Adult Programs

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>

Gardening Workshop: How to Create a No Fuss Wildlife Pond with Pat Sutton


Sunday, April 23rd, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Members: $45; Non-members: $50.  Advanced registration required by April 20th.

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.”


Winter Lecture Series

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.  SOLD OUT

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.  SOLD OUT

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.


Knowing Native Plants Series

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.

Specialty Walks

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.


Health & Nature

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.


Make & Take Programs

Recycle Your Holiday Cards  CANCELLED
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 Series

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.  

Art in Nature

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.

Movie Night: "Hometown Habitat - Stories of Bringing Nature Home"

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.

Birding Programs

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

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.

Citizen Science

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.