Upcoming Classes

Learn to Winterize Garden Bed +
Garlic Planting
Sunday October 9th
10:00am – 1:00pm

RSVP Required
Meet at the SEE Garden

Class Description

Join SEE’s Garden Manager, Tayler Jones, in the winterization of our community garden. Learn how to prepare a garden for the off-season, harvest organically grown veggies, nurture the soil + plant garlic for next season!

Please come dressed for the weather and prepare to have your hands in the Earth!  Bring a water bottle, picnic lunch, sturdy shoes, and gloves if you have them. Snacks will be offered!

Calendula Salve Making Class
Tuesday October 18th
4:00pm – 6:00pm

RSVP Required
Meet at the SEE Outdoor Classroom

Cost: $20

Class Description

Learn how to make your own calendula salve! You will come away from this class with an understanding on how to grow and use calendula. The energetics and uses of the plant will be discussed, as well as how to use it fresh and dry it. There will be a calendula tea tasting followed by a demonstration on creating a salve. Each participant will take home a half ounce container of salve and know how to make more for next time!

Repurposed containers for the salve will be provided, but you are more than welcome to bring your own as well!

About the Instructor

Laura Davis was born and raised in Colorado, where she developed a love for the outdoors. She has been studying alternative health for ten years, and she received an Herbalist certificate from the School of Natural Healing in 2021. She loves to learn and will be continuing her herbal education in 2023. She is a busy mom of four boys, who she homeschools. You’ll find her watching the sunset, journaling, or reading in her free time, and hiking and paddle boarding are her favorite!

Botanical Watercolor for Beginners Christmas Cactus
Saturday November 5th
10:00am – 12:00pm

RSVP Required
Meet at Phelan Gardens

Cost: $25

Class Description

Join our returning instructor Helen Smithwick for another botanical watercolor class! This class will focus on painting Christmas Cactus flowers and will be hosted at Phelan Gardens. Learn techniques to capture these seasonal moments of awe and wonder, while gaining confidence to paint perhaps your first masterpiece!

Supplies included in ticket cost!

About the Artist

Helen Smithwick is a botanical illustrator, residing in Colorado Springs. She graduated with distinction from the School of Botanical Art and Illustration at the Denver Botanic Gardens in 2013. She received the Sydney Parkinson Award for excellence in botanical illustration and best overall portfolio of her graduating class. She is a member of the Commonwheel Artists Co-op in Manitou Springs, where she frequently displays her work.

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What do you want to learn?

SEE offers hands-on, experiential learning in topics related to food production, sustainable living, local ecosystems and whole system design, and artisanship. With our large garden space and connections with local experts, we’re poised to provide a range of clinics and courses. What are you curious about? What skills do you want to build? How can SEE help you become more savvy and self-sufficient?

Fill out our survey to help us meet your needs!

We’re working on our 2022 class schedule, and need your input! Please help us by sharing your (and your outdoor-loving kids’) availability so we can plan classes at convenient times.

Past Classes

Introduction to Whole System Design (Virtual)
The hot, cold, dry, and windy semi-arid climate that is Colorado Springs can baffle even the most seasoned gardeners. Intro to Whole System Design offers a fresh perspective on your landscape’s potential, mental frameworks to analyze and evaluate opportunities, and practical strategies to make your place more abundant and resilient.  Whole System Design is an approach that considers the interactions of all factors within a site, and aims to organize natural systems into reinforcing and regenerating patterns.  This class builds an understanding of zone analysis, sector analysis, and inputs and outputs for a given site, and allows participants to start applying these principles to their own home and landscape.

Cold Frame Construction
Gardeners in Colorado can extend their growing season by several weeks by using a well-built, strategically-placed cold frame.

A cold frame is like a tiny greenhouse – it’s a structure that creates a warm microclimate to grow in before ambient air temperatures are warm enough for growing.  In this class, you’ll learn how to build a wooden (treated lumber) 4’x4′ cold frame with a UV-stabilized polycarbonate lid, step-by-step!

You’ll go home with the skills to be able to build your own, and select and prepare a suitable site to grow in.

Composting – The What’s, Why’s, and How’s
This class will equip you with answers to all your basic What, Why, and How questions about composting. You will come away with a deeper knowledge of the essence of composting, what it is and why it is so important, and how you and your household can start doing it TODAY! Get hands-on practice in building a compost pile and using finished compost on established plants and garden beds. Participants will get to take home finished compost.

Gardening Basics
Whether you think you have a “brown thumb”, or you want to learn more about gardening with some hands-on practice, Gardening Basics is for you! Participants will learn about considerations when selecting and laying out plants, how to seed and plant a variety of crops, how to harvest established crops, and how to troubleshoot common problems.

