Speakers Bureau

We can enhance your next group gathering held at Holden Arboretum or Cleveland Botanical Garden through a variety of informative one-hour programs.

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

When and Where

Your choice! Come to one of our campuses or we can come to you at your local community center or library. Talks are 45-50 minutes with time for question and answers.


$150 flat fee for all off-site speakers.

On-site begins at $150 with the option to add on extra room rental time, catering, or a free outdoor lunch area. Special rates on rooms are available to Affiliate Garden Clubs.

How to Book

Email education@holdenfg.org with the following info to get started:

  • Name of organization
  • Contact person (name, phone, and email)
  • Location for the talk
  • Date(s) you are interested in
  • Speaker and topic you are interested in
  • If you would like any additional room rentals, a preferred caterers list, or an outdoor picnic area.

What are we learning?

Our speakers are HF&G staff members with deep experience in the areas they are speaking about. All of them have slightly different specialties, so we are sure you’ll find a topic you are interested in:

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 program is only offered at the Holden Arboretum during the months of June through September and takes place entirely in the garden.

Sharon Graper

Director of Academics

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. The focus will be on why it is more important to appreciate what is seen rather than knowing its scientific name.

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 B.A. in Environmental Studies from Hiram College 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. Recommended native plants and cultivars for the home garden and how to combine and care for them will also be covered. Plants selections are based on ornamental value, size, and cultural conditions.

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.

Caroline Tait

VP of Horticulture & Collections, HF&G

Caroline Tait is a self-taught plant propagator, gardener, florist, designer, and entrepreneur with a strong desire to make gardens and gardening inclusive and easy for all. She is Holden Forests & Gardens’ vice president of horticulture & collections where her goal is to elevate horticulture in all its forms and empower her team to create stunning designs and experiences which resonate with stories of our world’s magnificent plants and ecosystems.

From England to Cleveland – a journey through gardens and gardening

A virtual tour of the English and American gardens which have inspired and influenced Caroline on her own horticultural and design journey. From Great Dixter to Longwood, and from Coton Manor Garden to her client’s green spaces, there’s something in every setting to amuse and delight.

What can we help you find?

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