Home & Garden

Nature and Garden

NEW! Waders, Waterfowl and Wetlands
An in-class presentation on identifying ducks, geese, egrets and other birds that frequent watery habitats. We will also learn the importance of preserving wetlands and their value to humans.
CE-SCI 2028VA, 1 Sat., Nov. 14, 10:00-11:30 am, LIB-G36, $20. W Chadwick. #82996

Westchester Wildlife
Join us for an introduction to Westchester wildlife. Learn to identify our local wildlife, their adaptations, habitats and where to find them. We will discuss birds, mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles through classroom presentations and discussions.
CE-SCI 2020VA, 2 Sat., Oct. 17 & 24, 9:30-11:00 am, Room TBD, $30. W Chadwick. #82787

Intro to Birds
Learn to identify birds using the GISS (General Impression of Size and Shape), their adaptations, habitats, and where to find them locally. First meeting will consist of classroom presentation, followed by a field session at the Rockefeller State Park (entrance on Route 117).
CE-SCI 2013VA, 2 Sat., Sept. 26 & Oct. 3, 9:30-11:00 am, Room TBD, $30 (+ $6 parking fee at park). W Chadwick. #82762

Certificate Program in Sustainable Gardening with Native Plants

GO NATIVE U at Westchester Community College

Discover how to plant and grow a beautiful and beneficial landscape using plants native to the Northeast in this program designed for industry professionals and home gardeners alike.

Landscape architects, designers, and gardening enthusiasts will learn from experienced instructors about regional ecology and the sustainable practices that can be used to enhance home and community environments.

Students can enroll in single classes or pursue a certificate, which consists of 50 contact hours (18 hours/core courses, 17 hours/electives, and 15 hours/community service) plus a final exam. Most classes offer LA-CES approved credit hours.

To register for these courses, please call 914-606-6830 and press 1.

This program is offered through the college’s Native Plant Center, located on the Valhalla campus. All classes are held in the Classroom Building, Room 100, unless otherwise noted.

Core Classes:
Native Perennials: Summer/Fall
Discover the many lovely herbaceous plants that will enhance your garden while providing food and shelter for native bees, butterflies, birds, and more.
CE-GRDN 2008, 1 Sat., Oct. 3, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $55. B Fischer. #82806

Introduction to Native Plants and Landscapes
Gain a comprehensive foundation for garden design using native plants. Learn about the importance of native plants, showy substitutes for non-native plants, sustainable design concepts, and more.
CE-GRDN 2010, 3 Wed., Oct. 14-28, 6:00-8:00 pm, $130. C Summers. #82803

Native Trees and Shrubs
Explore the best native trees and shrubs for this region and the latest techniques for establishing them in a landscape.
CE-GRDN 2009, 2 Wed., Nov. 18 & Dec. 2, 6:00-8:00 pm, $90. C Summers. #82808

Elective Classes:
Wetlands Field Study
Spend three hours exploring the wetland communities of Angle Fly Preserve in Somers (directions at www.somerslandtrust.org/angle-fly-preserve/about-angle-fly-preserve). Look at components of wetlands, including soils, plants, and hydrology, and discuss human impacts and invasive species affecting wetlands.
CE-GRDN 2067, 1 Sun., Oct. 4, 12:00 noon-3:00 pm, $80. K Turoczi. #82907

NEW! Landscaping for Higher Ecosystem Function
Find out how to leverage the ecosystem function in your landscape for wildlife and people. Learn how to conduct ecosystem-driven soil and site analyses, identify local ecosystems, and select the most appropriate native plants for your site.
CE-GRDN 2064, 3 Wed., Oct. 7-21, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $130. K Eierman. #82819

Goldenrod Field Study
Goldenrods are among the most important sources of nectar and pollen for native bees and other insects in fall. Learn to recognize and identify the native goldenrods common in regional meadows and along roadsides, then try your skills in the field by exploring the demonstration gardens of the Native Plant Center and the grounds of the college campus.
CE-GRDN 2035, 1 Sat., Oct. 10, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $55. M Fabel. #82814

