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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - August 16, 2009

From: Frisco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Classes for a nature lover in Frisco TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a question which I don't think is available in this website. I love plants & flowers,trees etc- just like you, I've only studied till my higher secondary school; now would love to study as well as go into something that is more nature oriented- are there any classes/courses you are aware of for a nature lover?

ANSWER:

If you lived in the Austin area, where the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is located, we could give you a lot of information on classes and information available from our Center. However, in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, you are probably a little far to commute. We have no idea which of these will suit your particular preferences, which would be convenient, which would offer the kind of study you are looking for. But you should have a whole lot of fun looking at all these websites for activities that will fit your needs.

Look around your general area for groups that focus on one or more aspects of nature; for instance, the Audubon Society, which conducts training and birdwatching walks. Or, go to the website of the Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA).

Since Frisco straddles the line between Collin and Denton Counties, you could contact the county extension offices of Collin County or Denton County. They may offer classes, volunteer opportunities in horticulture or information on where you can find classes. Other volunteer organizations that can help you with classes and volunteer opportunities are:

Texas Master Naturalists, North Central Texas Chapter 

Native Plant Society Chapter of North Central Texas.  

Texas County Master Gardener groups

Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

The Texas Audubon Society

If you choose to move on to more formal education, check out the community colleges in your area. Many community colleges offer non-credit courses in numerous subjects, or classes more geared to training for specific employment. This is just a sampler of the possibilities:

North Central Texas College

Collin County Community College District

One step further, major four-year colleges in your area are:

University of North Texas

University of Texas at Arlington

Texas Christian University

Southern Methodist University

Of course, the way most of us started in our nature studies was by starting a garden, no matter how large or small, and getting out there and getting our hands dirty. Try it.

 

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