Urban Naturalist Classes

In this teeming metropolis we call home, nature is all around us whether we pause to carefully observe it or not. Amaranth springs through the cracks in our sidewalks; migrating warblers rest in our parks; horseshoe crabs scuttle onto our beaches to breed. As a NYBG Urban Naturalist, you will have a unique opportunity to explore these diverse habitats while discovering the keys that unlock their many secrets. Enroll in a course for fun or pursue a Certificate.

Click here for an overview of the Certificate Program.


This class will take place online. Registered students will receive login instructions.

From towering tulip trees to creeping partridge berries, woody plants make up the forests of the Northeast. Learn to identify trees, shrubs, and woody vines by more...
204BOT375O 04/18 Sa 10:30am-1:30pm Kaechele

PLEASE NOTE: This class will begin online, though it may end onsite depending on how the current situation unfolds. Registered students will receive login instructions.
Explore the myriad structures and life cycles of the vast diversity of more...
204BOT317SO 04/27 Mo 5:00pm-8:00pm Boyer, Ph.D.


Herbaceous plants occupy prairies, wetlands, forest understories, and many other habitats. The identifying characteristics of this diverse group of plants are often quite different from those of woody plants. You'll learn the fundamental herbaceous plant identification characteristics, as well as more...
204BOT376 05/05 Tu 5:00pm-8:00pm Hagen

With its variety of habitats and position on the Atlantic Flyway, NYC is a bird-lover's paradise! Over 300 distinct resident or migratory species live or pass through here each year, including many nesting species such as Peregrine Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks, more...
204NAT317B 05/05 Tu 10:00am-1:00pm Chaya

Trees may appear to be strong and silent, but they can "talk"—to one another, to other plants, and to animals and insects. Discover how trees communicate via chemical signals in the air (to warn each other of insect attacks), as more...
204BOT385B 05/06 We 6:00pm-9:00pm Barnes

Did you know that Blue Jays can mimic the cry of a Red-tailed Hawk? Train your ear to find them as well as other talented mimics, comical improvisers, brilliant songsters, and heart-throb spring soloists. The vocalizations of our native birds more...
204NAT341B 05/06 We 10:00am-1:00pm Chaya

Delve into the fascinating world of the creatures that make up 84% of the Animal Kingdom—what renowned biologist E.O. Wilson once called "the little things that run the world." We'll discuss the roles that insects play—both in maintaining healthy ecosystems more...
204NAT322 05/07 Th 10:00am-1:00pm Chaya

Take your naturalist game to the next level by learning how to sketch. Drawing asks you to slow down and closely observe what you see, which will help you identify unfamiliar species and investigate ecological connections. Botanical artist and avid more...
204NAT400 05/17 Su 10:00am-1:00pm Guida

Urban flora can be found growing in unlikely places, from city sidewalks and highway medians to lawns, and other man-made structures. Most of these plants are introduced and many are considered weeds. We will hear more about their origins, life more...
204NAT332 05/20 We 10:00am-1:00pm Slowik
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