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Workshops & Events

Saturday Speaker Series

Year after year, expert speakers in our popular Saturday Series draw an audience from far and near. Participants leave with knowledge they can use in their own gardens, yards, and homes. Many events include demonstrations. The Hamilton College campus has been designated as an arboretum; please consider time to explore if you attend one of our events.

All events in this series are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is not required. We encourage membership in the Arboretum as it helps support the programs offered throughout the year. Membership forms are available at the event sign-in or online.

All events in this series begin promptly at 10 a.m. NOTE: Campus buildings are closed to visitors until further notice, all events will be held virtually at https://hamilton.zoom.us/j/92317875511

2020-21 Event Schedule

*Saturday speaker series

March 20, 2021
Foraging for Vibrant Color with Professor Rebecca Murtaugh

Professor of Art Rebecca Murtaugh will talk about foraging botanical color from campus flowers and trees, our kitchens, and our compost piles to make natural dyes for sustainable artmaking. She’ll show images and discuss artworks by renowned artists using plant-based palettes and feature sculptures made by Hamilton students in her new Art & the Environment course. 

April 24, 2021
Beekeeper Scott Hart on Why We Need Bees

A passionate beekeeper for almost a decade Scott Hart can answer just about any question from aspiring or experienced beekeepers. For the past eight years, he was worked to maintain hives with no treatment. Scott also makes his own queens and strives for genetics to help drive the bees past the huge issue of varroa mites. A recent sampling of his hives proved he was on the right track: his hives had some of the lowest numbers of mites out of all the hives that were tested in NY state.  Adopt A Hive Program

May 8, 2021
Jan Johnson Landscape Designer

Jan Johnsen is a professional landscape designer and a principal of the established design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in Westchester County, NY. Jan is trained in landscape architecture and professional horticulture, and has taught at Columbia University and the New York Botanical Garden.  Her firm’s work has been featured in Garden Design Magazine, This Old House, Landscape Architecture, East Coast Home and Design, and others. In her presentation, The Spirit of Stone, Jan shares creative and practical ways to use natural stone in the garden, from rock gardens to dry streams, and as benches, art, paths, and more.


September 18, 2021
Adrianne Weremchuk P’24, RLA, ASLA, ISA, GRP, CLARB; Landscape Architect, City of New York Parks & Recreation
November 20, 2021
Neil Pederson on Dendrochronology

en·dro·chro·nol·o·gy /ˌdendrōkrəˈnäləjē/ noun
the science or technique of dating events, environmental change, and archaeological artifacts by using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in timber and tree trunks.

January 2022 (Day TBD)

Kerry Ann Mendez, Award-Winning Garden Designer, and Author at Perennially Yours

March 19, 2022

John Rogers is an experienced birder and member of the Onondaga Audubon Society in Syracuse. He co-founded the New York State Bluebird Society in 1982. He has received numerous awards for his bluebird conservation work, including the Bluebird Conservation Award from the North American Bluebird Society. John will give a presentation on the life history of the Eastern Bluebird, other birds that nest in bluebird boxes, and nest box management. He will share his love of the natural world, along with information on a few other birds, wildflowers, and butterflies.

Previous Events

February 20, 2021
Where did all of these crows come from? The migration and behavior of Utica’s crows with Professor Andrea Townsend

Andrea Townsend will discuss her research which is focused on understanding how land-use changes affect the behavior, health, and populations of wild birds. In recent work, Townsend examined how urbanization promotes the transmission of West Nile virus and food-borne pathogens in crows. 

April 11, 2020
Amy Ziffer Owner of A Shady Lady Garden Designs*

Amy Ziffer, owner of “A Shady Lady Garden Design”, has been helping clients in Connecticut with their gardening needs, as well as sharing her extensive gardening experience through lectures and demonstrations, since 1998. Amy is a former editor at Fine Gardening magazine and a Master Gardener. Her garden writing and photography can be seen in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and Yankee magazines, in Reader's Digest books, and in other publications.
Amy’s specialty is cold climate ornamental gardening in the Northeast U.S.

January 16, 2021
Steve Bick Forester

Steve Bick is a father and a forester and sometimes a writer and researcher.  He has a BS and MS from SUNY-ESF and PhD in forest management and economics from Virginia Tech.  He and his family make their home in the southwestern Adirondack Mountains.  Steve is a self-employed forestry consultant and works on a wide range of projects, including stewardship planning, conservation easements, valuations, income tax work and wood energy research.  He is the author of eight books on forestry and conservation topics, as well as many technical articles.  He is also the director of the Vermont Forest Business School. Steve has been working in Hamilton College’s forests since 2016. Steve’s presentation is: Forest of Hamilton College: An Iconography of Thunder-Beings.

October 19, 2019
Teri Chace presents “Seeing Seeds:  A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit”*

Teri Chace is a writer and editor with more than 35 titles in publications.  She has written and blogged for four major consumer gardening/outdoor-living publications (Horticulture, North American Gardener, Backyard Living, and Birds and Blooms).   Teri will discuss her book "Seeing Seeds:  A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit". 

November 16, 2019
John Forti presents “Edible Landscapes – For Health, Habitat, Families and the Future”*

John Forti is a garden historian, ethnobotanist and garden writer.  His topic, "Edible Landscapes – For Health, Habitat, Families and the Future" explores how to eat locally and enjoy the fruits of your own labors.  This talk delves into planting edible gardens and landscapes that offer healthy alternatives to our lawns and hedges.

January 18, 2020
Christine Froehlich presents “Gardening With What You Have”*

Christine Froehlich has had a long career in horticulture. Her talk is “Gardening With What You Have.” She’ll share her expertise, first as a gardener, then, after training at the New York Botanic Garden, as the owner of a garden design and maintenance company, which she operated for 25 years in Connecticut. She has published articles in Fine Gardening, American Gardener, Country Gardens, American Nurseryman, The Upstate Gardeners Journal, 585 Magazine, and Rochester Magazine. After moving to upstate New York, she taught classes at the Rochester Civic Garden Center, and later served as their executive director. She continues to work as a garden designer, consultant, and lecturer.   

February 15, 2020
Chris Luley presents “Wood Decay Fungi or is Your Tree in Trouble?”*

Chris Luley is president/pathologist of Urban Forest Diagnostics in Naples, N.Y. Luley has been providing urban forestry consulting services throughout his 35+ year career in urban forestry and arboriculture. He specializes in urban forest management, tree diagnostics, and decay assessment, and has the advanced diagnostic equipment to test trees for internal decay. This presentation will explore the many aspects of wood decay fungi from the ones that mean a tree is in serious trouble, to those that can be used in medicinal preps or eaten for dinner. Note: This lecture qualifies for ISA CEU credit. 

Contact Information


315-859-4892 315-859-4407 arboretum@hamilton.edu
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