Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Colorado Native Plant Master: Garden of the Gods

August 9, 2023 @ 8:30 am - August 23, 2023 @ 12:30 pm

A three week series of classes on native plant identification in the field. We will identify 40-60 plants throughout the course.

Schedule: August 9th, 16th, and 23rd from 8:30AM-12:30PM. Participants must attend all three classes for course completion.

Park Description: Garden of the Gods is a popular destination, known for its rock formations and picturesque views of Pikes Peak. Once a basecamp of the Ute due to it’s abundant plant life and water, the park is still home to an array of native plant species.

We will introduce you to 40-60 plants, using family features and a botanical key to help identify species. Ecological relationships, human connections and the potential to use some of these plants in your landscaping will be discussed. In addition, we will emphasize understanding noxious alien plants and the challenge they present to our native environment.


Maggie Gaddis is the Executive Director for the Colorado Native Plant Society and a lecturer in the Geography and Environmental Sciences department at UCCS.

Michele Ritchie became a Colorado Native Plant Master in 2022 and is the Food Systems and Natural Resource Specialist for CSU Extension El Paso County.

Prerequisite: A basic botany class is suggested for those who would like to refresh their botanical knowledge and is highly recommended for those who have minimal background. There will be two free Zoom classes taught by Lenore Mitchell covering Basic Botany and Plant Families offered by CSU Extension in Jefferson County in April which you can register for at the link below, to satisfy this requirement

Basic Botany, April 4th from 9 am – 12:30 pm

Plant Families, April 11th from 9 am – 12:30 pm

https://secure.rec1.com/CO/jefferson-county-open-space/catalog (found under NPM Single day)

If you register for this NPM course after the pre-requisite classes have occurred, a recording of the prerequisite classes will be sent in the confirmation email.

Native Plant Master: Participants who pass three NPM courses will receive a Native Plant Master Certificate. This 12 hour class fulfills 1/3 of the 36-hour coursework requirement towards certification as a Native Plant Master. Courses should be taken in different months and/or vegetation zones. Learn more here.

Required Textbook: Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield. (The 2nd edition (2022) is preferred if you need to buy this book, but the 1st edition (2015) is OK because students will be given a list of changes between the 1st and 2nd editions for plants studied during the course.) Available through the Colorado Native Plant Society bookstore (https://conps.org/conps-store), local and online retail outlets, and the publisher (800-621-2736).

When/Where to Meet: Meet at the Rock Ledge Parking Lot. Class will begin at 8:30am sharp. On the first day, please arrive 15 minutes early. Google Maps pin: https://goo.gl/maps/qrvN2w4y9KuKduxg9

What to Bring: Flora of Colorado by Jennifer Ackerfield; hand lens (10X or greater) available through https://conps.org/conps-store; daypack; bug spray; water; sack lunch; rain, sun, wind protection; personal restroom items.

Special Instructions: Please come prepared for moderate to strenuous walking on hot, cold, windy, snowy or rainy days. Class will meet regardless of weather conditions.

Location Address: 3105 Gateway Rd, Colorado Springs, CO, 80904

Contact allisa.linfield@colostate.edu with questions.


August 9, 2023 @ 8:30 am
August 23, 2023 @ 12:30 pm


Garden of the Gods (Rock Ledge Ranch Parking Area)
3105 Gateway Rd
Colorado Springs, CO 80905 United States