Colorado Animals Meet & Greet
Get up close and personal with a range of animal ambassadors from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo that call this area home! The “Zoomobile” will bring us and a range of animal guests that are native to the prairie and foothills we live in. Zoo staff will showcase and teach about a variety of animals, with opportunities to touch and interact with them throughout the program. Come experience Colorado’s fauna like never before!

Mycology Basics & Mushroom Bed Building
Familiarize yourself with fungi, and get some hands-on experience in cultivating mushrooms and using fungi to improve soil. You’ll learn about edible mushrooms and ways to cultivate various types that do well in the southwest. After a short presentation covering the basics of “mycology” (the study of fungi), there will be a brief cooking demo with tasty oyster mushrooms. Then, you’ll help make an oyster mushroom bed on site with organic, recycled materials. Participants can take home some fungal spawn to inoculate substrate, add to a compost pile or put directly onto a garden bed. You’ll leave this class with an understanding of how fungi can work for you to enhance your diet and your soil!

Vermiculture Basics
Worms help create compost and make food scraps useful, especially when limited on space or materials. Learning to raise and use worms, or “vermiculture” is easier than you might think!  Incorporating an indoor “worm farm” into your lifestyle and growing practices helps reduce waste and improve soil in a variety of ways! In this class, you’ll learn about the process and benefits of using worms to break down food scraps, discuss problem-solving a worm composting setup, and participate in building a demonstration indoor/outdoor worm farm.

Tree & Shrub Pruning
While it might seem scary to cut branches off your precious woody plants, it’s an important part of keeping shrubs and trees happy and healthy!  In this class, you’ll learn about why pruning is so important, when it should happen, and basic techniques using handheld pruners.  You’ll see a demonstration of shrub and tree pruning in real time, and will have the chance to practice removing unwanted branches and growth from woody plants.  Get your pruning questions answered, and leave this class ready to give your own Front Range shrubs and trees what they need!

Soil Building
The importance of healthy, active soil cannot be overstated – it’s the groundwork for thriving plants and richer ecosystems.  Learn to build and improve soil by working with locally-available inputs to enhance the natural processes that create healthy soil.  You’ll come away from this class with a better understanding of where to start with your own soil improvement, and hands-on practice of five strategies to add to your “soil building toolkit”! Participants will also get a sample of Azomite to use in their own soil.

Growing Microgreens
Want to learn how to grow organic food in small spaces while localizing where your food comes from?  In this class, you will learn how to grow your own nutrient-dense microgreens, step-by step at home.  All participants will receive the materials needed to get started, and get to take their seeded trays home to grow and eat!  Whether you’re already a microgreen fiend or just want to move towards producing more of your own food, this class is for you! 

Learn to Grow: Garden Planning
This class is best suited for those growing with limited space as our Garden Manager, Tayler Jones, will teach about the square foot gardening technique. You will gain greater knowledge about soil quality, seed sourcing, understanding seed packets and hardiness zones, as well as the importance of mulching and companion planting.

Botanical Watercolors for Beginners
Do you love flowers and painting?  Want to connect creatively with the botanical beauty of garden spaces? Then this class is for you!  Participants will be led by Botanical Illustrator, Helen Smithwick, in the painting of pansies and poppies using watercolors. Learn techniques to capture these seasonal moments of awe and wonder, while gaining confidence to paint perhaps your first masterpiece!

Plant Walk & Yucca Cordage

Join SEE’s Garden Manager, Tayler Jones, in a plant walk at The Shire! You’ll learn basic botany terms and gain confidence in foraging to aid in identifying native edible and medicinal plants. Enjoy a nature bathing inspired tea ceremony and process yucca fibers to craft your own cordage!

Some plants we’ll get to know: Scrub Oak, Yucca, Purslane, Lamb’s Quarter, Raspberry, Gooseberry, Ponderosa Pine, and Juniper.

Yoga in the Garden

Ever taken a yoga class outside? Join us in the SEE Outdoor Classroom for community based yoga! Ground, stretch and connect with breath work and gentle movements on the mat. Classes offered will be accessible and open to individuals at any level. The instructor will be Heather Laughlin, who was raised in Colorado Springs and enjoys kindling her love for the outdoors through hiking and gardening. As a local therapist, she has a passion for the mind/body connection and enjoys combining her social work background with thoughtful movement to encourage the experience of Yoga. Heather has been practicing yoga since 2010 and has recently completed a yoga study led by Jessica Patterson of Root: Center for Yoga and Sacred studies.

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