopper, public relations and media specialist for The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Honeycrisp, SweetTango, First Kiss, and Zestar! apples were all developed at The Arboretum, along with more than 98 cold-hardy fruit introductions. Cold-hardy grape research at the Arboretum has inspired Minnesota’s burgeoning wine industry with the introduction of new grape breeds, including Marquette, Frontenac, La Crescent, and Itasca.”
For adults interested in learning more about nature or growing their own indoor or outdoor plants, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s classes will not disappoint. The Arboretum offers a full range of classes for adults in horticulture and gardening, fine arts and crafts, food and wine, pollinators, photography, nature appreciation, and birding.
Because seniors make up the majority of The Arboretum’s adult classes, they’re a great way for seniors to meet friends and avoid feelings of loneliness, especially in the winter when going out and about is a major feat.
“Seniors enjoy and participate in all of our class offerings. Seniors are the majority in most classes,” Hopper says of The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s abundance of adult classes and workshops.
While there are all sorts of classes ranging in a variety of topics, including winemaking, art, and culinary options, the bulk of The Arboretum’s courses tend to relate back to one major theme: nature.
“We offer a full range of classes, but in gardening specifically, there are classes on houseplants, sustainable lawns, kitchen gardening, Minnesota native orchids, rare plant conservation, growing shiitake mushrooms, and more,” Hopper adds.
Not only are the gardening and horticulture classes of The Arboretum an easy way to meet other people and enjoy nature, but they are backed by real expertise in all areas that are taught. Not only do arboretum staff members teach, but they bring in a wide assortment of community experts who lead the classes, including many University of Minnesota professors with unique knowledge and specialties.
“Classes are most affordable for our members. Annual memberships start at $60 and give the member free admission year-round plus a deep discount on all classes. There is a wide range of prices for classes and lectures, from $10 to more than $100 for a full day workshop like Get Growing, where the participant decides on modules they want to take,” Hopper says.
In addition to its many classes and workshops, nature lovers can get involved at The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum through its various volunteering options, which start with attending an orientation, training, and becoming an Arboretum member.
Volunteers can participate in education, working with the more than 40,000 students from around the Twin Cities metro who visit each year; the Arboretum Ambassador Program, which entails wearing a green vest and carrying a radio, maps, and leaflets to help guide visitors; the Arboretum Guides Program, where volunteers lead groups through the gardens; the Art Department, specifically in assisting with the Adult Art Education program; Children’s Garden, where volunteers work with children to use and maintain the garden; Native Plant Restoration, which emphasizes sustainability; and many more.
So whether you’re a nature novice or a wildlife whiz, The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has something for every senior to get involved.
For more information about The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or to sign up for classes, workshops, or volunteering, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Dr.