Natural History Classes

Adult Programs

The Highlands Center offers programs and events for community members throughout the year on and offsite regarding the natural history of the Southwest. Some examples are our Community Nature Study Series, HCNH Book Club, and Happy Hours. For our full list of upcoming events, please view our calendar.

Special Program for seniors

$120 for full series, $108 for members

Life Enrichment Through Nature

This course was designed with seniors in mind. Tom Benson, Highlands Center Master Naturalist, has created this course to connect you with the natural world of the Arizona Central Highlands. Topics covered will be geology from the start, wildlife, and edible and medicinal plants. In addition, part of each class will discuss the nine lifestyle habits that have been statistically supported not only to lengthen life, but to enrich those years as well. Attendees will be provided time to connect with each other as well as time for solitude and meditation at our beautiful site. The course is conducted entirely in the Discovery Gardens with only short strolls on paved, walker-friendly paths. Class size is limited to sixteen participants.

Coffee and baked goods are provided, beginning at 9:10 am.

Monday, August 15-Friday, August 19 from 9:30 am- 12:00 pm in the James Family Discovery Gardens Ramada.

Late Summer Colored Pencil Drawing Series

If you have ever been interested in drawing what you observe in the natural world, then you should attend this program! Join local illustrator and author, Diane Iverson, for the summer drawing series. Learn and practice colored pencil drawing and leave with finished pieces. This class will be held in the Kieckhefer Classroom, where fresh air and inspiration are just a few steps away. Supplies are not included, but coffee and tea are.

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

August 22nd–September 2nd 

9 am-12 pm

$30/class for members, $35/class for non-members

Diane Iverson Art Classes

Diane Iverson is the author and/or illustrator of over 20 books. Her illustrations are in the permanent collections of the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in Fresno, California and the Mazza Museum of International Art from Children’s Books.

Highlands Overlook

2023 Central Highlands

 Master Naturalist Course


Info Sessions Coming Soon!

October 6, November 3, & December 1

6:30 — 7:30 pm

Highlands Center Book Club

Do you love to read? Do you love to talk about what you’ve read with other readers? Do you want to read more, but need some motivation? Join the Natural History Book Club and read along with others interested in topics ranging from beavers to the ice age. This book club is for adults eager to learn more about the natural history of the Southwest & natural history in general. Book club meetings one Friday/month from April-November from 1pm-2pm and meet in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Discovery Gardens Ramada. Register at any time to begin receiving email notices about our current books and meetings.


Friday June 10th, July 8th, August 12th, September 2nd, October 7th, & November 11th


Workshops at the Highlands Center has included wreath making and a 3 day program called “Sense of Place” workshop where participants learned more about the natural world we live with. 

Happy Hour

Happy Hours at the Highlands Center are classes that include a tasting with a presentation. Some examples of past Happy Hours are mushroom, chocolate, and cider tastings. 

Trips and Tours

Trips and Tours with the Highlands Center are typically day long adventures with an experienced guide. Trips have been offered as far as Phoenix and Flagstaff.

Art Classes

Art Classes with the Highlands Center include our Colored Pencil Drawing Series taught by Diane Iverson. It is offered as a 6 class series and will be returning in Spring 2021.

Natural History Classes

Natural History Classes at the Highlands Center are taught by professionals in their fields. These are offered throughout most of the year.

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