Bird, Tree, and Garden Club

The Chautauqua Bird Tree and Garden Club provides 90 free events related to these grounds, the natural world and topics effecting our planet. Occurring at venues across the grounds, we invite you to join one of the many nature talks, walks and chats. Our nature guides and master gardeners conduct tours of the gardens, lead guided discovery thru the grounds and are experts on topics related to birds, trees, gardens, and monarchs. Explore Nature ~ Be Amazed!

Our lecture series occur at Smith Wilkes Hall Mondays and Tuesdays 12:15. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lunch and settle in to hear an expert in the field. 'Monarch Moments' speakers present information related to these incredible butterflies struggling for survival and in many cases are symbolic of the challenges occurring throughout the natural world.  The Tuesday 12:15 Brown Bag lecturers range from a Seneca Indian, a nationally recognized floral designer, photographers, authors and researchers and bee keepers to name a few.  With a focus on eco/lake and monarch friendly practices, take notes on a topic and apply the learning back home. 

Our Butterflies and Blooms initiative encourages home owners to create 'eco-systems' in their gardens using native plants. Guided by, gardeners can certify their land as a 'Monarch WayStation'. Need help getting started? Contact and a master gardener will consult with you for up to 30 minutes about pollinators, nectar plants, milkweed and other natives - saving water, reducing effort and eliminating pesticides and herbicides.  Each week, BTG will recognize yet another garden on the grounds that is a designated Monarch WayStation. 

In addition to recurring programming, we have special events such as Monarchpalooza (7/13) , Mushroom Sandwiches(7/28), the Annual Life Member Luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel (8/4) and more. Join us at the end of the season when we announce the 2018 House Tour. 

Pick up a program brochure for events that occur throughout the season or access our website and take a look at the line up for the dates when you're on the grounds. Many events are suitable for children and multi generational. If you have any questions, please email us at

Considering Membership?

BTG Membership Application (PDF)


2017 BTG Brochure


Learn more at


Special Events

Special Events


  • Friday, June 23 • Noon 
    An Appreciation Lunch is served by the BTG Board to the various Crews: Woods, Garden, Landscaping and Grounds, our 'perennial' nature presenters and guides, the Chautauquan Daily reporter and a wide range of other respected members of the Institution staff who help us support BTG's mission.

Week One

  • Monday, June 27 11:30am - 7:30pm; Tuesday, June 28 • 1:30pm - 4:30 pm.
    Native Plant Sale - eco, monarch and lake-friendly plants for sale at Smith Wilkes Hall. Milkweed, pollinators, nectar plants, Shrubs, annuals and perennials all ready for purchase and planting; sourced from excellent nurseries.

Week Three

  • Thursday, July 13 • Noon - 3:30 p.m. 
    Monarchpalooza Hand-Feeding Monarchs: Investigate with every stage of the monarch life cycle at Lincoln Park. Docents will leaded 'guided discovery' talks at different stations. The event culminates with a 10' x 20' tent filled with Monarchs. Not to be missed. 

Week Five

  • Friday, July 28 * 11:30 - 1:00pm
    Mushroom Sandwiches at Smith Wilkes Hall
    Every 2 years the Bird Tree and Garden Club serves up its infamous 'Mushroom Sandwiches'. This 'secret recipe' is a cult classic. Join in on the fun at Smith Wilkes Hall for music and a delicious meal. A complete lunch is $10 including a drink, chips, fruit and dessert. Musical entertainment is provided by the Dixie Lakesiders and there's plenty of room to dance! If you've never had a mushroom sandwich - please don't miss out. If you've been waiting for their return for the past 2 years, come early before they're sold out!

Week Six

  • Friday, August 4 • Gather at noon for a 12:15 p.m. luncheon and program
    Annual Life Member Luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel. Reservations ($35) required by July 18.
    Program: Mina Edison