Cumming Nature Center > Programs & Events

HERITAGE MAKER Workshop Series

Explore new skills from bird carving to native gardening in our 2023 Heritage Maker workshop series.

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • Spring 2023


Explore new skills from bird carving to native gardening in a Heritage Maker workshop at Cumming Nature Center!

Our workshops are designed to create a supportive space for talented teachers and craftspeople to share traditional knowledge through fellowship and intensive instruction. Classes are relaxed, informative, and recognize the value in heritage skills and knowledge-building. Past classes have included spoon carving, blacksmithing, food preservation, pysanky, and more.

Leave your screen behind, escape to the woods, and use your hands to create something new this year!

Bird Carving | Native Gardening for Wildlife | Blacksmithing

Workshop sCHEDULE


April 15 & 16 | 9:30am – 4pm

Discover the joy of bird carving! In this two-day workshop, participants will study bird anatomy and carving techniques while learning how to carve and paint a life-size male Northern Cardinal. Appropriate to beginner and experienced woodcarvers alike, students will be guided by the instructor through the process from start to finish. The Northern Cardinal is native to the northeast U.S. and is easily recognized by its bright red color, particular in the winter. Materials and tools will be provided.

About the instructor

Robin Salsbury wanted to be a wood carver at a young age and made a few carvings while in high school. An opportunity to take a class at RMSC carving a shorebird gave him the chance to finally explore this art form. Since then he has taken numerous classes from some of the foremost carvers throughout the U.S. and Canada. He has also competed at carving shows across the U.S. and Canada winning numerous ribbons, including a best of show at the Genesee Valley Woodcarvers Show. For over 20 years Robin has carved numerous birds, generally preferring native species. His repertoire includes ducks, geese, shorebirds, songbirds, and even a life-size Ivory-Billed Woodpecker.  He started teaching bird carving classes through W. Irondequoit’s Continuing Education Program around the year 2000 as well as several classes with the Woodcarving Club.


April 29 | 10am – 12pm

Are you interested in making your garden more ecologically friendly? Join Ellen Folts from Amanda’s Native Garden to learn more about using native plants to attract and support native wildlife and pollinators. This class will cover how to plan your native garden and offer individualized advice for plants that could thrive on your site. Each participant will take home 2 native plants as part of their class fee.

About the instructor

Ellen Folts owns and operates Amanda’s Native Garden in Dansville, NY. Ellen has a degree in agricultural and natural resources from SUNY Cobleskill and has worked in the horticultural field for 31+ years. She is a Senior New York State Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional.


April 15, April 30, May 6
Times and prices vary by class

Join instructor Jonathan Bernard to learn the art of blacksmithing in small-group, hands-on training sessions at Cumming Nature Center. Classes for all skill levels will be offered in April & May, ranging from the Fundamentals of Blacksmithing to Advanced Knife-Making courses. Each participant will go home with an object they created during the class. 

About The Event

  • Cumming Nature Center
  • Spring 2023