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Family Workshop at Plains Conservation Center: Birds of a Feather

Come out to the Plains Conservation Center and learn about the birds that frequent the prairie and then complete a bird project together.

Family Workshops at Plains Conservation Center offer families a fun, hands-on guided opportunity to learn about the prairie and the people, plants and animals that live or have lived on the prairie. Workshops include a guided exploration of the topic and a hands on project for adults and children to create together. This workshop is designed for families with children ages 4-10.

Price:  $12 per person

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013


Fantastic Fungi Film

81 mins | Rated Not Rated | Documentary
Directed by Louie Schwartzberg
Starring Paul Stamets, Tony D. Head, Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and Dennis J. McKenna,

Fantastic Fungi  is a descriptive time-lapse journey about the magical, mysterious and medicinal world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth that began 3.5 billion years ago.

Narrated by Academy Award-Winner Brie Larson,  Fantastic Fungi  takes us on an immersive journey into the magical earth beneath our feet: an underground network with the potential to heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offers us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic and environmental challenges.


Ferns Uncovered

Ferns predate most other plant species on Earth, and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory is home to specimens of many varieties that continue to thrive today. Their delicate structures and textures are fascinating to study and a pleasure to illustrate—in fact, ferns have been illustrated for more than 1,500 years! Working in pencil and brush, you’ll develop pigment-free values and master seamless gradations from lightest light to darkest dark without the usual graphite sheen. Concentrate on the stem-like rhizomes, leafy fronds and sporangia underneath the leaves. Learn to draw complex detail without losing overall form. All the skills that you learn in this class can be transferred to any other medium, improving your overall confidence in your artistic skills.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.


Tue, March 24, 31, April 14, 21, 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak


Finding Inspiration in Photography - ONLINE

Energize your photography and find sources of inspiration all around you. In this course we’ll cover places where you can find inspiration, subjects to inspire your photography and challenges to get you to see the world with fresh eyes.


This session will be held online. Details on how to join the class will be emailed the day before the program.


Price: $26, $22 member

Instructor: John Bosley


John Bosley is a wedding and portrait photographer in Denver, CO. He is also a writer for PhotographyLife.com, a top-ranked photography blog, and co-creator of an educational video series about photography.

From Seed to Plant

We are fascinated by process, so let’s start at the beginning and illustrate the seed first. Learn how to sprout a bean seed for observation and document its development week by week as the sprout adds roots and foliage. The process begins with a talk by a Gardens’ expert on seed selection and development as well as directions for scientific observation. In weekly color illustrations, you’ll note changes as the plant begins to grow. In the meantime, you’ll have a mature plant to illustrate in graphite as a backdrop for your weekly botanical snapshots. Learn how to integrate two compositions in different media for an effective presentation. Over the course of five weeks, you’ll see your plant change from seed to shoot to seedling, and you’ll gain a better understanding of germination and growth to share through your own botanical plate in colored pencil and graphite.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I, Composition for Boatnical illustration, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.


Mon, April 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


Full Moon Hike

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Discover Aurora's true nature under the light of the full moon and learn a little about its history with this guided nature hike.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Price: $5

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013 Phone 303-326-8380


Garden Guru Tour

Immerse yourself in the Gardens with a horticulturist as your guide. Gain insight into living museum collections and walk away with gardening tips from an expert. Please note that every tour has its own emphasis and is led by a different horticulturist.


Wednesday, July 22, 10 a.m.: “Medicinal Plants” with Blake Burger, horticulture specialist

Tuesday, September 15, 9:30 a.m.: “Fall Garden Preparation” with Mike Bone, curator of steppe collections


Price: $19, $15 member


Special instructions: Tours can be both indoors and outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Tours are one hour long. Masks are required.


Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties. For safety reasons, tours are currently limited to five participants.

Gift of Individual

Gift memberships take up to 72 hours to be activated. Please allow 7-10 business days for the gift packet to be mailed to your gift recipient.

If you are renewing a gift membership click here


membership card (Only valid for named card holder)

1 person admitted per visit (card holder)

Advance ticketing for Summer Concert Series (Day 5)

3 one-time use guest passes

Entry to our Member Mornings where the Gardens are open just to members

Access to the Gardens' quarterly magazine








Guided Meditation Walk - The Five Taoist Elements

Experience a transformation in mind, body and chi as we meditate on the Five Taoist Elements and their corresponding emotions of fear, anger, grief, compassion and happiness.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW



Guided Meditation: Being Present - ONLINE

In a world of distractions and competing demands, a meditation practice focusing on the present moment enhances respite and repose. Join us as we explore the powerful benefits of practicing mindfulness with our breath and steps amid the serenity of the Gardens.


This session will be held online in a Zoom meeting. Details on how to join the class will be emailed the day of the program. Since we cannot meet at the Gardens, the instructor will use guided imagery for this meditation.


Price: $10, $8 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW



Guided Sitting Meditation - Embracing Uncertainty

To embrace uncertainty is to embrace life. Uncertainty often brings myriad emotions   trepidation, anger, doubt, fear. Our meditation will encourage embracing uncertainty, allowing room for wonder and acceptance of all that is.


Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Guided Sitting Meditation - Letting Go

The New Year often brings aspirations for change. Letting go of past hurts and disappointments makes space to start anew. With insight and gentleness, we are encouraged to place our hopes and dreams in the cradle of loving kindness.

Appropriate for adults of all abilities.

