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Our special weekly programs provide an opportunity for visitors of all ages to come together to deepen their understanding of the connections between horticulture and the natural world. Sessions explore topics as diverse as bird conservation, field botany, ecology, human culture, and the creative arts. Each hour-long session features a stroll through the gardens and is designed to be interactive and engaging. We offer two time slots each week. 

Afternoon Sessions: Sundays from 2:00-3:00 pm (except June 20)
Evening Sessions: Mondays from 7:00-8:00 pm

Admission to Special Programs is free for members of Goodell Gardens, or a $5 suggested donation from folks who aren’t yet members. Want to join? Click here.


It is Time to Turn a New Leaf!

The Diversity of Plants and Their Uses

Are you tired of spending so much time in isolation? Are you ready to get outside away from the screen? Come out to Goodell Gardens as we celebrate the start of a new season with two outdoor sessions where we will explore the colorful, delicious, and healing world of plants! We will investigate edible and medicinal plants and learn some identification tricks for both garden plants and the native flora. The past year has definitely been a challenge for all of us, but there is a lot of hope on the horizon! Let’s turn a new leaf together and celebrate the return of public programs as a result of the new vaccines. 

Session 1: Identifying Flowering Plants with Ease – Sunday, May 2; Monday, May 3
Session 2: Exploring Edible and Medicinal Plants – Sunday, May 9; Monday, May 10


Nature’s Wonders Take Flight

Attracting Birds and Insects to the Garden

Gardening is not just about plants. Many beneficial animals add character and energy to ornamental gardens. We will host two sessions to explore many of the winged creatures that enhance our landscape. In our first session, visitors will practice backyard birdwatching skills while learning how to provide food sources and nesting habitat for our feathered friends. Our second session will focus on the immense diversity of insect pollinators and how to attract them with native plants. 

Session 1: Backyard Birdwatching, Birdfeeders, and Birdhouses – Sunday, May 16; Monday, May 17
Session 2: Observing Pollinators/Planting for Bees and Butterflies – Sunday, May 23; Monday, May 24


Learn How to Appreciate Gardens – Down to a Fine Art!

Gardening, Culture, Imagination, and the Arts

We often think of the scientific and technical aspects of gardening, but what about its connection to the arts? Throughout history, the human imagination has come under the enchanting spell of gardening. In various cultures, many creative individuals have turned to ornamental plantings and natural spaces to find solitude and derive inspiration for their works. Various art forms communicate values and ideas, portray beauty and elegance, and express powerful feelings. Spread over three sessions, visitors will learn how classical music, landscape design, and literature can enhance your appreciation of the wonderful world of gardening and nature. Come out to Goodell Gardens to be inspired! 

Session 1: Classical Music in the Garden – Sunday, May 30; Monday, May 31
Session 2: Garden Design in Different Cultures – Sunday, June 6; Monday, June 7
Session 3: Environmental Literature in the Garden – Sunday, June 13; Monday, June 14


Digging into the Landscape Around Us

Unique Features of Our Region 

Come out to Goodell Gardens to learn about what makes Northwestern Pennsylvania so unique! Although many of us have become accustomed to our geographic region, we often overlook many of its distinctive features. What forces have shaped our region’s landforms, and how do our gardens fit within the local landscape and climate? We will explore the answers to these questions and more. Three engaging sessions will enhance participants’ awareness of the local watersheds, soils, and microclimates

Session 1: Landforms and Watersheds – Saturday, June 19; Monday, June 21
Session 2: All About Soils – Sunday, June 27; Monday, June 28
Session 3: Hardiness and Microclimates – Sunday, July 4; Monday, July 5


Beauty Beyond Blooms

The World of Ferns, Mosses, and Conifers

In our quest for dazzling blooms, we often overlook the enchanting beauty of non-flowering plants. In these exciting sessions, we will explore the remarkable diversity of ferns, mosses, and conifers. Participants will learn how to recognize several distinctive species, and ways to incorporate their charm into the landscape. With their high tolerance for shade and low maintenance requirements, these ancient plants have so much to offer! 

Session 1: Fantastic Ferns – Sunday, July 11; Monday, July 12
Session 2: Mosses: A World in Miniature – Sunday, July 18; Monday, July 19
Session 3: Caring for Conifers – Sunday, July 25; Monday, July 26


A Special Events Grant from the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority helps make these programs possible.