Educational programs at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve cover a wide range of topics that include the identification, ecology, and biodiversity of native plants; basics of botany; and how to use native plants, trees & shrubs in the garden and landscape.
NEW and exciting programs are coming in 2017! Check our Calendar of Events for dates, costs and details. To ensure a place in a program, please make sure you pre-register by phone (215) 862-2924.
For adults interested in the Plant Stewardship Index, please click here>
Saturday, May 20, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Members: $45; Non-members: $50. Advanced registration required by May 17th.
Frogs, toads, and dragonflies all need freshwater ponds for egg laying to create future generations. Even a tiny pond will attract and support them. Learn what a true wildlife pond is and how simple it is to create – with no need for running water, filters, fish, and all the fuss. Pat Sutton will share the basics of how to create a wildlife pond and, even more importantly, how to maintain it so that wildlife benefits. Learn which native plants to add to the pond (and which problem plants to avoid), and don’t be surprised if Sutton offers to share native plants from her very own ponds. Don’t make the same mistake that others have made by creating a pond for exotic fish that supports little else. In a true wildlife pond, expect to attract and get to watch the amazing life cycle of huge Green Darner dragonflies or count a growing population of Leopard Frogs and Green Frogs that find your pond as if by magic. Create it and they will come!
Pat Sutton, as Naturalist and Program Director with the Cape May Bird Observatory, researched and wrote the NJ Audubon Society booklet “Backyard Habitat For Birds, a Guide for Landowners & Communities in New Jersey. You can download NJ Audubon articles by Pat Sutton: “How to Create a Butterfly & Hummingbird Garden, &“Recommended Plantings to Attract Hummingbirds, Butterflies, and Moths.
Eight Sundays in January and February, 2 – 3 p.m. Series begins Jan. 8.
Members: $8 per lecture; Non-members: $12 per lecture. Click here for series info.
January 8 - Understanding Vultures, Keith Bildstein, Ph.D.
January 15 - Beyond Honeybees: Pennsylvania's Native Bees, Anita Collins, Ph.D.
January 22 - Gardening to Protect Water: Mitigating Polluted Stormwater Run-off with Green Infrastructure, Jim Waltman
January 29 - Our Nighttime Neighbors: The Ecology and Behavior of Bats, Matthew Wund, Ph.D.
February 5 - Backyard Butterflies of Bucks County, Bob and Pat Whitacre
February 12 - Novel Ecosystems, Marilyn Jordan, Ph.D.
February 19 - Planting with Purpose: Saving Nature at Home and Beyond, Edie Parnum and Barb Elliot
February 26 - Mushrooms Matter! Marion Kyde, Ph.D.
We feature a seasonal series of classes called Knowing Native Plants, in which learners of all backgrounds discover both the aesthetic and scientific aspects of our native flora through presentations and field hikes around our grounds.
Knowing Native Plants classes are held on Saturdays in the Preserve Auditorium. The fee for members is $15 and for non-members is $20. Pre-registration is strongly suggested as space is limited. Professional CEUs are available for all sessions.
For registration information and class descriptions, check out our Calendar of Events.
2017 Knowing Native Plants Spring Schedule:
Plant Identification, Saturday, January 21, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Trees in Winter, Saturday, February 25, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Signs of Spring, Saturday, March 25, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Spring Ephemerals, Saturday, April 15, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Late Spring Lovelies, Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Focus on Ferns, Saturday, May 13, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Flowering Shrubs, Saturday, May 27, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Oak Intensive Workshop
Friday, January 27th, 9:00 a.m. - Noon
Have trouble telling oak trees apart? Join Penn State University Horticulture Professor Dr. Dave Sanford and Bucks County Extension Horticulture Educator Kathy Salisbury for an intensive exploration of various oak trees. Learn how to tell them apart, identify them in the field on a walk, and how to manage their common pests and diseases.
Registration is through the Penn State Extension Bucks Co. office. Contact Kathy Salisbury 215-345-3283 or email@example.com for more details and to register. $25.00 per person.
Invasive Species I.D. and Management
Saturday, April 1, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Members: $15; Non-members: $20. Advance registration required by Thursday, March 30.
Join us to discover the Preserve’s most unwanted! In this session, you will learn about the problems caused by invasive plants, which species are of concern at the Preserve and beyond, and the methods we are using to control these exotic intruders. Naturalist Mary Anne Borge will introduce you to invasive plants through an indoor presentation and Grounds Manager Rick Fonda will join Mary Anne to lead you on an outdoor walk. Walk is weather dependent.
