Field Botany

August 7, 2019 - September 11, 2019

12685 East C Ave., Augusta, MI 49012

Contact: contact the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary at 269-671-2510 or, or Misty Klotz, Program Coordinator, at 269-671-2402 or

Who should attend: Anyone who wants or needs to improve their native plant identification knowledge and/or skills: professional and student botanists, biologists, arborists, ecologists, and native plant enthusiasts!

The Field Botany course will expose participants to basic botanical taxonomy and ecology. We will get a close-up look at plant parts, discover botanical terminology, and basic identifying characteristics. During two classroom sessions, we will learn about Michigan’s diverse natural vegetation, emphasizing basic ecological principles of plant distribution, historic and contemporary influences on Michigan’s major vegetation types.

During field sessions, you will develop skills in using plant family characteristics and dichotomous keys to identify plants. We will learn common and scientific names, and the ecological relationships of 40 to 50 plants in three main habitats including wetlands, forests, and prairie-like clearings.
Class Size: 20 students


Basic Botanical Terminology (Class Session)
Enjoy an interactive, fun, and fact-filled class designed to prepare you for success in your study of Michigan’s flora. Participants will be exposed to basic botanical taxonomy and plant ecology as we get a close-up look at plant parts, discover botanical terminology, and learn basic identifying characteristics to set you up for success in the field! 

Trees of Michigan's Forest (Field Trip)
We will learn common species along geographic and soil gradients, from oak-hickory forests to beech-maple forests, and the common understory plants to be found there. We will also discuss how land management affects forest communities. 

The History and Distribution of Michigan's Native Plant Communities (Class Session)
Have you ever wondered what "primeval" Michigan looked like? Well, you're in luck, because the clues are everywhere in the landscape! You will be armed with the knowledge to decode the clues - soils, landforms, hydrology, dominant species - to understanding Michigan's native plant communities and the species that are found in them.

Wetland Plants of the Midwest (Field Trip)
Come explore Michigan’s wetlands! We will hike through a local natural area to see examples of the diverse wetland types that occur in Michigan and learn the common and more unique plants that are adapted to life in wet soils.

Prairies and Savannas of Michigan (Field Trip) 
Let's walk through the idyllic, flowery fields! We will learn to identify some common wildflowers and grasses (yes you can!) that are well-suited to life in the sun, as well as the difference between Michigan's rare native prairie and savanna habitats, and the more mundane 'oldfields'.

Aquatic Plants (Field Trip)
Bring your muck boots or waders and get ready to get messy! This class session will focus on littoral zone (shallow water) submersed and emergent plants.


  • $180.00 Non-member
  • $160.00 Member 

Duration: 6 Weeks

Class Time: Wednesdays, 6 - 8 p.m.

Class Location: Spruce Lodge on the grounds of the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, 12685 East C Ave., Augusta, MI 49012

Class Dates: Aug, 7, 14, 21, 28, and Sept, 4, 11

Materials Provided: Handouts, selected identification keys, and technical references.

Master Gardner Credits: This class has been approved for master gardener credits. Students receive one credit for every hour spent in class or field section.

Cancellation Policy for Events Requiring Registration:  If a program is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances by the W.K. Kellogg Bird Sanctuary, a full refund will be issued. If a registrant must cancel before the event’s registration deadline, a full refund will be issued. Between the registration deadline and the first day of the program, a 20% processing fee per registrant will be retained by the Sanctuary. No refunds the day of an event or after. For events that require prepayment, no space will be held without full payment.


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Tags: field botany, michigan native plants, michigans flora, msu extension, plant id class

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