BRATTLEBORO -- Orchids, wildflowers, bumblebees, botanical illustration and a garden tour are the subjects of upcoming events offered by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center through June 7 to complement BMAC’s spring exhibit "Flora: A Celebration of Flowers in Contemporary Art" on view through June 22.

Join naturalist Patti Smith of Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center on Saturday, April 26, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., for a Spring Wildflower Walk at a rich, "sweet soil" site in BEEC’s forest, where hardy, early spring wildflowers proliferate. Smith will lead participants to see both unusual plants and more common flowers that take advantage of light that reaches the forest floor before leaves come out. Meet at BEEC (Bonnyvale Road in West Brattleboro, about two miles from Route 9) shortly before 1 p.m. The walk is about 3/4 of a mile on hilly terrain, but the pace will be leisurely. Admission is free.

Learn about the Vermont Bumblebee Survey on Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at BMAC, when Sara Zahendra, a field biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, gives a lecture about her work on this important environmental project. Bumblebee species have been declining, but little is known about their distribution or the threats they face in Vermont. According to Dartmouth College entomologist Leif Richardson, "Wild bees perform the majority of all pollination on Vermont farms ...


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we don’t know how the loss of native bee species will affect our food supply or overall environmental health." Admission is free.

For those who like to draw, Bobbi Angell, whose botanical drawings and etchings are currently on view in the museum’s Ticket Gallery, will give a botanical illustration workshop at BMAC on Saturday, May 3, at 10 a.m. She will discuss her career and techniques, and guide participants in drawing spring flowers and orchids. A botanical artist, printmaker and gardener with a degree in botany, Angell has contributed pen-and-ink illustrations to scientific and scholarly publications as well as seed catalogs, gardening books, and the popular North Hill Garden memoirs. No experience is necessary, but participants should bring their own sketchbooks and pencils. Admission is $10, $5 for BMAC members, and includes museum admission.

Speaking of North Hill Garden, BMAC members are invited to join an exclusive tour of the renowned gardens of Joe Eck and the late Wayne Winterrowd, authors of "A Year at North Hill" (1995), "Living Seasonally" (1999) and "Our Life in Gardens" (2009). Recognized as one of the finest private gardens in North America, North Hill Garden has as its mission "to demonstrate ornamental horticulture at its highest level in the context of the Green Mountains." Part of BMAC’s "Hidden in the Hills" series of excursions to notable venues, the tour is open to BMAC members only and is limited to 20 guests. Admission is free; call 802-257-0124, ext. 101, for reservations or to become a member.

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents rotating exhibits of contemporary art, complemented by lectures, artist talks, film screenings, and other public programs. The museum’s exhibits and gift shop are open Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Regular admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students. Members and children under 6 are admitted free.

Located in historic Union Station at the intersection of Main Street and Routes 119 and 142, the museum is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.