fbpx March events, programs, classes at The Morton Arboretum | The Morton Arboretum

March events, programs, classes at The Morton Arboretum

Tall trees
February 13, 2020
The Morton Arboretum welcomes spring and the beginning of the growing season with events, programs and classes for all ages. 
In March, take a hike with your canine companion leading the way during Dog Admission Day; enjoy a family-friendly syrup stroll through the woods during the Family Maple Tapping Hike; and learn practical tips on growing food at home from gardening experts during the Edible Gardening Workshop Series
A complete list of March events is below. For more information, visit mortonarb.org/events. (All prices listed are for the general public and information is accurate as of the date of this release. We encourage media to check the website prior to publication as times and dates may change.)
Dog Admission Day
Sunday, March 8
7 a.m.–sunset
$5 per dog, plus Arboretum admission
Visitors can bring their dogs with them to stroll along Meadow Lake or hike the Arboretum’s 16 miles of trails. Dogs must be leashed and have all vaccinations and registrations. Dogs are not allowed in any of the Arboretum’s buildings, the Children’s Garden or Maze Garden.
Full Moon Troll Hike
Tuesday, March 10, and Wednesday, March 11
6:30–8:30 p.m.
The six colossal trolls on display at The Morton Arboretum will be heading back to their mythological kingdom at the end of June. Enjoy this special after-hours opportunity to hit the trail for a night of troll hunting under the light of a full moon. Navigate the West Side trails as a guide tells stories about the trolls’ origins and their message of conservation. Learn about full moon lore and what the trees and wildlife are up to during the long dark nights when no one else is around.
Winter Play
Daily, through March
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
The Children’s Garden is open for outdoor fun. Explore activities to complement the day, such as painting snow or building a fort. This self-guided, hands-on activity is available weather-permitting.
Spring Fun!
Saturday, March 21, and Sunday, March 22
11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Free with admission
Celebrate the arrival of spring in the Children’s Garden with games, art and outdoor play (weather permitting).
Gnome Hunt
Daily in March
9:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Free with Arboretum admission
The animals may be hibernating, but the Children’s Garden still has gnomes. Children and families are encouraged to find all 15 of the hidden gnomes during this drop-in activity.
Family Maple-Tapping Hike
Saturday, March 21, or Sunday, March 22
Times vary
Participants will enjoy a family-friendly syrup stroll through the woods to explore the history of maple tapping. Sample sweets from maple trees, craft a syrup-inspired snow globe next to a toasty fire, and make maple-flavored ice cream.
Drop-In Arbor Reading Adventures
Wednesday or Fridays through March
11–11:45 a.m.
This popular and interactive drop-in story time includes nature-based stories, crafts and an adventure walk in the Sterling Morton Library and throughout the grounds of The Morton Arboretum. This program is best for children ages 2 to 6 with an adult. Arboretum admission applies.
Little Acorns (18 to 35 months)
Forest Animals
Tuesday, March 10; Monday, March 16; or Thursday, March 26
9:30–10:45 a.m.
Little Sprouts (3 to 5 years)
Forest Animals
Thursday, March 12; Wednesday, March 18; or Tuesday, March 24
9:30–10:45 a.m.
Young explorers will hike, play, listen to stories, and engage in science and art in these hands-on sensory-based programs.
Bird Walks 
Saturday, March 21
8–10:30 a.m.
$14 per session. (Fees include admission to the Arboretum.)
Walk with an expert guide while searching the woods, fields and edges of the Arboretum for birds. Participants will find having a pair of binoculars useful. Most of the class will take place outdoors. No prior experience in birding is necessary.
Beginning Bird-Watching
Saturday, March 21
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
In this single morning workshop for beginners, participants will discuss equipment, keep track of observations, learn how to find birds, and more. The focus will be on birds that inhabit Illinois all year, and participants will learn key bird features for identification and how to match birds to their preferred food or habitat.
Wellness Programs
Arboretum Yoga
Mondays through March 30, 9:30–10:30 a.m., or 6–7 p.m., Wednesdays through March 25
$18 per class
Participants can improve their health and well-being by practicing yoga poses, breathing and meditation in a tranquil outdoor setting (weather permitting). New this year, the Arboretum will offer an Arboretum Yoga punch card. 
Meditation and Essential Oils 
Thursday, March 12
6–7 p.m.
Explore meditative and self-nurturing yoga poses with the use of plant-based essential oils to restore and rebalance the mind and body at the Thornhill Education Center at The Morton Arboretum.
Forest Therapy Winter Walks (2 hours)
Monday, March 16, and Saturday, March 21
9:30–11:30 a.m.
$25 per class
Participants will experience the healing and wellness-promoting effects of shinrin-yoku, the practice of bathing the senses in the atmosphere of the forest, while taking a mindful walk along a woodland trail with a certified Forest Therapy guide. Walks will visit different locations at the Arboretum and will include a variety of awareness-raising exercises. At the conclusion of each program, participants will enjoy tea made from edible plants foraged along the trail. 
Learn about Nature
Navigating with a Map and Compass
Sunday, March 15
Noon–4 p.m.
Be prepared for the next wilderness outing. In this program, participants will learn how to read a topographic map, understand the parts of a compass and their purpose, and stay on track. The program will also familiarize participants with using a compass to orient a map and will cover the basics of GPS.
Fireside Chats at the Arboretum
Wednesdays, March 4 and 25
10–11:30 a.m.