Saturdays, May 6th & June 17th, 9:30 a.m. - Noon
Join Grounds Manager Rick Fonda for a great way to learn and give back at the same time! Learn to identify native and non-native plants, the importance of biodiversity, and how to remove and dispose of invasive species properly. Your efforts will help to protect our native plant collections. Groups, individuals, and families are welcome. Dress for the weather and working in the woods. Gloves and tools will be supplied or bring your own.
Winter Solstice Walk
Wednesday, December 21, 2016, 10:00 - 11:30 a.m.
Members: $5; Non-members: $7
Instead of hunkering down and bemoaning the longest night of the year — also known as the winter solstice — celebrate with a stroll through the Preserve with Education Coordinator Kelly Joslin. We’ll celebrate the joys of winter with a walk on the trails at a time when the sun is lowest in the sky and we experience the shortest days of the year. We’ll conclude in the Visitor Center with hot drinks and cookies.
Nature in Winter Walk
Saturday, February 4th, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Members: $5; Non-members: $7
Explore the Preserve in its winter brilliance with Education Coordinator Kelly Joslin! Enjoy the quiet beauty of our habitats while learning how plants provide winter food and shelter for birds and small mammals. We’ll investigate skeletal stems, diverse seed heads, buds that promise next spring’s leaves and flowers, and look for signs of wildlife on this very special walk. Please dress for the weather.
Qigong: Awaken the Healer Within
Thursdays (6): January 12 through February 16, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Series Fee: Members: $60; Non-members: $72. Participants must register for the entire series to attend.
Qigong (“chee gong) is an ancient Chinese self-care practice and is practiced as a part of traditional Chinese medicine. This course will focus on physical postures and movements, slow deep breathing, and focused meditation as a way to circulate, chi, or universal energy for health and wellness. Qigong helps lower blood pressure, enhance the immune and lymphatic systems, improve balance and stability, and loosen stiff joints. No experience is necessary, just an open mind and a willing spirit. Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
The Healing Power of Nature: Integrating Body, Mind and Spirit
Wednesdays (4): May 24-June 14, 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Members: $40; Non-members: $48. Participants must register for entire series to attend.
Join Sandy Unger for this 4-part series as she shows you a variety of mindfulness techniques that will help you become more in tune with nature and yourself. Dress to be outdoors and wear comfortable shoes.
Week 1: Healing the Mind with mediation-mindfulness, concentration and relaxation
Week 2: Healing the Body with Qigong-breathing and movement
Week 3: Healing the Spirit by exploring nature with our senses, connecting with something larger than us
Week 4: Integrating the Mind-Body-Spirit in nature
Sandy Unger, MA is a Qigong and Tai Chi Easy instructor certified through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC); a member of the National Qigong Association; and has received mindfulness training through University of Pennsylvania’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program.
Recycle Your Holiday Cards
Saturday, January 14, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Members: $8; Non-members: $10; includes all art materials. Space is limited - registration is required by Thursday, January 12.
With just a little cutting and folding, holiday cards and calendars can be made into beautiful little boxes. Bring your large folded cards (6 min. measured from the shortest side), old calendars, and a long ruler if you have one. Learn how to transform them into cute little boxes, ready for regifting! Scrapbook paper also makes a nice box; so if you have that, bring it along! Once you know how to do it, you’ll be hooked.
NEW! Dried Flower Valentines
Saturday, February 11, 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Members: $8; Non-members: $10; Space is limited - registration with payment required by Thursday, February 9.
Show your valentine you care with a gift from nature. Join us as we create a beautiful heart-shaped ornament decorated with colorful dried flowers. Please bring a glue gun if you have one. $3 material fee due at class.
NEW for 2017! Drop-In Make & Take Programs
Do you have a small yard or no yard at all? Don’t let a lack of space prevent you from enjoying the benefits of native plants! Our solution is a mini garden filled with beautiful native plants that you can keep indoors, on your patio, or on a deck. Fees vary by workshop.
All materials included. Drop by on the following dates:
Saturday, April 22: Mini Bog Garden, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 13 Mother’s Day Planter, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 20: Mini Fern Planter, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Growing Native Plants: Propagation from Seed
Saturday, March 4, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Members: $15; Non-members: $20, includes all materials. Advanced registration required by Thursday, March 2.
