Posts Tagged ‘Discovery Field Trips’

Discovery Field Trips begin for 2015

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Discovery Field Trips begin for 2015

On September 21, a new year of Discovery Field Trips got underway. Birmingham schoolchildren explored many of The Gardens’ collections, including the Dr. George Washington Carver Garden, where they learned about crop rotation and about how peanuts and cotton are grown. Each year, Birmingham Botanical Gardens provides a free, curriculum-based science education to approximately 10,000 Birmingham students through Discovery Field Trips. Those educational opportunities are made possible by the generosity of donors, sponsors, members and fundraisers like Spring and Fall Plant Sales and Antiques at The Gardens.

Avondale School visits The Gardens

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Avondale School visits The Gardens

On May 6, 3rd grade students at Avondale School visited The Gardens to take part in Discovery Field Trips. Mr. and Mrs. William “Bill” Barnes provided a picnic lunch for the group. Mr. and Mrs. Barnes have adopted classes at Avondale School, and each year, they welcome their students, teachers and parents for a complimentary lunch at The Gardens following their visit for Discovery Field Trips.

Mr. Barnes talked to the students about the rewards that can come from hard work in school years, and the lunch was to reward students for a year of accomplishments and to encourage them to give their best to their future education. In addition, he congratulated the teachers and principal, Dr. Ann Curry, for their leadership. 
Executive Director and CEO Fred Spicer encouraged students to study hard in science and math to lead them to promising careers in upcoming science and technology fields. 
Education Activities Specialist Dawn Coleman, Donor Relations Officer Drew Rickel and Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy also showed their support from The Gardens.
Rotary Club of Birmingham’s Margaret Debardeleben congratulated students and teachers on their new playground which was recently made possible by Rotary Club of Birmingham.

Smith Middle School visits The Gardens

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Smith Middle School visits The Gardens

Smith Middle School is the latest to take part in The Gardens’ Plants: Inside Out! Discovery Field Trips program for middle schools students. Seventh graders from Ms. Henderson’s science class and Ms. Giles’s reading class visited The Gardens this week to explore.

To learn how your class can take advantage of our FREE, curriculum-based science education programs, visit The Gardens online.

Dr. George Washington Carver Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

Dr. George Washington Carver Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Recently, at, we shared our George Washington Carver Garden, a unique space which has allowed Birmingham children to learn about the discoveries of one of Alabama’s most prolific native sons. Through Discovery Field Trips, Birmingham students have an opportunity to explore crops hands-on. Today at The Gardens Blog, we share more photos from the field trip.

Students from 1st – 6th grade are invited to take part in this Discovery Field Trip, which is offered from September until November from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Transportation is provided for Birmingham City Schools through the Junior League of Birmingham It’s provided for Bessemer City Schools through Vulcan Materials Foundation. Teachers can learn more about this and all Discovery Field Trips at The Gardens website, where they can also learn how to plan an educational opportunity for their own class.

Discovery Field Trips launches first program for middle school students

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Discovery Field Trips launches first program for middle school students

In November, Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomed Highlands School sixth graders and students from Bessemer’s gifted program to become the first middle schools to participate in the first Discovery Field Trip designed for middle school students. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips have offered free, science-based programming for almost 100,000 kindergarten-sixth grade students. 

Plants: Inside Out paves a pathway for students to discover photosynthesis through three hands-on science labs. Labs include making slides from leaves to view stomata with field microscopes, using technology to measure carbon dioxide, and discovering why leaves change color. Post field trip, they can use their new discoveries to design their own ideas for renewable energy, similar to scientists in the real world. 

A student from Highlands said, “Out of all my experiences, I’ve learned the most in this field trip. I really had a great time.” Highlands Science Teacher Sam Kindervater said, “Great intro or wrap-up for a plant unit.” The “hands-on components and outside activities” were what they enjoyed most. Bessemer Gifted Teacher Daphne Shade stated, “The labs were very informational and interesting. The students really enjoyed the experience.” 

Plants: Inside Out will get into full swing this spring. Docents are needed, and teachers are invited to begin signing up their classes now free of transportation costs. For more information on scheduling your class for a field trip, contact Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or For more information on volunteering for the program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or

Docent training for new middle school programs at The Gardens

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Volunteers prepare for middle school Discovery Field Trips

On Tuesday, April 16, docents began training for new educational programming that will be offered to middle school students in Birmingham this Fall. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips has provided a free, curriculum based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham elementary students, and now, the program will begin expanding to include appropriate material for an older group.

If you are interested in becoming a docent and guiding these groups, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or If you would like to know more about Discovery Field Trips and how your class can participate, contact Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members tour Conservatory renovation project

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members tour Conservatory renovation project

On Friday, Executive Director Fred Spicer took Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff members on a hard hat tour of the Conservatory renovation project. The $1.4 million project has begun in earnest with hopes of reopening the Birmingham landmark to the public by Fall. The Conservatory will serve as another site for educational programming, including Discovery Field Trips, The Gardens’ flagship program which has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham students over the last decade. Check out photos from the tour!

Bush Hills Academy visits The Gardens

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Bush Hills Academy visits The Gardens

Recently, 2nd grade students from Bush Hills Academy in Birmingham visited The Gardens to take part in the Garden Gates Discovery Field Trip and Treasure Map activity outdoors. Docent Alana Maxey of Junior League of Birmingham’s “Can You Dig It?” led the students, along with Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy.

Avondale Children Enjoy The Gardens

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Avondale Pre-K students at The Gardens

Recently, Avondale Pre-K students came to The Gardens for a Discovery Backpack trip! You can take advantage of this free educational opportunity, too! Visit to learn more!

Preschool teachers can get their students involved at The Gardens. Teachers check out a free Discovery Backpack complete with a teacher guide (designed by educators) and materials you will need to lead your students on a field trip at Birmingham Botanical Gardens as they discover life science concepts related to plants and the environment. Correlated with curriculum.

Available year round | Monday-Friday | Free |

Contact 205.414.3953 to reserve your activity.
Preschool Discovery Backpack

Visit Southern Living Garden throughout the seasons exploring through the senses.
• Based on the Alabama Performance Standards for 4 year olds.
• Explore seasons at The Gardens through color, texture, scent, and sound.
• Identify The Gardens as home for plants and animals.
• Use a magnifier to investigate.
• Exercise skills for science including observation and communication.

Epic Donates Mural to Adventure Classroom

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Epic Students Provide Mural for Discovery Field Trips Classroom

Students from the GATE (Gifted and Talented Enrichment) Program at Epic made this mural for the Adventure Classroom at The Gardens. The students are just a few of the many Birmingham City Schoolchildren that The Gardens provides a free, curriculum based education to all year long through its Discovery Field Trips program. Discovery Field Trips is the flagship of The Gardens educational programs, and just last fall, celebrated the 85,000th student to participate. Discovery Field Trips is one of many educational programs at The Gardens reliant on donations from the Birmingham community. With that help, The Gardens has been fortunate to educate some of Birmingham’s brightest. For a full photo gallery from Wednesday’s Birmingham News shoot, visit