Community Garden Development Training

This series of classes (CGDT) begins in November and runs through the winter to get you ready for next spring.

Participants in CGDT classes must complete and submit an application. For the list of the CGTD classes click here.


Intro to Living Green Series

Want to learn to be a “greener” you by making your home, garden and products more organic and natural?  Delve into this series and see what you can easily accomplish to green up you life.  Classes offered in February, March, April, May, and June.  There will be additional classes scheduled for the remainder of the year – stay tuned and see classes listed below.

Professional Development Series**

Whether you’re a green industry professional seeking CEUs or an individual interested in learning more about sustainable architecture and reducing human impact on the environment, this series is for you! This set of classes will focus on The Living Building Challenge (LBC) – one of the newest green building rating systems. The LBC is a building certification program, advocacy tool, and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today. A variety of experienced live instructors will provide engaging presentations related to the seven performance categories of the LBC known as Petals: Place, Water, Energy, Health & Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Classes begin in April and will be hosted every other month in 2015. Stay tuned for postings and register for individual sessions listed below.

** after title indicates a class in this series


Baby Greens

We are offering the Baby Greens classes to families with children from birth to age 4.  The Classes will provide young children with opportunities to grow as they explore the world of plants at the Civic Garden Center!  Monthly classes will each have a different focus based on seasonal changes. The cost is $5.00 per participant and advance registrationis appreciated.



Family Class:  Solar Cooking

Saturday, July 18, 2015, 10:30-noon
Have you ever tasted sunshine?  Join us for a funfilled day of solar oven construction and experimental cooking using energy from the sun. Click here to register.

Baby Greens

Tuesday, July 21, 10am-11am
$5 per participant for ages birth to 4
Cost: Instructor:  Mary Dudley 

Young children will be provided with the opportunity to grow as they explore the world of plants. Click here to register.

Attract Pollinators with Native Plants

Saturday, July 25, 10:00 am-noon
Instructor: Solomon Gamboa, Pioneer Landscapes, LLC
Cost: $10 (free to CGC Volunteers)

Learn how to bring more pollinators into your garden using native plants, which thrive in our region. Take home lists of plants that specifically attract honey bees, native bees, native butterflies and hummingbirds. Design principles will focus on large landscape beds and prairie plots. The class will start at the CGC and include a trip to a local pollinator hotbed, so dress to be outdoors.  Click here to register.

Preserving the Harvest, Part I: Freezing, Drying and Pickling

Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Jennifer Even, OSU Extension Agency
Cost: $10 (free to CGC volunteers)

Want to learn the latest recommendations for preserving pickled products, drying fruits, or freezing vegetables? Come to this workshop to learn the latest recommendations presented by Jenny Even, Extension Educator with OSU in Hamilton County. Information will be presented based on the latest USDA guidelines.  Recommended procedures, websites and fact sheets will be provided.  Click here to register.



Abundant Tomatoes: Taste Test, Save Seeds, Keep Plants Healthy

Tuesday, August 11, 6:00-8:30 pm
Instructor: Jerry Luebbe, President – Cincinnati Heirloom Open Pollinated Tomato Associate Growers (CHOPTAG)
Cost: $10 (free for CGC volunteers)

Join us for a tomato taste test in the height of the season to sample a wide variety of heirloom tomatoes. Pick up ideas for which varieties to grow next year and how to use them in your kitchen. Learn the art of tomato seed saving so you can pass on your own heirloom seeds. Take home strategies for keeping your plants growing strong into the fall. Click here to register.


Preserving the Harvest, Part II – Water Bath Canning

Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Jennifer Even, OSU Extension Agency
Cost: $15.00 per person (Free for CGC donors)
Space is limited, registration required
Register by calling 946-8987 or emailing
Location: OSU Extension Office, 5093 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati, OH

Summer brings a bounty of goodness from the garden.  Learn how to safely preserve nature’s harvest to enjoy year round through a water bath canning program and demonstration. Jenny Even, Extension Educator with OSU in Hamilton County, will present the latest canning recommendations from the USDA on safely preserving high acid foods, including tomatoes and fruit products. Recommended procedures, websites and fact sheets will be provided. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced canner, you won’t want to miss this program!  Free to Civic Garden Center donors.

