Nature & the Environment
To register please call 914-606-6830 and press option 1
Introduction to Birds
Learn to identify and attract colorful birds to your backyard. The first meeting, in a classroom, focuses on birding basics, ID techniques for common birds, and the best places to go birding. The second meeting will be a field trip to a local nature center for first-hand practice.
CE-SCI 2013VA, 2 Sat., Sept. 23 & 30, 9:30-11:00 am, KNC-2 (first class), $30 (+ $6 parking fee at nature center). H Weber. #80126
Better Bird Feeding: Attracting Birds to Your Backyard
Explore how to choose the best birdfeeders and bird seed, and the best places to go birding.
CE-SCI 2034, 3 Mon., Nov. 13-27, 7:00-8:00 pm, KNC-2, $30. H Weber. #80127
Gardening with Native Plants
Classes and Certification
Go Native U at Westchester Community College in collaboration with
The Native Plant Center
Discover how to plant and grow a beautiful and beneficial landscape using plants native to the Northeast. Gardening enthusiasts, landscape architects, and designers will learn from experienced instructors about the importance of native plants, regional ecology and the sustainable practices that can be used to enhance home and community environments.
Enroll in single classes or pursue your certification in Sustainable Gardening with Native Plants, which consists of 50 contact hours (18 hrs./core courses, 17 hrs./electives, and 15 hrs./community service) plus a final exam. Most classes offer LA-CES approved credit hours; some offer ISA-approved credit.
To register for these courses, please call 914-606-6830 and press 1 or register online at www.sunywcc.edu/CE
All classes are held in the Classroom Building, Room 100, unless otherwise noted.
Native Perennials: Summer/Fall
Discover the many lovely herbaceous plants that will enhance your garden while providing food and shelter for native bees, butterflies and more.
CE-GRDN 2008, 1 Fri., Sept. 29, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $55. B Fischer. #83109
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, 2 Fri., Oct. 20 & 27, 11:00 am-2:30 pm (30-minute lunch break), $130. C Summers. #83110
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 Fri., Dec. 1 & 8, 11:00 am-1:00 pm, $90. C Summers. #83111
Native Herbals: Their History and Uses
Learn about the history and medicinal uses of our native flora, including goldenrod, spicebush, black birch, and boneset. Make your own remedy to take home. Meet at the Native Plant Center Meadow.
CE-GRDN 2082, 1 Thurs., Sept. 28, 6:00-8:00 pm, $55. C Pierson. #83112
NEW! Fern Identification in the Field
Ferns inhabit many different habitats – from wetlands to rock bluffs – and their identification can be tricky. We’ll focus on using habitat characteristics; fern life cycle and ecology will also be covered. Dress appropriately, including proper footwear for light hiking. Class meets at Zofnass Westchester Wilderness Preserve; navigate toward 259 Upper Shad Road, Pound Ridge, and park in preserve parking lot.
CE-GRDN 2096, 1 Sat., Sept. 30, 12:00 noon-3:00 pm, $80. T Bushell. #83115
Designing Native Plant Gardens
Learn the basics of landscape design for native plant gardens: how to assess and analyze an existing site and how to develop a beautiful, beneficial design plan that encourages birds and pollinators and incorporates sustainable design principles.
CE-GRDN 2015, 2 Tues., Oct. 3 & 10, 7:00-9:00 pm, $90. L Becker. #83113
Forest and Shrubland Ecology in the Field
Find out about forest edges and shrublands as you explore on location. Learn to identify a wide variety of native tree and shrub species, including some uncommon native plants. Dress appropriately, including proper footwear for light hiking. Class meets at the back entrance to Muscoot Farm (Wood Street) in Somers.
CE-GRDN 2083, 1 Sun., Oct. 15, 1:00-4:00 pm, $80. T Bushell. #83114
NEW! Landscape for Life
The Landscape for Life curriculum, based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative™, was developed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the U.S. Botanic Garden, and the American Society for Landscape Architects. Learn about sustainable landscaping, soil health, the importance of native plants, threats from invasive plants, responsible water management, and gardening for wildlife.