Warm up around the fireplace in the historic Founder’s Room in Thornhill Education Center, and enjoy talks led by Arboretum staff and visiting experts on history, ecology, art, literature and more. “It Takes a Village to Save a Forest” will take place March 4, and “Adding Up the Green: The Value of Chicagoland’s Trees” will take place March 25. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions following the presentations. 
Gardening and Horticulture
Design a Memorable Front Garden
Two Wednesdays, March 4 and 11
9 a.m.–noon
Participants will work with an experienced landscape designer and receive information on how to successfully transform a home’s  landscape. Each person will create a custom drawing depicting a new front garden. 
Landscaping Dos and Don’ts
Wednesday, March 25
9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
With a little help from landscape designer and garden manager Marcy Stewart-Pyziak, participants can create a well-designed landscape and avoid common mistakes homeowners make when taking on landscaping projects. Tips on designing, purchasing, planting and maintenance will be shared. 
Edible Gardening Workshop Series
Saturdays, March 14 through April 11
9:30 a.m.–noon
$46 per session
During the annual spring  Edible Gardening Workshop Series, gardening experts will share practical tips on growing food at home, as well as new ways to create edible gardens. The four workshops include Productive, Purposeful Gardens on March 14; From Seed to Seed: Gardening Heritage Varieties on March 21; Growing Medicinal and Culinary Herb Gardens on April 4; and Transformation in the Garden: Growing Organic for Today and Tomorrow on April 11.
Nature Art and Photography
Nature Writing Workshop (online and in-person)
Three Tuesdays, March 10, 24 and April 7, from 6:30–9:00 p.m. (in-person classes)
Online component begins Tuesday, March 3
Whether you’re a blogger, a novelist, a poet, or you simply enjoy keeping a personal journal, writing is a way to deepen your connection to the natural world. Cindy Crosby—author, co-author, or contributor to more than 20 books—will teach the nuts and bolts of excellent nature writing and improve wordsmithing skills in this blended online and in-person course. 
Visiting Artist: Capturing Birds in Watercolor with Alex Warnik
Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7
9:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
$162 (includes Arboretum admission)
Join artist Alex Warnick as she shares tips and techniques gained from years spent painting birds professionally. In this two-day workshop, participants will learn how to capture birds’ critical proportions and anatomy effectively, while capturing necessary detail and avoiding common pitfalls. Multiple watercolor techniques will be demonstrated. Warnik specializes in bird illustration. She is a recipient of the Donald Eckelberry Fellowship from the Academy of Natural Sciences and is currently working on a field guide to the birds of Costa Rica.
Natural Areas Conservation Training Program
Formerly known as the Woodland Stewardship Program, the Natural Areas Conservation Training (N-ACT) Program is an in-depth training and certification program in natural areas restoration. Classes are easy to fit into a busy lifestyle, and include online, classroom, and field components. The program is open to anyone involved or interested in the stewardship of our natural heritage, regardless of prior experience.
Site Planning for Invasive Species Management (Online only)
Online component begins: Wednesday, March 4
Learn to assess the invasive species issues at a site, and set priorities for efficiently and effectively managing invasive species in this engaging online class. Through interactive online learning modules, you will explore how to prioritize management activities, learn the importance of seasonal timing of invasive species control, and discuss how to develop a plan of action for stewardship at an example site.
Spring Native Plant Propagation
Sunday, March 8
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Learn spring methods for propagating native plants from restoration ecologist Jeff Weiss. Participants will learn how to bring seeds out of stratification, plant them in seed trays and transplant seedlings. They will also practice making hardwood cuttings, dividing plants and starting new plants from suckers.
Ecosystem Concepts (Online and In-person)
Online component begins: Wednesday, March 11
In-person component meets: Sunday, March 22
1–5 p.m.
Explore the interactions that drive ecosystem function and learn to identify plants, animals and fungi in relation to ecological habitats to have a better understanding of how to manage natural areas to support biodiversity. Class discussion will center on influential variables that determine habitat quality and shape an ecosystem, such as light, water, fire and herbivory. An emphasis on the cyclical nature of the seasons and life history of native species will produce insights for short-term and long-term natural areas management. 
Applying Herbicides in Natural Areas
Saturday, March 21
9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Learn how to safely use herbicides to benefit natural areas management. Careful herbicide applications can be an important tool for managing and restoring natural areas. The course will focus on  basic herbicide methods and results, including woody plant control, invasive grass control and broadleaf herb control, among others.
Tallgrass Prairie Ecology (Online Only)
Online component begins: Thursday, March 26 at noon
Digitally explore the intricacies of the prairie landscape and learn how to restore these signature American ecosystems. Look at the history of this unique type of grassland from the descent of glaciers over the Midwest millions of years ago to where we are today. The online course will examine different types of prairie, explore the plant and animal communities of the prairie and discuss strategies specific to restoring prairies.
Basic Plant ID
Saturday, March 28
12:30–3 p.m.
Get the botany basics necessary for identifying plants with the guidance of an Arboretum plant expert. Whether you are a natural resources volunteer or specialist,  gardener, naturalist or artist, this class provides the fundamentals needed to get started. This class is also available online.
Chicago Wilderness Burn Crew Training
Thursday, March 5, and Friday, March 6
8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Chicago Wilderness will offer winter sessions of the Midwest Ecological Prescription Burn Crew Member Training class. This training covers the basics of burn crew training, including fire behavior, controlled burn techniques, and smoke management. The objective is to provide participants with the background necessary to safely participate on the crew of a controlled burn.