On-going events

First Saturday Tours

Join a docent-led tour on the first Saturday of the month. The tour is free with your Arboretum admission. Tours start at 11:00 in front of Norrie's Gift Shop.


Talks, Lectures, and Pot-lucks

Check the bulletin board in the Horticulture II building for announcements of up coming events. Scholars, staff, and volunteers present talks on wide-ranging topics.


On-going Volunteer Opportunities

Natives First Gardeners

This weeding group was formed to help with the Entrance Native Garden on Tuesday mornings at 9:00am. Enjoy a friendly group, and get involved in beautifying this ongoing project while enjoying the beauty of the California Native collection. Bring gloves, water, and sun protection.


Kiwi Gardeners

Join this weeding and pruning group that meets every Tuesday morning 9:30- 12:30. Get involved enhancing the beauty of the New Zealand garden. Bring gloves and smiles. We provide the Kiwi vibe. Hope to see you mate, cheers!


Aussie Weeders

This rousing group gathers 9am on Thursday mornings. The Australian Collections beam from their attention, and our garden visitors enjoy laughter and joy that is the Aussie Weeders.


Euc. Grove Volunteers

Day and time varies, Contact Melinda Kralj at the Arboretum:


Succulent Wreath Making

New volunteers are sought to join this ongoing group. Succulent wreaths are made by volunteers and sold through Norrie's and the annual Wreath Sale in November, providing much needed support to the Arboretum. Learn how to make these lovely living creations. Most Wednesdays 10am-noon, but call to confirm instruction will be available, 427-2998.

What's Happening at the Arboretum

All events are open to the public and free, except as noted. They are held in the Arboretum's Horticulture Building, unless otherwise stated.

The Arboretum is open daily for self-guided tours from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

April 2014
Thursday, April 3 through Monday, June 7, 2014
9 week certificate program runs from April 3 through June 7. Please visit the program's web page for more information – including a complete schedule, a list of class requirements and an online application form. (The application deadline was Feb. 28; applications are no longer being accepted.)

Building Naturalist Skills: Nature Journaling and Observation, a workshop with John Muir Laws
Jack Laws
Friday, April 25, 2014—9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Observation is a skill that you can hone by training and technique. Bringing these tools to bear in nature observation enhances the richness and joy of every moment in nature.
Learn how to notice, how to tease and explore questions from nature, and draw meaningful relationships between observations and ideas.
Keeping a nature journal is the single most powerful tool you can use to enrich your observation skill and memory. Learn fast drawing techniques and new ways.
An optional component of the Arboretum’s 2014 California Naturalist Program, this workshop is open to the public.
Regsitration: $50.
Register for the workshop by mailing a check made out to “UC Regents” in the amount of $50 to Arboretum, UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 or register with a credit card by calling the Arboretum at (831) 427-2998
You can download a printable flyer here. You can learn more about Jack Laws on his website.

Alumni Weekend - UCSC Arboretum Tour & Wine Reception
Alumni Weekend
Saturday, April 26, 2014—2:30 - 4:30pm
Join staff and volunteers for a tour of the gardens and wine reception. More information and registration details can be found on the event page.

Alumni Weekend - Morning Tour of the Arboretum
Alumni Weekend
Sunday, April 27, 2014—9 - 10am
Join us for a lovely tour of the Arboretum. See native flora from around the globe – including California, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Chile — while also reconnecting with fellow alums, Arboretum staff, and volunteers. More information and registration details can be found on the event page.

CNPS workshop
California Native Plant Society workshop: Measuring and monitoring plant populations
Tuesday, April 29, 2014—
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Part of the statewide CNPS Plant Science Training Program and part of the CNPS Education Program. See the CNPS brochure for further details, including workshop fees and requirements.

May 2014
Garden Tour Euc. caesia
Saturday, May 3, 2014—11:00am
1st Saturday of every month. Free with your paid admission to the Arboretum. Meet in front of Norrie's Gift and Garden Shop.

Community Day Bush Poppy
Tuesday, May 6, 2014—all day
1st Tuesday of every month. Free admission to the Arboretum.

The Ray Collett Rare & Extraordinary Plants Lecture Series:
The UCSC forest ecology research plot: experiential learning as part of a global research network
Wednesday, May 7, 2014—Potluck 6 pm, talk at 7 pm
Cancelled — sorry, due to scheduling conflicts this lecture has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule at a later date.