CE-GRDN 2070, 4 Sat., Oct. 28-Nov. 18, 10:00 am-12:30 pm, $195. K Eierman. #83116
NEW! Mosses and Lichens Workshop
Their small size tends to leave them overlooked, but mosses and lichens are important elements in many ecosystems as well as simply beautiful. This workshop will focus on their basic evolution and biology, how birds and other wildlife use them, their use in gardening, and how to recognize the most common species in our area by creating a living field guide. Dress appropriately for weather as part of this class will be held outdoors.
CE-GRDN 2099, 1 Fri., Nov. 17, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, $80. T Ietaka. #83368
NEW! Easy and Amazing Native Plant Combinations
Combining native plants allows you to create gardens with year round interest. Learn how color, form, texture, and bloom time, as well as natural plant communities, inform successful plant choices.
CE-GRDN 2100, 1 Sat., Dec. 2, 10:00-11:00 am, $35. M Hagen. #83369
Back to School with Go Native U
Date: Mon., Sept. 25
Location: Classroom Building, Room 100, Park in Lot #4
Approved for 4.5 LA-CES credits
Register for one, two, or all three courses
Jump-start your GNU Certification!
Bees and other pollinators perform important roles in nature. While the decline of the European honeybee has gained public attention, North America’s native bees are also at risk, in turn endangering the services they provide in plant reproduction. Learn about the life of bees, the challenges they face, how to identify common species, which native plants are most beneficial, and the way a special project is conserving local populations.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bees 10:00–11:30 am
Lunch (on your own) 11:30 am–12:15 pm
Planting for Pollinators 12:15–2:15 pm
Break 2:15–2:30 pm
Conservation of the Wild Bees of Rockefeller Preserve 2:30–3:30 pm
Break 3:30–3:45 pm
Pollinator Field Walk 3:45–5:00 pm
NEW! Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bees
Native bees, sometimes described as pollen bees, have developed techniques for pollinating flowers that European honeybees can’t do. Explore the little known but fascinating world of native bees, learn what you can do on their behalf, and gain an overall appreciation for these captivating insects.
CE-GRDN 2101, $40. T Stanley. #83374
NEW! Planting for Pollinators
Pollinators are crucial to the reproduction of most flowering plants. Learn which native plants to use in developing a pollinator garden that attracts and supports a wide variety of native pollinators.
CE-GRDN 2102, $55. K Eierman. #83375
NEW! Conservation of the Wild Bees of Rockefeller Preserve
More than 80 species of native bees have been documented in Rockefeller State Park Preserve and neighboring Stone Barns Center. Discover the conservation initiatives at the preserve that favor native pollinators and forage plants. Find out what you and local government can do to protect and encourage these essential insects.
CE-GRDN 2103, $25. S Antenen. #83376
Pollinator Field Walk
Weather permitting, join us for a field walk to study insects up close. Learn to use a sweep net to gently catch and release pollinators and identify their favorite flowers. The walk is free for those who register for one or more classes in the Understanding Pollinators program. Meet at The Native Plant Center Meadow on campus.
Register for one, two, or all three courses. Call 914-606-6830, press 1, to register now.
The Go Native U Certificate Program is a collaborative effort between Westchester Community College and The Native Plant Center. A percentage of tuition supports the work of The Native Plant Center.
Environmental Education and Conservation
A Partnership between the College and Westmoreland Sanctuary
Westmoreland Sanctuary is a nature center and wildlife preserve located in Mt. Kisco, serving the Westchester community and beyond. Founded almost 60 years ago, Westmoreland Sanctuary’s ever expanding tracts of land now consist of 640 acres of year-round beauty and 7.5 miles of the finest hiking trails in Westchester. It’s a place where wild bird and animal life flourish; a place where native flowers, shrubs, plants and trees are cherished, protected and preserved. It’s also a place to simply come, enjoy and reconnect with nature, and maybe even yourself.
The health of our environment and natural world depends on a committed generation of today to pass the torch of appreciation, understanding, and respect of the natural world to future generations. Central to Westmoreland Sanctuary’s mission is offering environmental education and conservation programs to all. While touching the lives of 12,000 young students each year with certified environmental programming, the Westmorland staff also conducts programs for adults that are both wide and varied. To learn more, please visit: www.WestmorelandSanctuary.org.