Price: $18, $15 member

Instructor: Denise Bickel, PhD, MSW, LCSW




Igniting the Fire within: How to Eat in Balance with Ayurveda


This class covers the Ayurvedic principle of Agni, the digestive fire, and how to cultivate it in order to nourish your body fully. Learn to assess the different digestive symptoms and how you can adjust your lifestyle to address them. Sample the different tastes associated with each dosha and see how to create a balanced meal. We will cook a warm meal with seasonal ingredients and discuss how it can be modified to suit your needs



Price: $39, $34 member

Instructor: Farnosh Family
Farnosh was a long time student and teacher of yoga before turning to the sister science of yoga, Ayurveda, for help in healing after the birth of her first child. What she learned in those transformational months led her to a life guided by the principles of Ayurveda for herself and her family. She has studied with many teachers of yoga, ayurveda, and sanskrit including Dr. Vasant Lad, Shiva Rea, Sonia Massoco, Maria Garre, Patricia Wickman, and Dr. Bharat Vaidya. She holds an MA in organic chemistry from UCLA and a BA in environmental chemistry from Columbia University.

Special Instructions: You can sign up for each individual session, or sign up for all four classes in the series at a discount by signing up for "Ayurveda Four-Part Series."


Improve Your Handwriting

Handwriting is becoming a lost art since email and text messaging are now our primary written communication methods. Researchers suggest that developing writing skills will aid in the visual identification of graphic shapes. This workshop will teach you how to develop and improve your handwriting skills using simple methods. With practice, you will be able to make neater writing a habit.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.


Mon, April 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18, 9 a.m. - noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen











1 membership card (Only valid for named card holder)

1 person admitted per visit (card holder)

Advance ticketing for Summer Concert Series (Day 5)

3 one-time use guest passes

Entry to our Member Mornings where the Gardens are open just to members

Access to the Gardens' quarterly magazine

Receipt of our monthly Botanic Buzz e-newsletter




Light on Form

Take your drawings from flat to fabulous. The secret to portraying light and shadow on your subjects lies in understanding the scientific method of lighting as it applies to different forms. Beginning with basic geometric shapes, refine your skills in showing light and volume on any subject. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all other media. As you progress from fruits and vegetables to leaves and flowers to entire plants with complex shapes, you will overcome the obstacles in creating three-dimensional drawings.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.


Tue, Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas


Fri-Sun, March 13-15, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


Tue, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas


Thu, Oct. 22, 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


Fri-Sun, Dec. 4-6, 9 a.m.  2:30 p.m.

Instructor: TBA



















Literature of the Land Book Club - Fall

Join us for the Fall 2020 session of Literature of the Land, a book club series hosted by the Helen Fowler Library. We will read three books over three months, focusing on a specific topic of interest.

This fall we will be exploring the world alongside the people who brought us our rich cornucopia of food and digging deep into the symbiotic relationships between people and our edible plants. We’ll be asking the questions on how these foods were discovered, why they became staples, and what the future of our food looks like.


September 16:  "The Food Explorer,"  by Daniel Stone


October 14:  "The Fruit Hunters,"  by Adam Leith Gollner


November 18:  "Lost Feast,"  by Lenore Newman


Each session has individual registration; please select all three date options with separate registration if you would like to attend the entire series.


Price: $5 general public


Special Instructions: Registration is mandatory as attendance will be limited in number to allow for interactive discussion in a friendly group setting.


Macro/Close Up Photography for DSLR Shooters

Learn about the technical and aesthetic demands of macro photography with a DSLR camera. See different techniques and equipment in use. After an early morning shoot we'll head to the classroom to look at some images and review the gear in more detail.

This class is meant to inform and inspire you to a higher level of technical and creative ability.

Basic photography knowledge necessary.

Price: $47, $42 member

Instructor: Scott Dressel-Martin, official photographer of Denver Botanic Gardens

Special Instructions: 8:00 to 9:30 in the Gardens. 9:30 to10:30 in the classroom. Some lecture, mostly shooting images. Bring Your Gear.


Old and Original: Focus on Jurassic Flora

The Jurassic period began over 200 million years ago. When you think of the Jurassic, you might think of plant-eating brachiosaurs and diplodocus ... most people do. But these massive plant-eating dinosaurs could not have survived without a food source. In this class, learn about the flora that covered the subtropical Earth during this period, then select and illustrate one of its modern relatives. Whether defining the fine detail of ginkgo leaves or the complexity of cycads and yews, combine line techniques acquired in Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I and II with newly mastered quill pen finesse to create a pen and ink illustration you’re sure to frame.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink II.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.


Mon, March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Painting Expedition: En Plein Air on the Prairie

Join us for a morning of plein air painting at the Plains Conservation Center. Your morning includes a walking tour of several stops to experience and paint the variety of plants, animals and history of the prairie. Bring your painting supplies, mask, hat, water bottle and any other materials that you might need for the morning outing. Preregistration required, no walk ins will be accepted. Masks are required to be worn at all times while on the property.

Expedition led by Pam Roth O'Mara. Pam's nature inspired work has appeared in exhibits and festivals across South Metro Denver, including the Depot Art Gallery, Littleton Museum, City of Centennial Gallery, Colorado Gallery at Arapahoe Community College, Lowry Conference Center, Castle Rock Court the Arts Festival, Centennial Chalk Art Festival, National Arts Program Exhibit, Castle Rock Library and Nixon's Coffee House. Her piece, "Winter at the Sod Home", was selected by the curator of the Denver Art Museum's Women in Abstract Expressionism Exhibit to appear at the Littleton Museum.

Price: $22, $20 member

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013


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