Local Wildflower Class

Register for the morning session (9:00am-12:30pm)

Register for the evening session (6:00-9:30pm)

Join ABG for a 4-week long field botany class with Dr. Marilyn Barker and Ginger Hudson. Learn about local plants, their identification, and uses. The class meets Thursdays in May and June (May 11th-June 1st). Registrants can attend either morning (9 am – 12:30pm) or evening (6 pm – 9:30 pm) sessions, not both.

The first class (May 11th) will take place at the BP Energy Center located at 900 E Benson Blvd, Anchorage for both the morning and evening sessions. The first evening class on May 11th will take place from 5:00-8:30 pm, the rest of the evening classes will be from 6-9:30 pm. Morning class times will not change. The remaining three classes will be out in the field. Class fee does not include field trip transport or optional books and supplies. For more information please call ABG at 907-770-3692.

$110 for members and $125 for non members. Spaces are limited to 15 people per class. and pre-registration is required. If you register but need to cancel, there will be a cancellation charge of $20.

About the Teachers:

Dr. Marilyn Barker completed her doctorate in Botany from Washington State University, Pullman, with a minor in plant pathology. Her bachelor’s degree in botany is from Miami University in Ohio. She taught botany classes at the University of Alaska Anchorage and at Anchorage Community College. She is well-known for her classes on mosses and lichens, and on spring wildflowers – which she still teaches, with Verna Pratt, in May. Marilyn was a founding member of the Alaska Native Plant Society and continues to lead members on field trips throughout Alaska. She is a member of the Alaska Botanical Garden, the Wildflower Garden Club, the American Bryological and Lichenological Society and has a professional affiliation with the Arctic Institute of North America. Dr. Barker has been involved with numerous vegetation studies, including Prince William Sound’s shoreline and an exotic plant survey for Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. She coordinated a floristic survey of the Bering Glacier, with results recently published by The Geological Society of America in Bering Glacier: Interdisciplinary studies of Earth’s largest temperate surging Glacier. Very active in the community, Marilyn is on the board of the Anchorage Weavers & Spinners Guild and plays flute in the Anchorage Community Concert Band. She took the Master Gardener course in 2008 and provided more than 40 hours of volunteer service teaching. (She claims to have a dehydrated slime mold that she can rehydrate and move across a table.)

Ginger holds an Environmental Design degree from Texas A&M University’s School of Architecture. She moved to California where she used her design skills in advertising and graphic design. Experiencing a shortage of water in California, Ginger brought her concern about water for landscaping when she moved to Austin, Texas. She made this her priority in education while serving as President of the Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society. Working as Art Director of the American Botanical Council, Ginger gleaned knowledge of of plants used as medicines. As a Nature Conservancy volunteer in Alaska and Texas, she conducted field work to identify native plant habitats on lands preserved for endangered species. It was in these special places she began to conduct tours helping others appreciate the beauty and value of native plants. Ginger worked in the retail nursery trade at unique locations known for growing their own native and adapted plants in central Texas.  She used her knowledge of hardy plants and design skills to open a successful landscape design and maintenance business in Austin. Caring for the grounds at The Art School at Laguna Gloria led to teaching The Art of the Garden. Soon, she was teaching Design and Maintenance classes at the nationally known Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. At the request of her students, Ginger authored ‘A Guide to Landscape Maintenance for Central Texas Gardens’ an interactive ebook available on the iTunes Bookstore. She has appeared as a guest three times on KLRU’s locally produced TV program Central Texas Gardener. After suffering too long in the excruciating Texas heat, Ginger and her husband moved north in 2010. She worked five years in tourism and is an Advanced Alaska Master Gardener. She served her MG volunteer time as a docent at the Alaska Botanical Garden and MG meeting presenter. She was the Retail and Nursery Manager at ABG from 2014 – 2016. During this time, she worked closely with the Horticulture Department to acquire appropriate plants to utilize in new ABG spaces. She took the Wildflower Class with Verna Pratt and Dr. Marilyn Barker in 2015. Ginger is currently pursuing an MFA in nonfiction Creative Writing at UAA specializing in nature and environmentalism. She is a photographer, locavore and member of the Garden Writers Association.