Workshops

"Seed Nature Craft Workshop"


Instructors: Vincent Waring and Melody Overstreet
Sunday, August 19th from 10 am-2 pm
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden

(Cost $45 members/$55 non-members) plus $20 materials fee
 includes cotton bandanas, soil, seeds, and compostable planting cups
Ages 12 and up. Class size is limited to 15

image of seeds

Come gain hands-on experience with seed saving, learn strategies for habitat restoration, and explore the life cycle of select native plants.

Participants will:

- observe and make field sketches of plants in the garden
- learn how to winnow seeds (separating seed from chaff)
- print a silkscreen image on a seed-collecting bandana that shows the life cycle of four select native plants
- take home a collection of native seeds to start a garden

Vincent Waring is a California Naturalist and maker based in Santa Cruz, CA.  His art explores ecology  of wild and intentional spaces through imagery by utilizing printmaking, painting, and drawing. His extensive skills include working with wood, textiles, and plants.

Melody Overstreet is a local artist, poet, California Naturalist, and educator. Her work has  been exhibited locally as well as internationally with a recent exhibit in Macau, China. She offers nature-craft workshops through Cabrillo College extension, the UCSC Arboretum, and Kids in Nature that emphasize the importance of our connection to place, community, and seeds.

View/download flyer for this event. (pdf)

The number of participants for this workshop is limited to 15. 
So payment must be made at the time of registration to secure your place in the workshop.

Go to the online registration form and then go to the payment page.

If you are unable to make the class, notice of cancellation must be received by the office (831-502-2998) by 12 noon on Wednesday 8/15/18 to receive a refund.  Refunds may take up to two weeks to process. No refunds will be granted if notice of your cancellation is not received by this time and date.


This is the eighth in a series of Monthly Nature-Craft Workshops planned for 2018. Most workshops will be 4 hours in length (10 am to 2 pm) on a Saturday or Sunday at the end of the month. They are intended to help participants develop a skill using the natural materials around us.
They will include such activities as flower arranging, basketry, herbal salves, paper making, wreath construction, and much more. Workshop cost for Arboretum members will be $45/non-Arboretum members will be $55 (+ materials where relevant)….so become a member and SAVE.

"Making Plant-Based Salves"


InstructorsBurl Wood, Elena Staley and Nicole Wong
Saturday, July 28th from 10 am-1 pm
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden
(Cost $45 members/$55 non-members) plus $10 materials fee
Ages 12 and up. Class size is limited to 15

plant based slave

    Learn about the process of making salves by infusing oil with herbs and adding beeswax. We will talk about how to use abundant local plant species and various methods of preparation depending on the plants and type of oil used.
    Walking around the arboretum and surrounding lands, we will discuss how we can use plants that grow around us for specific healing purposes.      Everyone will take home 2 ounces of the two types of salves we create together and gain a deeper understanding of using plants as medicines, identifying wild plants, and making herbal remedies.

    Burl Wood is an herbalist, weaver, artist, and musician living in Santa Cruz. She studied traditional Western clinical herbalism at the Motherland Botanical Sanctuary in Willits, the Philo School of Herbal Energetics, and at the California School of Herbal Studies in Forestville, CA. Burl teaches workshops and classes in natural dyeing and medicine making from a land-tending perspective, using plants that are labeled as “invasive” and native species that rely on fire and active management to thrive. Her philosophy is based on building relationship with landscapes, and understanding history, context and the layers of complexity that make up place. She maintains an herbal apothecary and small clinical practice in downtown Santa Cruz. Her website is https://apocalypticherbs.com/
    Elena Staley is an interdisciplinary artist, naturalist, and community organizer of Anglo-European descent who grew up in Coast Miwok territory of the Bay Area. She studies land tending, stewardship, and forestry techniques in the interest of creating and maintaining ecologies of resilience, both social and environmental. She believes that rigorous contemplation of how to live well with our surrounding others inevitably concerns understanding place, history, colonization, and intersecting injustices. Elena currently works doing oak tree restoration and teaching in Santa Cruz and the greater bay area. She is excited to share her love of handcrafts and the ways they develop deep webs of relationship on micro and macro levels.
    Nicole Wong was drawn to the wild lands of Santa Cruz where she came to attend UCSC in 2003. It was here on wanders through the fragrant chaparral and redwood ravines, that a curiosity bloomed inside of her asking the question; "how do we live here?" Her exploration of this led her to study plants at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, and later with local herbalists Darren Huckle and Joshua Muscat. She helped begin Stone Cabin Collective which runs an herbal clinic on the Diné (Navajo reservation) where she became inspired to deepen relationships with indigenous peoples as well as to understand the impacts of colonization. She currently works with the project, Sudden Oak Life which is influenced by native land management techniques to restore health to oak communities. Utilizing herbs from this work, she runs a small herbal medicine business called Braided Relations Botanicals. She currently lives and makes medicine in Santa Cruz mountains

View/download flyer for this event. (pdf)

The number of participants for this workshop is limited to 15. 
So payment must be made at the time of registration to secure your place in the workshop.

Go to the online registration form and then go to the payment page.

If you are unable to make the class, notice of cancellation must be received by the office (831-502-2998) by 12 noon on Tuesday 7/24/18 to receive a refund.  Refunds may take up to two weeks to process. No refunds will be granted if notice of your cancellation is not received by this time and date.


Future Nature Craft Workshops


Note: links to register and pay for workshops will be posted 6 weeks prior to the date of the workshop. 

"Dyeing Wool with Invasive Plants: 
Land Tending & Re-imagining our Sense of Place"  Saturday, September 29th from 10 am-3 pm.
Instructors: Burl Wood, Elena Staley and Nicole Wong
    Join us to learn about harvesting plants for color using fire mimicry and wild-tending techniques. This workshop will include both hands-on and lecture portions as we go over techniques of caring for and rehabilitating oak savanna and coastal prairie ecosystems. 

"Eco-printing on Silk", Saturday, October 27th from 10 am-2 pm.
Instructors: Burl Wood, Elena Staley and Nicole Wong
    Using leaves, flowers, vegetable skins, mushrooms, nut hulls and roots, we will naturally dye silk scarves. Eco-print is a technique where plants are placed on silk and wrapped around a copper, iron, or aluminum pole and steamed in a hot water bath.