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Blue Ridge Eco Gardener Certificate of Merit Program

A garden is far more than just a collection of flowers and foliage, but a living community of organisms interacting as a dynamic system, from the tiniest soil bacterium to the tallest tree. The Arboretum’s Blue Ridge EcoGardener (BREG) Certificate of Merit program is designed to empower you with an understanding of the complex ecological principles underpinning healthy, self-sustaining landscapes and how to apply them in your garden. Participants complete core and elective courses in ecology, botany, permaculture, landscape design and more.

Classes are ongoing year round and are offered online and onsite, with new courses added every month! Current courses being offered for certificate credit are listed on Adult Education Classes and in the Arboretum’s Learn & Grow monthly newsletter.

Sign up online during our enrollment period to firmly root yourself in a holistic, ecology-minded approach to gardening-in-place and grow alongside fellow budding eco-gardeners. 

Enrollment will open for our Blue Ridge EcoGardener Certificate of Merit program beginning December 15 th for our upcoming Spring 2024 term. Enrollment will stay open until January 31, with program onboarding and orientation to be scheduled in February.

This one-time application fee of $150 covers Student Support, Access to Online Course Management and Graduation. The member discount does not apply for this one-time fee, however, classes are priced separately and all carry the member benefit of a 10% discount off all of our classes.

Please Note: If you want to participate and the cost of this program is a hardship for you or your family, please contact Rebecca Caldwell at to learn about scholarship options. We want to create openings for anyone hoping to access this learning opportunity.

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