Aster Field Study
Asters play an important role in sustaining the biodiversity of the Northeast, supporting more than 100 species of moths and butterflies. Learn to recognize and identify the native asters common in regional woodlands, using a dichotomous key, floral color, and leaf structure. Then try your skills in the field by exploring the demonstration gardens of the Native Plant Center and the grounds of the college campus.
CE-GRDN 2051, 1 Sat., Oct. 17, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $55. M Fabel. #82816

Introduction to Insect Identification
Become familiar with the common insects that can be found in a native plant garden and how they relate to the surrounding ecosystem. Learn the basics of invertebrate taxonomy and how to distinguish insects from other arthropods. Examine their habits, life cycles, and habitat preferences.
CE-GRDN 2046, 1 Mon., Nov. 2, 7:00-9:00 pm, $55. L Forcella. #82809

Advanced Insect Identification
Move on to a more in-depth discussion of native insects of the Northeast. Featured species will be discussed in detail, particularly those associated with a healthy hardwood forest. Learn about the region’s ecosystems and how to create habitat niches in your own yard to attract beneficial insects, including native bee species. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Insect Identification.
CE-GRDN 2063, 2 M/T, Nov. 9 & 10, 7:00-9:00 pm, $90. L Forcella. #82810

Ecological Design
Explore a different approach to the creation or restoration of your site using the concepts of ecological design. Understand the relationships between natural habitats and their native plant communities.
CE-GRDN 2029, 1 Thurs., Nov. 5, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $55. E Katoni. #82811

NEW! Landscape for Life
Make your garden both beautiful and sustainable by learning to work with nature. Explore the roles soil, water, plants, and landscape materials play in sustainable garden design. Assess your own site and build on a design plan to create a healthy, low-maintenance garden. Landscape for Life™ is based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ and was designed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and the American Society of Landscape Architects.
CE-GRDN 2070, 3 Sat., Nov. 7-21, 10:00 am-2:30 pm (1/2 hr lunch break), $225. M Fabel. #83035

NEW! Native Plant Communities of New York and Connecticut
Learn the key native plant communities of New York and Connecticut and how to mimic these communities in a landscape. Students will develop their own plan. Pre-requisite: Introduction to Native Plant Communities. Required reading is Ecological Communities of New York State, second edition, March 2014 (www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/ecocomm2014.pdf).
CE-GRDN 2073, 2 Wed., Nov. 11 & 18, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $90. K Eierman. #83033

NEW! Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants
Learn to design with native ornamental plants as substitutes for overused and regulated exotic plants and invasive species. Explore the vast choices of garden-worthy plants that will add beauty and diversity to your landscape.
CE-GRDN 2071, 1 Thurs., Nov. 12, 6:00-8:00 pm, $55. C Summers. #83034

Back to School with Go Native U
Working With Water: In Wetlands and Back Yards

Approved for 5 hours of LA-CES credits.
Great way to jump-start your GNU certificate!

Friday, Sept. 25
Classroom Building, Room 100 (park in Lot #4)

With an average annual rainfall of more than 45 inches, water is abundant in the region and often taken for granted, yet is essential to all life. Explore the benefits of wetlands and rain gardens, including the best native plants to use in their design, and the role you can play in enhancing the environment.

NY Wetlands: Balancing Ecology, Laws, and Aesthetics: 9:30 am-12:45 pm
(includes 15-minute break)
Lunch (on your own): 12:45-1:30 pm
Designing Rain Gardens: 1:30-3:30 pm

NY Wetlands: Balancing Ecology, Laws, and Aesthetics
Wetlands serve an important ecological function in nature. Discover the critical role they play and how state and municipal laws in NY affect projects in and around wetlands. Learn how to select appropriate native plants and how to control invasive plants common to wetlands.
CE-GRDN 2049, 1 Fri., Sept. 25, 9:30 am-12:45 pm, $80. K Turoczi. #82826

NEW! Designing Rain Gardens

Rain gardens collect runoff from roofs, driveways, and elsewhere, filter the water, and allow the water to percolate into the ground rather than running polluted into area streams. Learn about the mechanics of a rain garden and the appropriate native plants to use in its design. Find out how you can assist nature while adding color to the landscape and providing habitat for wildlife.
CE-GRDN 2072, 1 Fri., Sept. 25, 1:30-3:30 pm, $55. L Turoczi. #83050

Register for both courses or just one. Call 914-606-6830, press 1, to register now.