A beautiful setting for learning and fun awaits your students at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden! We provide a world-class garden, knowledgeable instructors and a variety of education programs suitable for all ages. When you step out of the classroom for a day, we are committed to providing a valuable experience for your students. The Gardens instructors facilitate hands-on learning in the display garden and surrounding natural areas. Our programs align with and integrate North and South Carolina Essential Standards for Science.
For additional planning information or to register, contact:
Theresa Jackson jackson@DSBG.org
Please register early as program dates fill quickly. We look forward to seeing you and your students here at the Garden!
Scheduling a Visit
Complete the School Program Application online or download our School Program Guide, print it and submit an application by fax. Submit three preferred dates for your visit. Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, so early applications are more likely to receive preferred dates. Allow three weeks advance notice for Guided School Visits and two weeks for Self-Guided Visits.
Your application will be processed within a week of our receiving your completed form. After your application is processed, you will receive an email confirmation. Your program is not scheduled until you receive a confirmation email from Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Please assure that emails from dsbg.org are not blocked or filtered in your email.
Group Size, Times and Fees
Groups are limited to four classes.
Class size should not exceed 25 students.
Maximum group size is 100 students.
If your group is larger than 100 students or more than four classes, we ask that you make more than one reservation with multiple applications.
Time and Duration
Program duration is approximately 1 hours.
Program start times are 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and noon.
As you plan your visit, please build in an additional 30 minutes for assembling your group before and after your program.
If your group arrives late, we will make program modifications to accommodate your group to the best of our ability.
You may also include time to explore the Garden further on a self-guided basis before or after your scheduled program.
Guided School Program fees are $125 per class. Fees are set on a per class basis, and not the number of students.
Program fees will be invoiced at the time of registration and must be paid in full at least two weeks prior to the program.
An invoice will be emailed with the program confirmation.
At least one adult chaperone is required for every 10 children.
Teachers/chaperones are admitted free up to a ratio of one adult for every 10 students.
Beyond the ratio of 1:10, cost of admission for chaperones is $6 per adult. You may pay this along with registration fee if known ahead of time or upon arrival on the day of the program.
Lunch and other helpful information
School Groups are welcome to eat lunch at the Garden, but must come prepared for picnicking outside. We do not reserve space for lunchit is first-come, first-served. A limited number of picnic tables are available. Bring picnic mats to spread out on Lawn Locations or The Orchid Conservatory Terrace. Teachers and chaperones should remove the lunches from the vehicles upon
arrival. Garden staff will provide wagons to wheel the lunches into the Garden. Please return wagons to the Admissions Desk before departure. We ask that you dispose of trash properly, and please do not pour ice or contents of your cooler on the grass. While you enjoy your lunch, please be mindful of other guests and be sure not to block Garden paths or steps.
Other Helpful Information
Please notify us on the School Program Application if your group or any of your students have special needs. Some requests may require additional time or have scheduling restrictions.
School programs will take place rain or shine! Much of your program will involve time outside in the Garden, so students should dress appropriately for hot, cool or rainy weather. You may be walking some distances, so encourage students and chaperones to wear appropriate footwear. Students are welcome to bring hats, sunscreen and other protective gear.
Bee aware! An outdoor garden is home to more than just plantsinsects and other critters make it their home. Let your students know in advance to expect to encounter bees, but that the bees are attracted to the flowersand prefer to leave humans alone.
Home School Groups
The Garden welcomes and encourages participation of Home School Groups in any of the Guided or Self-Guided School programs for the listed program rates. For the best experience we encourage a minimum group size of 10, but it can be of mixed grade levels.
Guided School Programs
In each of our Guided School Programs, classes rotate through multiple garden instructor-led activities, themed around a central curricular concept. The stations may include: a hands-on activity, a working experiment, and a garden-based exploration or a field demonstration. Every program includes a visit to the Potting Station where students take cuttings and leave with their own plants to take home!
Admission to the Garden is included in the fee. When you make your plans, include extra time to explore the Garden further on a self-guided basis following the program.
Cost: $125 per class. Registration fees are due at time of registration, and must be paid in full at least 2 weeks prior to the program.
At least one adult chaperone required for every 10 children. Beyond a 1:10 ratio, a chaperone fee of $6 per teacher/chaperone will be charged in advance or upon arrival.
