Father's Day Plant Sale, summer camp, family nights, more

Outdoor Adventures Summer Camp-Tree ID Mystery

Tuesday, June 9, 9 a.m.-noon

Children will investigate trees from the roots to the tip-top branches. Lessons will focus on identifying trees, tree benefits and exploring wildlife tree habitats. Participants will also meet an arborist and help plant trees in Mercer’s West Side Arboretum. Summer camp is for children 6-11. Space is limited and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.

Lunch Bunch: Local Impacts of Climate Change

Wednesday, June 10, noon

Climate change is an important topic for gardeners of all interests, whether you enjoy tending a bountiful vegetable garden, a wildlife-friendly native garden, or an inviting shade garden. Join Hans VanBrackle, a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby and a liaison for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, as he discusses the impacts, challenges and causes of climate change. CCL is a grassroots, nonpartisan and nonprofit advocacy organization focusing on national policies to address climate change. Lunch Bunch is a free program offered at Mercer’s East Side Gardens and is recommended for those 12 and older. Participants should bring a lunch and dress for the weather. Space is limited and registration is required. To register, call 713-274-4160.

The Mercer Society Father’s Day Specialty Plant Sale

Saturday, June 13, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (or until sold out)

Dads love plants, too! Join Mercer at the Father’s Day Specialty Plant Sale to browse a wide variety of Mercer Grown plants, including butterfly host and nectar plants, stunning tropical gingers, elegant shade lovers, and Gulf Coast natives. Mercer Grown plants are cultivated at Mercer’s Horticultural Propagation Center greenhouses. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own wagons to transport purchases from the sale site to their vehicle. This sale is sponsored by The Mercer Society, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that supports Mercer Botanic Gardens.

Outdoor Adventures Summer Camp-Birds of a Feather

Tuesday, June 16, 9 a.m.-noon

Ready for a day of feathered fun? Hit the trails for a bird hike, identify birds by how they look and sound, and share your findings on a citizen science program. Observe the natural habitats of birds, search for evidence of birds, investigate owl pellets, and more! Summer camp is for children 6-11. Space is limited and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available! For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.

Outdoor Adventures Family Nights-Micro-Mercer

Wednesday, June 17, 4-6:30 p.m.

Explore the mysterious, tiny plant world at Mercer Botanic Gardens! Use hand lenses and microscopes to view the tiniest of plants found in the gardens. Observe plant cells, thin roots, pollen, seeds and more, then transfer your observations as scientific drawings into a keepsake journal. This is a free, family-friendly, drop-in event. No registration required, so bring your friends and neighbors to share the fun. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information, call 713-274-4160.

Tree Measurements

Thursday, June 18, 9:30-11 a.m.

Have you ever wondered how to measure a mature tree? Learn professional techniques to measure and record tree size along with at-home methods. Bring a smartphone or other electronic device to learn how to take tree measurements using free apps. This is an outdoor event; participants should dress for the weather. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring your own water bottle. Limited space is available for this program and registration is required. Must be 10 or older. To register or request more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hawk Talk

Saturday, June 20, 10 a.m.- noon

Meet Cathie Coudert, the education coordinator of Friends of Texas Wildlife, and her animal ambassador, Fred, the red-tailed hawk, at this exciting, family-friendly experience. Learn about the organization’s mission to care for injured, displaced and orphaned area wildlife during this informative and interactive program that includes a multi-media presentation, hands-on activities and crafts. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.

Outdoor Adventures Summer Camp-Creature Feature

Tuesday, June 23, 9 a.m.-noon

Investigate creatures that scamper, skitter, slither and shuffle in the gardens. Search for evidence of animals while investigating the natural habitats of insects, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Learn animal identification and tracking techniques. Summer camp is for children 6-11. Space is limited and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available! For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.

Outdoor Adventures Family Nights-Geocaching

Wednesday, June 24, 4-6:30 p.m.

Gather your family and your hiking shoes. It’s time for some geocaching fun at Mercer Botanic Gardens. Hike and explore the trails of Mercer’s West Side Arboretum as you hunt for geocaches hidden among the natural environment. Meet at the Post Oak Pavilion at Mercer’s West Side Arboretum. This is a free, family-friendly, drop-in event. To allow for proper geocaching time, the last hunt starts at 6 p.m. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information, call 713-274-4160.