The Ray Collett Rare & Extraordinary Plants Lecture Series:
Daniel Press and Olga T. Griswold: New Directions at the UCSC Farm and Garden
Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Sytems
CASF workers
Wednesday, May 14, 2014—Potluck 6pm, talk at 7pm
UCSC students – free, Arboretum members $5, Non-members $10
Daniel Press, Professor of Environmental Studies Dept., UCSC and Olga T. Griswold, Executive Director, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Sytems

The Ray Collett Rare & Extraordinary Plants Lecture Series:
Seacliff Beach
Gerald Weber: The Anomalous Coastline – New Brighton Beach to the Pajaro River
Tuesday, May 27, 2014—Potluck 6 pm, talk at 7 pm
UCSC students – free, Arboretum members $5, Non-members $10
Geologic Consultant, Gerald Weber, will explain how the coastline from New Brighton Beach to the Pajaro River has been protected from erosion over the last 150 years — and how that could very well change in the future exposing, previously developed areas to significant erosion hazards. [Read more...]

Board Meeting, Friends of the Arboretum
Wednesday, May 28, 2014—5:00 pm

Open to the public: a California Naturalist class
Todd Keeler-Wolf: California, An Ecoregional Tour
Thursday, May 29, 2014—7 - 9:30pm
UCSC students – free, Arboretum members $5, Non-members $10
Todd Keeler-Wolf
Todd Keeler-Wolf, Senior Vegetation Ecologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, leads us on a eco-tour around California’s spectacular natural settings for the UCSC Arboretum Naturalist program. Exploring wonderful places like vernal pools, chaparral, redwood forests, montane conifer forests, alpine and subalpine settings, and oak woodlands, Todd will present examples of how habitats were "tweaked" and modified in interesting "Californian" ways. For example, why are the poppy fields the best and biggest in the Antelope Valley or what makes Modoc Plateau vernal pools different from other vernal pools in the Central Valley or why is the serpentine vegetation in the Klamath Province so different than in the sierra foothills or the White Mountain alpine and subalpine different from the Sierran versions? Why is it that western sides of continents tend to have unique and great biology? Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear Todd Keeler-Wolf speak with precision and eloquence to describe the ecological drivers behind patterns of vegetation.

Todd Keeler-Wolf
Todd Keeler-Wolf is highly regarded for his extensive experience, knowledge, and understanding of the California’s plant life. He is now the Senior Vegetation Ecologist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and was one of the first Natural History majors to graduate from UCSC in the 1970’s. He has co-authored several books including the prestigious 2nd Edition of the Manual of California Vegetation.

June 2014
Open to the public: the last California Naturalist class
Chris Wilmers: The Puma Project
Thursday, June 5, 2014—7 - 9:30pm
UCSC students – free, Arboretum members $5, Non-members $10

Mountain Lion
"It's about predators and wildlife throughout the world that live in human-dominated places. How do these animals deal with fragmentation? We're showing that, depending on whether they are reproducing or whether they are just surviving, they behave differently." -- Chris Wilmers

Wildlife ecologist and head of the Puma Project, Chris Wilmers, talks about the secret life of pumas in the Santa Cruz Mountains for the UCSC Arboretum Californai Naturalist Program. Using innovative monitoring and tracking approaches, The Puma Project answers questions about how a puma’s behavior changes as their habitat becomes increasingly fragmented by the development of roads and houses. Pumas play key roles in maintaining healthy ecosystems and their recent revival from near extinction have increased the number of human and puma interaction. Human development is now the biggest threat to their existence. The Puma Project’s in-depth study has helped developers design with pumas in mind. Thus allowing humans to safely and sustainability share habitat with these great cats. If you missed the sold out talk at the Rio, this is another opportunity to hear the latest updates on the Puma Project. To learn more visit santacruzpumas.org.

Chris Wilmers with puma
Chris Wilmers, associate professor of environmental studies UC Santa Cruz, is the founder and lead researcher for the Santa Cruz Puma Project, a project that studies the impacts of habitat fragmentation on puma populations in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Chris got a bachelor's degree in physics, but after a month long backpacking trip changed course to pursue an environmental career studying ecology. He attended graduate school at UC Berkeley where he did his dissertation on how the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park impacted