What is a vegetable? What is a fruit? Students will learn how to answer those questions as they investigate the parts of a plant and their functions. An active, hands-on lesson leads students to categorize many of their favorite plant foods as roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds and fruit. All of this is reinforced with a Garden walk, searching for living examples of the plant parts we eat.
NC and SC Science Standards: Grade 1
Key Concepts: plant parts, parts of a system and their function, plant life cycles, plants as food
Insects and plants have an important relationship, and the Garden is a great place to
observe that connection. In this hands-on program, students learn the characteristics of insects, compare the life cycles of several types of insects and then explore a meal worm colony for further life cycle discovery. Through a garden-based exploration, students will help eradicate pest insects by conducting a beneficial insect release.
NC and SC Science Standards: Grade 2, Grade 5
Key Concepts: insects, metamorphosis, life cycles, beneficial vs. pest insects
One of the most important components of any ecosystem is its soil. The Garden provides the ideal location for an engaging exploration of soils what they look like, what theyre made of and how water flows through them. Students will participate in the scientific method as they chart the results of two hands-on field experiments to test water absorption and drainage characteristics in several different types of soil.
NC and SC Science Standards: Grade 3
Key Concepts: soils, properties of soil color, texture, water-holding capacity, soil components sand, silt, clay, and humus
In this guided discovery program, students review the life cycle of plants and the processes of pollination, fertilization, and fruit/seed formation as they learn the purpose of flowersto produce seeds! As students dissect a flower, they learn the parts of a flower and
investigate plant reproduction. On a Garden walk, students explore the important
relationship of plants and their pollinators.
NC and SC Science Standards: Grade 3, Grade 6
Key Concepts: plant life cycle, growth, reproduction, parts of a flower, pollination, dissection
Students learn about the tropics and what makes that environment unique. Vanilla and chocolate are just two tropical plants we commonly use and the Conservatory is a dynamic place to explore them and many other tropical plants that have economic value, or serve important uses as food or medicine. This program provides an exploration experience of an environment many students may not experience firsthand!
NC and SC Science Standards: Kindergarten, Grade 1
Key Concepts: plants as food, conditions in tropical environments, economic value of plants
Tropical Ecosystems and Plant Adaptations (Grades 2-6)
Tropical ecosystems are fascinating! Using The Orchid Conservatory as a living laboratory, students learn the characteristics of tropical environmentsrainforest as well as desert. Students also work in small groups to conduct their own research exploration, discovering some of the unique ways tropical plants have adapted to compete and survive successfully.
NC and SC Science Standards: Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5
Key Concepts: competition for energy within an ecosystem, adaptation for survival, plant adaptations (to maximize sunlight, gain/drain water, and attract/repel/camouflage for insects and animals)
Beginning with the book Inch By Inch, by Leo Lionni, students meet Inch Worm and his friends for an adventure exploring math, science and literature. For the program, the
Garden will equip students with a copy of Inch Worm, and other non-standard units of measure, to compare the size and shape of a variety of plants and objects in the Garden. Students also learn how to use hand lenses (magnifiers) to make their own observations.
NC and SC Science Standards: Kindergarten
Key Concepts: non-standard units of measure, tools for measuring, observation and comparison
The Garden is a growing, active and changing environmentperfect for young detectives! Students use their natural curiosity and their senses to explore the Garden. Through guided exploration and a scavenger hunt, they discover diverse colors, textures, sizes and shapes. Activities build observation skills and provide an opportunity for hands-on investigation of the Garden. Students also learn how to use hand lenses (magnifiers) to enhance their observations.
NC and SC Science Standards: Kindergarten, Grade 1
Key Concepts: senses, color, size, shape, texture, properties of objects, similarities/differences
Self-Guided visitors may choose to explore the Display Garden and The Orchid Conservatory without a guide. Scavenger Hunts for these areas are available for your groups upon request. Other attractions to enhance your visit include: Meadowood Walka three-quarter-mile nature trail through field and forest at the terminus of the formal gardens. The path leads to a view of Lake Wylie. Persimmon Trailexplore the pond area on a quarter-mile nature trail.
We require that the School Program Application be completed for self-guided visits.
Groups must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.
Times are available seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Maximum group size is 100 students; more students requires multiple applications.
Group must include at least one chaperone for every 10 students.