Make your next meeting entertaining and educational with a speaker from Holden Forests & Gardens!

When and Where

Your choice! Come to Cleveland Botanical Garden or Holden Arboretum, or we can come to you at your local community center or library. Unless otherwise noted, talks are 45-50 minutes with time for question and answers.


Unless otherwise noted, there is a $150 flat fee for off-site programs within our service area. Mileage fees apply to any program outside our regular service area, see FAQ at bottom of page for details.

Onsite programs not connected to a rental event will be charged the flat fee + a $75 facility fee. Special onsite program rates are available to Affiliate Garden Clubs.

Booking an onsite speaker as part of a club meeting or corporate event?

Book through Private Events for the best deal! Just fill out this form and our event experts will assist you.

How to Book

Speaker Request Form

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  • Program Requested

    Scroll down for full program descriptions

What are we learning?

Our speakers are HF&G staff members with deep experience in horticulture, education, and conservation. Feel free to inquire about a different topic, but be aware we may not be able to accommodate off-menu requests.

Rob Dzurec


Dzurec has been with the Cleveland Botanical Garden since 2013 and oversees various gardens including the Gateway garden, East Boulevard garden and Potager garden. Dzurec earned his BS from Miami University and an associate degree in Horticulture from Kent State University.

Edible Gardening

Many food crops have ornamental value in addition to the practical foods they provide. This program focuses on incorporating edible plants into the residential landscape. Discussion will focus on plant selection, planning and practical considerations.

Lori Gogolin


Gogolin earned an associate’s degree in horticulture from Kent State University. She is a horticulturist at the Holden Arboretum and is responsible for the Arlene and Arthur S. Holden Jr. Butterfly Garden.

Attracting Pollinators to Your Garden

Tour the Arlene and Arthur S. Holden Jr. Butterfly Garden to learn all about the best plants, cultural methods and design principals to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees to your garden. This class is best taken in person at the Arboretum from June-September and takes place entirely in the garden.

Sharon Graper

Director of Education

Graper has a master’s degree in science education from the University of Delaware and received her undergraduate degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia.

How to Nurture a Child’s Sense of Wonder

This presentation complete with hands-on activities is designed for adults who want to be a companion in their child’s exploration of the natural world. Techniques and activities that encourage children to discover the world around them will be presented.

Ann Rzepka Budziak


Rzepka Budziak started her relationship with Holden Forests and Gardens as a volunteer in 1997. She spent several years working as a conservation seasonal while earning her bachelors and was thrilled to be hired permanently in 2008 as the Horticulturist for the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden. In 2019, she was promoted to the position of Director of Arboretum Horticulture.

Rain Gardens – Working Hard While Looking Good

Rain gardens do double duty in our landscapes. They clean and infiltrate stormwater and can become an oasis for wildlife and beauty. This program discusses the benefits of rain gardens and how to properly site, select plants for, and install a rain garden on a residential lot.

Gardening with Native Plants

If you are thinking about starting or expanding a native plant garden, this presentation is for you. Discover what goes into the planning and maintenance of the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower garden at the Holden Arboretum. We’ll cover recommended native plants for the home garden and how to combine and care for them.

Michael Watson

Conservation Biologist

Watson works on conservation issues involving wildlife. He also coordinates Holden Arboretum’s Bluebird Project, a volunteer-based program monitoring the nesting activity of bluebirds and other species using Holden’s 200+ nest boxes. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Return of the Eastern Bluebird

Discover the basics of bluebird ecology and conservation as well as the Arboretum’s role in and process for the successful recovery of this species in Ohio. Tips for the homeowner on providing safe and attractive nesting options will also be shared.

Ohio’s Forests

This interesting presentation reveals how geology, glacial activity, human history, and ecological interactions shape Ohio’s forests. Past and present forest types across Ohio, as well as the Arboretum’s current dominant forest types and the plants and animals associated with these forests, will be highlighted.

Green Team Ambassadors

Green Team Ambassadors are dedicated, experienced Holden Forest & Gardens volunteers who share their enthusiasm and knowledge of our gardens and natural areas, programs, research, volunteering and our People for Trees initiative. Green Team Ambassador presentations are free of charge and can be given at locations in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.

People for Trees in Northeast Ohio: Making a Difference

This program is a free, 30-minute introduction to the People for Trees initiative. Learn how the tree canopy has changed in northeast Ohio, how these changes are impacting our quality of life, and what Holden Forests & Gardens is doing to mitigate those changes. Find out how you can support our People for Trees movement by joining a vast community of concerned citizens across northeast Ohio who are working to restore our tree canopy, starting in their own backyard.

You will need to make sure the venue has the following: an HDMI cable, a projector, and a projector screen. 

We would love to meet your information needs! Feel free to inquire about a topic, but be aware we may not be able to accommodate all requests. Off-menu requests take additional time to schedule, and there may be extra materials fees.

Participants in a Speakers Bureau program get the member flat rate of $7 when parking in the garage. Metered street parking is also available in the area on a first-come-first-served basis. 

Our service area is Lake, Geauga, and Cuyahoga counties. For those outside this area, additional mileage fees apply. 

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