Start your wildflower gardening early! Take advantage of BHWP Curator Jason Ksepka’s expertise and learn how to start native wildflowers from seed. Jason will discuss interesting seed germination processes while you plant a variety of wildflower seeds in class to take home and grow on.
Approaching Nature with Photography
Two Tuesdays, May 9th & May 16th, 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Members: $45 ; Non-members: $50
This two-part class for naturalists and nature-lovers looks at photography as a tool for learning and communicating about the world of plants. Session 1 will focus on shooting, including time spent out on the trails (bring digital camera, macro and landscape lenses, and tripod). Session 2 will cover image handling and collection management, including color correction, metadata, and web posting. Creating a meaningful body of work will be emphasized over crafting perfect images. Participants should be familiar with the basic operation of their cameras. Home computer with internet access recommended.
Tom Potterfield is a volunteer naturalist and photographer at Bowman's Hill and Longwood Gardens. He has a masters degree from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and spent over 20 years making television documentaries.
Thursday, May 11, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Members: $8.00; Non-members: $12.00. Seating is limited. Advance registration required by May 9.
“Hometown Habitat is a 90-minute environmental education documentary film showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems. Entomologist Doug Tallamy, whose research, books and lectures on the benefits of native plants in landscaping, provides the narrative thread throughout the film. The message: All of us have the power to support habitat for wildlife and bring natural beauty to our patch of the earth. This movie fosters the mission of The Meadow Project to educate and raise awareness about sustainable, native, healthy, easy and affordable land care practices that support wildlife and human life. A panel discussion will be held during intermission.
Bagels and Birding for Beginners
Saturday, March 25, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Members: $12; Non-members: $15. Advance registration is required with payment by Thursday, March 23.
If you’ve wanted to begin watching birds, but didn’t know where to start, here is your opportunity. We’ll open with bagels and coffee then learn the basics of field identification through visual and behavioral cues, as well as some common song recognition. Next we will head out to test our new found knowledge in the field. Please bring binoculars if you have them.
Spring Bird Walks
Saturdays, April 8 through May 13, 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. * New time *
Members: FREE!; Non-members: $3 suggested donation. Advance registration is suggested.
The Preserve’s plant and habitat diversity provide nesting sites and food sources for many species of birds, including warblers, thrushes, chickadees, woodpeckers, towhees, nuthatches, goldfinches, and more. Bird walks depart from the Visitor Center and are led by experienced, local guides. For ages 10 and up. Be sure to bring your binoculars if you can.
Birding in the 21st Century
Sunday, April 9, 8:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Members: $20; Non-members: $25. Advance registration required by 4/5.
Kick off the spring birding season with a hike with local birding experts followed by a discussion with noted Naturalist Pete Bacinski. First, we will hit the trails of the Preserve in search of early spring migrants, then join Pete as he leads a discussion that provides answers to many interesting bird questions. Why do birds migrate thousands of miles to North America? Has climate change affected Neotropic migrants? Is the southern quarter of New Jersey the best place to find birds and where is the best migrant trap? What impact does development and wind turbines have on migratory birds? What boreal bird species are under the most stress and why? These are some of the topics covered in this lively discussion, with questions welcomed.
Pete Bacinski is a naturalist, photographer and field trip guide, who has been a leader in the field of ornithology for many decades. He has written for numerous local, state and national publications and has won the World Series of Birding Competition three times.
Guided Wildflower Walks
Daily in April, May and June, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Every Tues. – Sun. July through October 31. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Members: Free! Non-members: Preserve tour included with admission.
See flowers and fruits in season and discover fun facts about their use. Learn about the Preserve’s history, habitats, and important plant-animal interactions while enjoying the beauty of our trails. Preserve staff and our talented Volunteer Naturalists lead the tours. Tours leave from the Visitor Center with a minimum of two visitors, weather permitting.
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
Saturday, February 18, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
FREE to all! Advance registration is requested.
Join Michael O’Shea from Wild Birds Unlimited of Buckingham, PA for a GBBC event at the Preserve. It’s FREE, fun, and easy - and it helps the birds! This annual four-day event (February 17-20) engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-timesnapshot of where birds are across the continent. Anyone canparticipate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. The event takes place at the Bird Observatory in the Preserve Auditorium. Binoculars aren’t necessary, but would be helpful.