School Programs


Schoolchildren exploring the Coastal Plain habitat garden with a guide.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers a variety of on-site, hands-on field trip programs focused on plants and nature for school groups. All programs are aligned with the Common Core and Essential Standards and include teacher-led pre-visit and extension activities. Each program is one hour and can be offered for up to 60 students per program, per day. Although each field trip is recommended for a specific grade level, they can be adapted for different ages.

Field Trip Programs

Caterpillar photo

Herbal Adventures: Recommended for Ages 4-6—In this program, students are led to 5 different stations in the Mercer Reeves Hubbard Herb Garden. At each station, students learn about one of the five senses, and they use their senses to explore nature. This is a multi-sensory experience for students, who will see, smell, hear, touch, and taste nature.

Flora Explorers: Recommended for 1st Grade Classes—This hands-on program is designed to teach students about the different parts of a plant, and how those parts play a role in helping the plant survive. Students have a chance to use Yellowroot as a crayon, make a bark rubbing, and taste sunflower seeds.

The Monarch's Journey: Recommended for 2nd Grade Classes—This program focuses on the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly. Students learn about the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult stage of the Monarch Butterfly and their unique relationship with Milkweed.

From the Mountains to the Coast: Recommended for 3rd Grade Classes—In this lesson, students learn about the different geographic regions of North Carolina and how plant communities are shaped by the regions’ unique climates and soils. Students also have the opportunity to explore the different soils of the regions, learn about carnivorous plants and dissect the leaf of the carnivorous Pitcher Plant.

Native Plants, Native People: Recommended for 4th Grade Classes—This interdisciplinary lesson focuses on both Science and Social Studies. Students are introduced to American Indian tribes of the different regions of North Carolina. Students learn about their history, lifestyles, and the unique ways in which they used plants to meet their daily needs. This lesson aligns with the Essential Standards for Social Studies.

Ecosystem Expeditions: Recommended for 5th Grade Classes—In this lesson, students will learn some of the basic principles of ecology. Students learn about producers, consumers, and decomposers and their unique roles within an ecosystem. The students also get a chance to dissect an owl pellet as a way to better understand food webs.

General Tours of the Garden—The North Carolina Botanical Garden also offers tours of the Garden that can be general or focused on a particular topic.

Self-Guided Tours— There is no fee for a Self-Guided Tour, however, groups of 10 or more are required to register at least 4 weeks in advance so that we can coordinate your visit with our on-site program schedule. To register for a Self-Guided Tour, please complete our online form.

students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Scheduling a Field Trip Program

2017 Field Trip Season—Mar 14 - May 26, 2017. Fall 2017 dates will post in June. The Garden is closed on Mondays and state holidays. Field trips not available on the following Tuesday mornings: Mar 21, Apr 4, 18, May 2, 16, and 23.

Fee— The fee for a field trip program is $2 per student with a minimum of $30 per program. Maximum capacity is 60 students per program, per day.

Chaperones— We require one adult chaperone for every 5 students. A maximum of 12 chaperones, including teachers, per program are permitted.

Limited Financial Assistance—In an effort to reach public schools that are most in need, we offer a limited number of field trip fee waivers for Title I schools. To request a fee waiver, contact Mike Dunn, Natural Science Educator.

TO REQUEST A FIELD TRIP PROGRAM, please complete our online form.

If you have already scheduled your visit and have further questions, see our Preparing For Your Field Trip page.

Updated on February 10, 2017 at 11:01:28 am.