Posts Tagged ‘Ellen Hardy’

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Friday, December 6th, 2013

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

On Thursday, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens launched a yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Honored at the luncheon were (L to R):

A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero Volunteer of the Year: Natalie Lee

Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year: Mike Rushing

Plantspeople of the Year: Alicia and Ken Hall

Educator of the Year: Carol Hagood

Our Volunteer Partner of the Year was awarded to the Native Plant Group, pictured below (L to R): Ann Katholi, Janice Williams, Sally Price, Peggy Thompson, Mary Phillips, Gail Snyder, Jan Holliday, Linda Nolan and Anne Parrish.

Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer, Former Mayor Bernard Kincaid, Councilor Kim Rafferty, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor Charles Long and former Gardens Director Gary Gerlach

Mary Alice and Bill Thurman

Linda and Archie Blackmon

Verna Gates and Carol Ogle

Peggy Thompson and Mary Phillips

Amanda Clark and Margaret Bish

Membership Assistant Rona Walters, Education Activities Specialist Dawn Coleman, Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy

Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion and Mike Rushing

Conservatory cake created by Pastry Arts

Entertainment provided by Sue Nuckols

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

Southern Summer Chefs

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Children’s Summer Camps: Southern Summer Chefs

Southern Summer Chefs at The Gardens, part of our Children’s Summer Camps, planted chives, mint, parsley and rosemary, to name a few, in kitchen gardens to take home so they can continue to enjoy cooking using fresh ingredients as they have discovered at The Gardens!

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

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.

Precious Seeds Learning Center Visits The Gardens

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Precious Seeds Learning Center Visits The Gardens

Students from Precious Seeds Learning Center recently visited The Gardens. The children explored the Southern Living Garden through their senses while they caught a glimpse of many different kinds of pollinators visiting the flowers in bloom. Many students were visiting Birmingham Botanical Gardens for the first time. Brightly colored magnifyers excited the students about seeing nature and plants more closely. 

Teachers were pleased that all activities were beneficial to their students and that they were able to make further connections in the classroom.
They didn’t forget to tell us that one of their favorite things was being cooled off by sprinklers that suprised them along the way!

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

Kids Enjoy Winter Evergreen Explorers

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

This Saturday, children participated in our Winter Evergreen Explorers class at The Gardens. For more information on all of the adult and family educational opportunities we have to offer at The Gardens, visit

We visited The Gardens and befriended the evergreens. We were fascinated by the pinecones found on many of all shapes and sizes. We learned that seeds travel and that pinecones hold seeds inside!
We made our own paper in different colors and sang songs about recycling. We played games with pinecones and acted out a play with the cones as our stars! We took home longleaf pine (our very own state tree) seedlings to plant at home so we can remember the friendships we made with the trees today. Thanks to International Forestry for donating our seedlings.
This Saturday break with nature was refreshing and fun! Can’t wait to find out what our next Saturday class with Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Fontaine will be!

Children Enjoy Fall Pumpkins Class at The Gardens

Monday, October 31st, 2011

On Saturday, children participated in our Fall Pumpkins class at The Gardens. These youngsters tested pumpkins to see if they rolled, sank or floated. They acted out a play about how the pumpkin grows from seed to fruit on the vine. They tasted roasted pumpkin seeds and even planted their own mini 3 Sisters garden to take home!

Make your plans now to join us for our next special children’s class, Winter Evergreen Explorers, coming up on December 17! Click here for more information and to register today!