Certificate in Native Plant Studies Program

Adult & Family Classes | Discovery Field Trips | Children's Summer Camps

The Certificate in Native Plant Studies program has as its goal, to raise awareness of the importance of native plants and their value to our environment. Its curriculum consists of core classes, electives, field trips and volunteer service, which together provide a well-rounded education balanced among botany, taxonomy, ecology, conservation and uses of our native Southeastern flora. Classes are held at The Gardens and at other appropriate locations

Program events will be offered throughout the year. Students may begin their earning their certificate at any time, with any course. Certificates will be awarded to those who fulfill requirements within three years, however – anyone is welcome to register for any of the classes.


Click here for a PDF of brochure.

Click here to view some of the past class offerings in the program.

For more information about registration:

Contact 205.414.3950

For more information about the program:
Contact Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion at 205.414.3985 or jmanion@bbgardens.org.

Current Students: Volunteer Service Hours Form


Upcoming Classes, Field Trips and Volunteer Opportunities


NOTE: If you are unable to register using one of the Register Online buttons below, the class may be full,

contact Rona Walters at 205.414.3950 or rwalters@bbgardens.org.

Due to high call and email volume you should expect a response within 24-48 hours.


The Fascinating World of Carnivorous Plants (elective)
Instructor: Kevin Tarner, Research Technician, University of Georgia - Plant Biology Department
Saturday, August 2 | 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Birmingham Botanical Garden
$50 Members | $60 Non-Members

The southeastern United States is a hotspot of diversity for carnivorous plants, which obtain their nutrients by attracting, capturing, and digesting living animals. They inhabit some of our most unique and imperiled wetland habitats. This course will examine their life history and explore some of the plant communities that support them. Our instructor will cover the identification, cultivation, and propagation of several species of carnivorous plants. He will also profile conservation efforts being taken to conserve many of these species, as well as their endangered and species-rich habitats. In addition to visiting the bog in the Kaul Wildflower Garden, each participant will have the opportunity to create a “bog in a bowl” to take home.


Summer Identification of Native Woody Plants (elective)
Instructor: Fred Spicer
Location: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Saturday, August 9 | 8:30 - 12:30 p.m.
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members
Using The Gardens' extensive living collections as a hands-on resource, we will focus on attributes and identification features of species found naturally or in cultivation in Alabama. Attendees will examine and learn to identify ~20 plants whose key traits are evident in summer, as well as learn which of these plants make good sense to use in your landscapes. This is largely a walking class, held outdoors; please dress appropriately for the weather.


Nighttime on the Cahaba – by Canoe! (field trip)
Trip Leaders: Randy Haddock & John Manion
Saturday, August 9 | 6 -10 p.m.
Location: Carpool from The Gardens
$45 Members | $55 Non-Members (includes canoe and all associated equipment)
What better way to escape the heat of summer than participating in a leisurely moonlight paddle on the Cahaba River? This unique and relaxing way of enjoying a flat water portion of the Cahaba River will allow us to experience the Cahaba in a different light; we will see some familiar plants not normally viewed at night, as well as see and hear a variety of wildlife (imagine: beaver tails slapping water and the calls of night birds.), including hundreds of glowing firefly larvae. (The majority of proceeds will benefit the Cahaba River Society.)


Bats and Plants (field trip)
Trip Leaders: Michael Gilbert and John Manion
Saturday, August 16 | 2 - 9 p.m.
Location: Scottsboro, AL
$60 Members | $70 Non-Members

After visiting some distinctive botanical sites en route to our destination, we will gather at the 264 acre Sauta Cave National Wildlife Refuge, whose cave is home to federally endangered gray and Indiana bats. After a briefing on bats - we will witness what may be the most significant evening bat flights in the Southeast. Recent estimates of bats emerging were 300,000-400,000! After viewing this spectacle, we hope to conclude the evening by observing a resident colony of glow worms. Participants are invited to bring a picnic dinner to enjoy on the cave’s observation deck just before dark.