Mercer Botanic Gardens Bird Survey

Thursday, June 25, 8-10 a.m.

Longtime birder Paul Gregg and Mercer staff member Christy Jones lead the Mercer bird survey on the fourth Thursday of each month. Birders of all skill levels are welcome. Wear comfortable walking shoes and weather-appropriate clothing as Mercer’s 1.7-mile survey loop is primarily crushed asphalt trails. Must be 12 or older. Meet in front of the Visitor Center at Mercer’s East Side. Bring binoculars, a bird identification guide, water and insect repellent. For more information, contact Christy Jones at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Outdoor Adventures Summer Camp-Hike ‘N’ Hunt

Tuesday, June 30, 9 a.m.-noon

Calling all land pirates! Let’s go hunt for hidden treasures cached throughout the gardens by learning to geocache — a technique of navigating by hiking to a specific location of GPS coordinates. All you need is your favorite pair of walking shoes, refillable water bottle, and a sense of adventure. Summer camp is for children 6-11. Space is limited and registration is required. Volunteer opportunities are available. For more information or to register, call 713-274-4160.

Ongoing Events

Garden Tours

Tuesday and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m.

Stroll through the gardens with a garden docent or staff member to look for seasonal color, perennial favorites and more. Tours are scheduled on Tuesday or Thursday mornings and can begin as early as 8:30 a.m. Guided tours are provided for groups of 10-30 people and must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Volunteer opportunities are available. Call 713-274-4160 to schedule or sign-up to volunteer.

Northside Horticultural Propagation Center Team

Tuesdays,Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon

Join a plant committee and grow plants year-round for events and sales or help with various projects from construction to irrigation. Contact Mercer’s volunteer coordinator at 713-274-4160 for more information.

Gardening in the Tropical Garden

Tuesdays, 9-11 a.m.

Join a Mercer horticulturist in the Tropical Garden to work with palms, plumerias, bamboo and special collections. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and water. Tools and gloves will be provided. Volunteers must be 16 or older. Those 12-15 may volunteer with a parent or guardian. Please contact Mercer’s volunteer coordinator at 713-274-4160 in advance to schedule a visit.

Gardening in the Native and Shakespeare Gardens

Tuesdays, 9-11 a.m.

Join a Mercer horticulturalist for planting, grooming, pruning, weeding and mulching in the Native and Shakespeare gardens. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and water. Tools and gloves will be provided. Volunteers must be 16 or older. Those 12-15 may volunteer with a parent or guardian. Please contact Mercer’s volunteer coordinator at 713-274-4160 in advance to schedule a visit.

Gardening in the Children’s and Vegetable Gardens

Thursdays, 9-11 a.m.

Join a Mercer staff member to plant new plants, sow seeds, thin and harvest vegetables, and weed garden beds in the Children’s Garden and Vegetable Garden. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen and water. Tools and gloves will be provided. Volunteers must be 16 or older. Those 12-15 may volunteer with a parent or guardian. Please contact Mercer’s volunteer coordinator at 713-274-4160 in advance to schedule a visit.

Lunch Bunch

Second Wednesdays, noon

Join fabulous speakers covering diverse gardening topics at these free presentations. Participants should bring a lunch and dress for the weatherLunch Bunch is a free program offered at Mercer’s East Side Gardens and is recommended for those 12 and older. Registration is required. Call 713-274-4160 for more information.

Tai Chi

Saturdays, 9 a.m.

Join volunteer John Spencer during this one-hour beginner class offered on the deck behind the Mercer Botanic Garden Visitor Center. Call 713-274-4160 for more information or to check for cancelations due to weather or holidays.

Story Time in the Gardens

Mondays, 10:30 a.m.

In partnership with the Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library, Mercer Botanic Gardens invites parents and children to enjoy story time in the natural setting of the garden. Story time garden locations may vary each week. Recommended for children 2-5. Call 713-274-4160 to find out the location or to check for cancelations due to weather or holidays. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Mercer Ambassadors

Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.- noon and noon-2 p.m.

Ambassadors welcome visitors to Mercer and provide information about the gardens, Mercer’s history and more. Those who enjoy visiting with guests are encouraged to apply. Ambassadors will participate in an orientation and can view an online handbook before volunteering. Must be 16 or older. Those 12-15 may volunteer with a parent or guardian. Contact Mercer’s volunteer coordinator at 713-274-4160 for more information.

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