All classes below are held onsite at Westmoreland Sanctuary,
260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco
NEW! Native Pollinators
Learn about your local pollinator friends and what plants are most beneficial for them. Visit some of our gardens and fields to identify the different native pollinators including bees, butterflies, dayflying moths, wasps, flies, and hummingbirds. Visit the Sanctuary’s apiary and briefly discuss the difference between non-native honey bees and native bees. Bring phone cameras to take picture of insects and flowers. Close focusing binoculars are also helpful to identify insects and butterflies.
CE-GRDN 2097, 1 Sat., Sept. 30, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $25. S Sciame. #83123
NEW! Solar Cooking
The need for sustainable energy alternatives often points people to different ways of performing common tasks. Learn how to use power of the sun to cook meals. Find out about different types of solar cookers and their uses, as well as the basics of using a solar oven. You’ll have the chance to prepare a meal and cook it in a sun oven.
CE-GREEN 2018, 1 Sun., Sept. 24, 11:00 am-2:00 pm, $35 (+ $5 materials fee, payable to instructor). S Sciame. #83122
A unique learning activity! Participate as staff use mist nets and other techniques to safely capture wild birds, then assist as they identify each bird, record its age and sex, and carefully place a numbered band on the bird before it is released. Allows participants to see what scientists do to study birds. Please dress for the weather.
CE-SCI 2035, 1 Sat., Oct. 28, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, $35. S Ricker. #82848
Winter Tree Identification
Learn how to identify trees without leaves using habitat, bark, branching, and more. We’ll join the instructor for a hike on trails to practice identifying techniques. The benefits of each species will be explored, and the pros and cons of different field guides will be discussed. Please dress for the outdoors; binoculars are helpful, but not required.
CE-SCI 2043, 1 Sat., Nov. 11, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, $35. S Ricker. #82847
Colonial Candle Making
Hop in the time machine as we go back to the colonial days and discover how candles were made then. Every participant will have the opportunity to make his/her own hand-dipped candle to take home. Please dress for the weather.
CE-CRAFT 2055, 1 Sat., Dec. 9, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $25 (+ $2 for candle wax and wick, payable to instructor). S Ricker. #82845
Westmoreland Sanctuary Survival Series
NEW! Wilderness Survival: Navigation
Ever wonder what would happen if you found yourself in an unfamiliar area with no cell signal or GPS? How would you find your way back to an area you know? Learn what is needed to navigate through the woods. We’ll explore using a map and compass, skills that can still be very useful nowadays.
CE-SCI 2047, 1 Sun., Oct. 8, 11:00 am-2:00 pm, $35. S Sciame. #83311
Wilderness Survival: Fire
Fire has been an important tool for humanity from the very beginning; it’s used in our daily lives to cook our food, heat our homes, and make our cars run. How much do you know about this ancient resource, and could you get a fire started if your life depended on it? Covers the basic needs of fire, how to start a safe fire, different uses of fire, and the best ways to construct fires for those uses. Please dress for the weather.
CE-SCI 2037, 1 Sat., Oct. 21, 10:00 am-1:00 pm, $35. S Sciame. #82849
Wilderness Survival: Cooking
Not all outdoor cooking is done at a barbecue; learn how to make something more than s’mores over an open fire. We’ll explore different wilderness cooking methods, depending on available resources, and how to best prepare foods without pots and pans. We’ll also be making lunch, so no need to bring your own. Email the instructor at email@example.com with any allergies/ food requirements. Please dress for the weather.
CE-SCI 2040, 1 Sat., Nov. 18, 11:00 am-2:00 pm, $35 (+ $7 for food supplies, payable to instructor). S Sciame. #82844
Wilderness Survival: Shelter
Come learn basic skills for wilderness survival. This course will teach the basics of survival shelter building including things to look for in a shelter site, which materials to use and which to avoid, prioritizing shelter construction, and what types of shelters are best given the situation. Please dress for the weather.
CE-SCI 2038, 1 Sun., Dec. 3, 10:00 am-12:00 noon, $25. S Sciame. #82846
All 9 classes above are held onsite at Westmoreland Sanctuary,
260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mount Kisco