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Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

Green Gardening & Healthy Living Series

The newest series of classes at Phipps helps you to live healthier and garden more sustainably. Help reduce your impact on the environment and learn about sustainable practices you can use in your home landscape, plus learn about healthy living through yoga.

Permaculture Design Certificate

Dates: Saturday and Sunday, March 14, 15, 22 and 29; April 11, 12, 19 and 26; May 3, 9 and 10
Time: 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Instructor: Darrell Frey, Liz Lynch, and guest instructors
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 970 members; $970 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park, plus field trips

Permaculture is synonymous with ecological and regenerative design, and features holistic approaches that integrate natural environmental processes with manmade systems to enhance both human and environmental health. Often said to reach beyond sustainability, permaculture design is also rooted in agriculture and horticulture, yet is far-reaching and interdisciplinary, connecting city planning, ecology, architecture and technology. During this course, students will visit Pittsburgh’s premier examples of permaculture in action to get a sense of what is possible in urban sustainability and then put new knowledge into action by co-designing a space at Phipps Garden Center. Classes are led by Darrell Frey, author and permaculturist for more than 25 years, and Elizabeth Lynch, cofounder of the Three Rivers Permaculture Guild. Guest presenters include Juliette Jones, cofounder of Pittsburgh Permaculture.

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

T'ai Chi in the Conservatory

Dates: Sunday, March 22 and 29; April 12, 19 and 26; May 3 and 17
Time: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Instructor: Stan Swartz
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 70 members; $84 non-members
Location: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Practicing T’ai Chi is an excellent way to manage stress, and to feel stronger, more flexible and energized in today’s busy world. As it focuses on the mind and spirit, rather than speed and endurance, this form of gentle exercise is also suitable for people of all ages and ability levels. Attendees are asked to bring a water bottle and wear comfortable clothes; no flip-flops, please.

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Backyard Composting

Dates: Thursday, April 2
Time: 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Nancy Martin
Level: N/A
Fee: $ 50 members; $50 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

By utilizing the natural process of decomposition, organic materials often considered waste, such as grass clippings, food scraps, autumn leaves and paper, can be turned into a rich soil conditioner with valuable plant nutrients. In this workshop, participants will learn about the importance of composting and get comprehensive tips on how to set up a compost pile, properly maintain it, and use the finished product. Students will also receive an Earth Machine compost bin, an 80-gallon receptacle that has been approved across the state as an ideal choice for urban and suburban areas. This workshop is hosted by Zero Waste Pittsburgh. To register, visit or call 412/488-7490, ext. 226. Price includes one compost unit per registration. Questions? Call 412/488-7490, ext. 247.

Price is $50 per person or $55 per couple.