School Programs

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Schoolchildren exploring the Coastal Plain habitat garden with a guide.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden offers a variety of hands-on, age-appropriate field trip programs for school groups. Guided programs are designed to connect students to plants and natural science through positive outdoor learning experiences. Field trips align with the Common Core and Essential Standards and are led by staff and skilled Garden Guide volunteers.

We also welcome self-guided groups on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee for self-guided groups; however, we do require registration so that we can coordinate your visit with our program schedule.

Field Trip Programs

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Sense-sational Nature
We experience nature best when we use our senses! Young children will explore the sights, sounds, feels, and smells of the Garden through activity stations and a sensory walk. NC Foundations for Early Learning and Development: Goal CD-1, Goal CD-14, Goal CD-15.
Age: Pre-K - Kindergarten (ages 4-6)
Length: 1 hour
Fee: $2.00 per student
Max group size: 40

Flora Explorers
What do plants need to live? Students will explore the Garden in search of the basic structure and function of plant parts — from roots to leaves — and how they help the plant to survive. NC Essential Standards for Science: K.L.1.2, 1.L.1.1, 1.L.1.2, 1.L.1.3
Age: K - 1st grade
Length: 1 hour
Fee: $2.00 per student
Max group size: 60

From the Mountains to the Coast
Walk with us from the mountains to the coast as we explore the different geographic regions of North Carolina in our habitat gardens. Learn how differences in soils and environmental factors may help shape the plant communities we see across the state, from the rich diversity of our Piedmont and Mountain forests to the amazing adaptations of insect-eating plants of the Coastal Plain. NC Essential Standards for Science: 3.L.2.1, 3.L.2.2, 3.L.2.3, 3.L.2.4
Age: 3rd grade
Length: 1.5 hours
Fee: $3.00 per student
Max group size: 60

Hidden Uses of Native Plants
Stroll through our native plant gardens and discover some of the historical uses of plants of our region from natural dyes to fibers. How did people use the landscape for shelter, food, clothing, and medicine before we had stores on every corner and what are some of the valuable uses still hidden in our native flora? NC Essential Standards for Science: 4.L.1.3. NC Essential Standards for Social Studies: 3.G.1.3, 4.G.1.3, 5.G.1.1
Age: 3rd-5th grade
Length: 1 hour
Fee: $2.00 per student
Max group size: 40

Garden Walk
Enjoy a walk through the Garden with a focus on seasonal plant and animal highlights, native habitats, and our conservation mission.
Age: All
Length: 1 hour
Fee: $2.00 per student
Max group size: 40

Self-Guided Tours
We welcome self-guided groups on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee; however, groups are required to register in advance so that we can coordinate your visit with our program schedule.
Age: all
No fee, but groups of 10+ must pre-register
Max group size: 60

students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Students investigate the Carnivorous Plant Beds behind the Totten Center

Scheduling a Field Trip or Self-Guided Program

Field trip and self-guided tour requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning August 27, 2018.

2018-2019 Field Trip Season: September 25 - November 16, 2018 and March 19 - May 24, 2019. The Garden is closed on Mondays and state holidays. Field trips are not available on the following Tuesday mornings: October 9, November 13, 2018; April 9, May 14, 2019.

Fee: Please see field trip descriptions above for the cost per student. The minimum fee is $30 per program.

Group Size: Please see field trip descriptions above for maximum group size per program. We cannot offer field trips for groups of 5 students or less. PLEASE NOTE: The Garden can accommodate up to 60 students per day. If you would like to bring more than 60 students for a field trip or self-guided tour, you will need to request additional program(s) on more than one day.

Chaperones: We require one adult chaperone for every 5 students. A maximum of 12 chaperones, including teachers, per program are permitted. We cannot accommodate siblings.

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

Payment: Invoices must be paid two (2) weeks before your program date. We reserve the right to offer your date(s) to other groups if payment is not received. We accept cash, check or credit card payments. If paying by credit card, please call Mike Dunn, Natural Science Educator, at 919-962-2887. Checks should be made payable to NCBG and mailed to:

North Carolina Botanical Garden
c/o Natural Science Educator
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
CB 3375
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Cancellations: A minimum one (1) week notice in writing is required for a refund. Groups that do not cancel will be billed the full program(s) fee. Please contact Mike Dunn to cancel. If your program is cancelled by the Garden or due to weather, we will make every effort to reschedule your group or refund you any fees in full.

TO REQUEST A FIELD TRIP PROGRAM or SELF-GUIDED PROGRAM

1. Complete the Field Trip Request Form. We do not accept registrations over the phone.
2. Once your field trip is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email, including our Garden Guidelines & Map, and payment invoice within five (5) business days.
3. Please contact Mike Dunn, Natural Science Educator, with questions.

If you have already scheduled your visit, please visit the Preparing For Your Field Trip page.

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