Nature-Based Field Trips
Join us at the Garden for a field trip tailored to the needs of your group and current lesson plans. All programs are hands-on and take place outdoors. Students will spend approximately 1.5 hours with a Garden educator and will have additional time to explore the Garden with their chaperones. Groups must include 10 or more students.
Field trips are scheduled on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, primarily from April 1—October 30. Please contact us for availability during fall/winter months. Groups smaller than 20 children may schedule on Fridays.
Scholarships are available for qualifying schools; please let us know on the registration form if you may qualify. Field trips are scheduled on a first-come first served basis, please schedule early to reserve your preferred dates!
To start the registration process, browse the field trip options below and fill out the Field Trip Registration Form. An educator will contact you to confirm the date and details of your program.
Nature-Based Field Trip Options:
Water, Water Everywhere!
Learn about the importance of water for life on our planet! We will explore the water cycle, how water moves through the landscape, and the indicators of clean water in the environment.
Put your science skills to work collecting data at the Garden! Habitat studies vary by season, and can focus on forests and trees, insects, pollinators, water, birds and more.
Early American Settlers
Visit our restored homestead, and see how early Americans lived! Step into a log home, try some chores, and explore the different elements that make life possible.
Exploring the Senses
(Pre K-5th Grade)
Using our senses is the first step to becoming a naturalist! Learn about the five senses and how to make valuable observations and ask questions, spark curiosity and engage learning. Students explore a garden area with an educator, using all senses to make discoveries. Students will be introduced to nature journaling, and end with a story reading.
Self-Guided Field Trips
Do you prefer to explore on your own with your students? Register to reserve your spot. You may request Nature Passports or reserve a backpack to enhance your exploration. Contact Education Staff for details.
Nature-Based Outreach Programs
If you’re not able to make a trip to the Garden, we can bring a program to your school, day care or facility! Outreach programs are suited for pre-school and early elementary age groups. Our garden educators will bring a hands-on program to your facility, using your classroom, common areas or outdoor spaces to conduct our program. Programs are interactive, STEM focused, and aligned to Pennsylvania State Standards. Choose from a variety of offerings below for the program that best suits your needs.
Outreach programs are approximately 45 – 60 minutes long. Programs are available from November through March. Groups are scheduled on a first-come-first served basis, typically on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
Scholarships are available for qualifying schools and institutions; please let us know on the registration form if you might qualify.
To begin the registration process, please fill out this Outreach Program Form. An educator will contact you with a letter confirming the date and details of your program.
Nature-Based Outreach Program Options:
Tops & Bottoms: Edible Plant Parts
Learn about the parts of plants through the common foods we eat. We will explore roots, shoots and seeds, and learn how plants that we eat can be propagated.
The Secret Lives of Seeds
(Pre K-5th Grade)
Seeds hold the key to new plant life. They come in a variety of colors, textures, shapes and sizes. Explore them in a hands-on program, designed to teach children about seeds and the secret lives they lead.
A Primer on Pollination
(Pre K-5th Grade)
Do you think bees are our only pollinator friends? Think again! Moths, butterflies, bees, flies and even bats play a crucial role in the production of the foods and products we rely on. Participants will learn about these creatures and how the pollination process works.
If you plant a seed, will it grow? It depends on the soil! Learn about the properties of soil, and the organisms that live in it. Participants will get their hands dirty as they examine what makes soil fertile in this exploration of the ground under our feet.
Explore the lives of the birds in your backyard! Learn what makes birds unique, and explore the different bird species common to Western PA. Participants create a simple bird feeder to hang in their backyard.
Virtual Outreach Programs
(Ages 6 & Older)
Learn about the wonders of the Garden from a distance! Schedule an educator to join your group virtually for an engaging presentation. Virtual programs are approximately 45-60 minutes long, school or organization will need to be equipped for virtual learning.