The Materials Petal: Rationale and Strategies for Creating a Healthy, Low-Impact Built Environment**

Friday, August 14, 2015, 11:30 am-1:00 pm
Instructor: David Whittaker, ASLA, LEED AP, and Living Future Accredited with Human Nature, Inc., Cincinnati, OH
Cost: $20 (includes lunch)
Credits: Approved for 1 AIA LU and 1 GBCI CE Credit

Join us for an in-depth overview of the Materials Petal, one of the seven regenerative categories (or Petals) that define the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This course will discuss the intent and rationale behind the Materials Petal and illustrate how the LBC can help us generate places that minimize or eliminate toxins, reduce material usage, maximize reuse, and support a regenerative economy. This informative and inspirational presentation will include an in-depth look at real-life examples and case studies. Click here to register.

Family Class:  Cosmic Compost

Saturday, August 15, 2015, 10:30-noon
Amazing adventures lie just below the soil!  Join us as we learn the secret lives of worms and how we can make “black gold” for the garden from composting our kitchen scraps. Click here to register.

Baby Greens

Tuesday, August 18, 10 – 11 am
Instructor:  Mary Dudley
Cost:  $5.00 per participant

Young children will be provided with the opportunity to grow as they explore the world of plants. Click here to register.



Garden Basics: Fall and Winter Maintenance of Flower and Vegetable Gardens

Wednesday, September 2, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Bennett O. Dowling, CGC Horticulturist & Jerry Luebbe, seasoned vegetable gardener
Cost: $10 (free for CGC Volunteers)

Preparing your plants and beds for winter is important in maintaining the health of your plants and soil, as well as the aesthetics of the landscape in its dormant state.  Fall and winter are key seasons for shrub and tree planting, seed collecting, feeding and other practices that send your garden into winter healthy, happy and ready for spring.  This class covers the seasonal cycles of flower and vegetable gardens with an emphasis on building healthy soil, including the use of green manure crops and composting.  Click here to register.


Saving Seeds

Tuesday, September 8, 6:00–8:00 pm
Instructor:  Sue Trusty, Horticulturist
Cost: $10 (free for CGC Volunteers)

Collecting seed from plants can be exciting, economical and is essential for preserving genetic diversity of plants.  Through discussion and demonstration, find out how to collect and store seed from annuals, perennials and woody plants; learn the best references to use in determining collection techniques; discover the difference between hybrids and open-pollinated plants. Click here to register.


Cell Phone Photography

Saturday, September 12, 1:00-3:00 pm
Instructor: Heather Ruschman, Owner of The Faction House
Cost: $10 (free for CGC volunteers)
This class will be covering such basics as composition, cropping and helpful free apps to enhance your smartphone photography. Learn how to “frame a shot” and use lighting to your advantage. We will be exploring the many options your smartphone has to maximize the potential for creating beautiful pictures that evoke mood and inspire creativity! Click here to register.

Baby Greens

Tuesday, September 15, 10 – 11 am
Instructor:  Mary Dudley
Cost:  $5.00 per participant

Young children will be provided with the opportunity to grow as they explore the world of plants. Click here to register.

Harvesting the Healing Garden and Blending Teas

Tuesday, September 15, 6:00-8:00 pmCost: $20 per participant, ages 10 and up, registration is required
Instructor: Carisa Hund-Bunten, Owner of 7th Street Gifts, Newport, KY & Bennett Dowling, CGC Horticulturalist

Get ready for winter’s chill by harvesting ingredients for teas and herbal infusions this fall while they are in their prime. Learn about the properties of herbs commonly used in teas and how to harvest and dry them for maximum flavor. Make three tea blends to take home using Organic Frontier Natural Food Co-op loose teas and herbs and learn how to make your own tea bags, perfect for gift giving. Click here to register.

Family Class:  Fairy Houses & Gnome Homes

Saturday, September 19, 2015, 10:30-noon
Let your imagination soar as you collect curious garden objects and construct a place for magical fairies and gnomes to live.  We will provide some craft supplies and natural objects.  Participants are encouraged to bring additional items from home to enhance their projects! Click here to register.

Backyard Composting

Tuesday, September 29, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor:  Jerry Luebbe, Master Composter
Cost: $10 (free for CGC volunteers)

Do you want to start a compost pile but have no idea how to even begin? Come learn the basics about composting to get you started.  This class is an excellent introduction to why we compost, different styles of composting, and how to compost. Click here to register.


