Events + News


As an integral part of our mission to connect people to plants, the Garden acts as a community gathering place for a wide variety of events. We host thought-provoking programs that connect people to nature, promote appreciation of plants, and explore our world through new lenses. Due to COVID-19, we are having some virtual events, but not currently hosting in-person events. Sign-up for our newsletter below to be the first to receive event announcements.

Botany of the Holidays 2020

Botany of the Holidays

December 3rd 2020 5:00pm – Online

Seasonal festivities bring together traditions, history, family and friends. To a botanist, they are also a case study of the deeply interconnected relationship between nature and culture. Join us for the 4th annual Botany of the Holidays as we travel to China and Brazil to share the botanical origins of some winter holiday traditions, and see just how important plants are to celebrations around the world. This year’s speakers include:

Terry Huang • Assistant Director, Botanical Garden
Marcel Vaz • UCLA PhD Student, Kraft Lab
Xinyi Yan • UCLA Alumna, PhD Student at UT Austin

This event is free, but RSVP to reserve a space and receive streaming information. An email will be sent out before the event to attendees with details for how to stream live.



In response to changes in campus-wide COVID planning with LA County Department of Public Health, the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden needed to reassess our plan to keep the Garden open. Our priorities include: the health and safety of staff and visitors, maintaining the health of the plants in the collection, and adherence to county and state guidelines. In unity with campus communications to deter the general public from visiting campus, we have made a few changes to our current operations. Effective immediately, we are instituting the following changes: The Garden is closed on weekends until further notice. The Garden is closed to the general public. Those already on campus (essential staff, students, patients) may still visit on weekdays. Each visitor must have completed a UCLA COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring survey for the day of their visit. The only open gates are those near the La Kretz Garden Pavilion. Thank you for your patience. We hope to reopen more fully as soon as possible.

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Nature Journaling Workshop

with Artist Deborah Shaw

October 10th 2020 10:00am – Online

Focused observation—drawing, sketching, and writing—changes how we look at the world around us. Nature journaling forces us to see, instead of look. Suitable for all levels and ages (including beginners) this workshop will explore various journaling techniques to enhance drawing skills, explore ideas and document our place and time. The only required supplies are pencil (a regular #2 or softer) and paper, although any other art supplies are certainly welcome. A reference sheet handout is available here. Watch the recording here.

Botanical Art: A Continuing Tradition

with Artist Deborah Shaw

September 24th 2020 5:00pm – Zoom

Botanical artists have captured the likeness of plants as far back as records exist—ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian representational botanical art has been found dating back 4,000 years. Explore the western tradition of botanical art and illustration from historical to contemporary times through captivating images and tales of inspiration and adventure.

This event was not recorded.

ARS Electronica Festival

Telluric Vibrations — ARS Electronica Festival

September 9th-13th 2020

UCLA Art Sci Center x Botanical Garden

The UCLA Art Sci Center and the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical were excited to collaborate as a site in the prestigious ARS Electronica Festival! Virtual events were recorded throughout the course of the five days. From oak genomics and interspatial communication to COVID-themed opera and fungal projections, a wide variety of topics were explored! The festival was started in 1979, and this year’s theme encompassed ecology, art, design, humanity, and the dynamic changes we have experienced related to the global pandemic. Watch more archived videos here.

The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a promoter of nature at a California land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

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