Classes on Backyard Wildlife Habitat and Native Plants Planned

Classes are scheduled for March 11 and March 18 at UC Riverside Botanic Gardens

butterfly on flower

Two events are planned at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens in the coming weeks, including one focused on butterflies.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — Two events – one focused on creating backyard wildlife habitats and the other on California native plants – will take place at the University of California, Riverside Botanic Gardens in March.

The first event, “A California Native Plant Walk and Talk,” is from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on March 11. George Spiliotis, native plant enthusiast and docent at the UC Riverside Botanic Gardens, will lead a discussion of native plants and a walk through the Botanic Gardens.

The program will emphasize the successful selection, planting, and growing of native plants and their use in the domestic landscape. It will focus on plants well-suited for cultivation in the Inland Empire.

The second event, “Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat,” is 10 a.m. on March 18. Ann Platzer, a butterfly and native plant expert and master gardener since 2006, will demonstrate how homeowners can attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife to their back yards by landscaping with native and drought-tolerant plants. She has been a volunteer at the Botanic Gardens for more than 25 years and established the Butterfly Garden at the Botanic Gardens.

Her talk will conclude with a tour of her backyard wildlife habitat, which includes a monarch butterfly waystation and more than 600 species of plants, including cacti, succulents, California poppies, and lupine. Her home is a few miles of the Botanic Gardens and attendees will drive there.

The cost of each of the programs is $25 for the general public and $20 for Friends of the UCR Botanic Gardens members. A continental breakfast is included. Attendance is limited.

Reservations may be made by calling 951-784-6962 or emailing Please make checks payable to UC Regents, memo note “3/11 Walk & Talk” or “3/18 Lecture & Tour,” and mail to: UC Riverside-BEES Admin Unit, 2460 Geology, Riverside, CA 92521.

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