School Garden Workshop Series

Thursday, October 15, 3:30-5:00 pm
Instructor: Mary Dudley, CGC Youth Education Coordinator
Cost: Free for teachers

Bimonthly workshops are offered to teachers free of charge in an effort to build a community of gardeners to support all of the amazing efforts happening in our region. Programs officially start at 4pm but you are welcome to come at 3:30pm to enjoy a “beer with a botanist” and work through current garden challenges.  For more information click here.  Registration is not required.

Baby Greens

Tuesday, October 20, 10 – 11 am
Instructor:  Mary Dudley
Cost:  $5.00 per participant

Young children will be provided with the opportunity to grow as they explore the world of plants. Click here to register.


Best Management Practices for Construction and Landscaping in Hamilton County

Instructor: Daniel Taphorn, Urban Conservationist, Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District
Friday, October 23, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $20 (includes lunch)
Join us for an overview of the Hamilton County Earthwork Regulations; the Earthwork Regulations address Geotechnical areas i.e. stability of hillsides as they relate to cut and fill activities for construction and landscaping projects as well as the erosion and sediment control practices that are required on construction and landscaping projects in order to protect and/or minimize impacts to water quality. The presentation will include some of the standards and specifications for erosion and sediment control Best Management Practices (BMP’s) such as silt fence, mulch berms, sediment traps and temporary and permanent stabilization of bare soil. The presentation will also review the requirements under the Ohio EPA’s NPDES Construction Permit and address impacts to regulated water resources under the US Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permit.  Click here to register.

Native Tree Identification

Instructor: Solomon Gamboa, Owner/Operator of Pioneer Landscapes LLC
Saturday, October 24, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: $10 (free for CGC volunteers)
Join Solomon Gamboa, Owner/Operator of Pioneer Landscapes LLC on a 1 hour hike following a 35 minute lecture in which he offers insight to how the natural history of Hamilton County shaped the current composition of our 2nd growth and older growth forests. You’ll gain specific I.D. tips for all of the native trees encountered on the hike, as well as an overview of their soil/topography/hydrology preferences within their niche. The hike will occur at California Woods Nature Center (5400 Kellogg Ave.), a 15-20 minute drive East from Civic Garden Center, after the lecture. Click here to register.


Baby Greens

Tuesday,November 17, 10 – 11 am
Instructor:  Mary Dudley
Cost:  $5.00 per participant

Young children will be provided with the opportunity to grow as they explore the world of plants. Click here to register.



Soap Making for the Holidays

Tuesday, December 1, 6:00-8:00 pm
Instructor: Carisa Hund-Bunten, Owner of 7th Street Gifts, Newport, KY
Cost:  $15 per participant, ages 10 and up, registration is required

Participants will make two customized soaps using goat’s milk and/or vegetable glycerin bases. Essential and fragrance oils, botanicals and natural additives will be available to create soaps perfect for gift giving! Everyday kitchen materials will be turned into useful and practical soap molds. Participants will leave with their handmade soaps, recipes and ability to continue the fun at home. Click here to register.

Greens Gatherings

Join us for a CGC annual event! Bring your pruners, wire-cutters and scissors and we’ll provide a bundle of fresh cut greens, some warm refreshments and holiday spirit. A limited quantity of extra greens, novelties and ribbon will be available for purchase. Cost: $30; registration is limited so reserve your spot early!  Choose from these three classes:

Bring Your Own Container

Friday, December 11, 1:00-3:00 pm 

Whether your container is an old family favorite, found item or recent purchase, Jan Simms will help you channel your inner artist to visualize and realize a beautiful table decoration. With special attention being given to mechanics and structural elements, the sky is the limit for accents you would like to bring and include in your work. Click here to register.

Table Arrangements

Saturday, December 12, 10:00 am – Noon

Enjoy the friendly pace and individual attention from Sue Trusty as you construct a holiday arrangement in your own container. Click here to register.

Wreaths and Swags

Saturday, December 12, 1:00-3:00 pm

Your neighbors will be “green” with envy when they see your beautiful door decoration! We provide greens, seasonal berries, frames, mechanics and expert instruction from Sue Trusty. Feel free to bring any embellishments to suit your taste or décor. Click here to register.


Baby Greens

Tuesday, December 15, 10 – 11 am
Instructor:  Mary Dudley
Cost:  $5.00 per participant

Young children will be provided with the opportunity to grow as they explore the world of plants.  Click here to register.