Dear Teachers and Youth Group Leaders,
Welcome back to the classroom, clubhouse, or community space! As you plan for the coming months, we invite you to consider a visit to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. Whether you are making your first field trip to the Gardens or returning for the umpteenth time, we are excited to offer our five-and-a-half acre “outdoor classroom” to you and your students. The Gardens provide an ideal platform for connections between school curricula and the natural world. The diversity of plant life and environments available at the Gardens means that we are able to support a wide variety of academic goals, from the study of ecology and botany to butterflies, Native American history, and nature poetry!
We offer a variety of programs to enhance and focus your visit. You will find descriptions of each of our education programs designed for youth and school groups summarized below and registration information.
A Self-Guided Gardens-Only experience…
is our most economical choice, which allows you and your students to independently explore our 17 themed gardens from herbs to irises to cacti.
Field Trip Add-ons:
- Grow, Grow, Grow: A guided program that dovetails with Arizona State Science Standards for grades K-2 and invites students to creatively explore the life cycle of plants.
- Butterfly Magic Tours: Our most popular add-on, allows you and your students to explore the Gardens and visit our live tropical butterfly and orchid exhibit. Unlike any other experience in Southern Arizona, Butterfly Magic allows students to observe live butterflies from around the world in an intimate setting.
- Garden Explorer Plant Packs: Each pack is full of engaging and flexible activities inspired by the national Next Generation Science Standards that help students explore the Gardens.
- Butterfly Kits: Enhance your Butterfly Magic field trip or to bring the field trip experience to your classroom with a kit that helps students understand the lifecycle of a butterfly (includes live Gulf fritillary larvae!).
- Desert Plants, Desert People. Tucson Botanical Gardens staff and docents will come to your school to offer a “Discovery Table” that teaches students about ethnobotany (people’s use of plants). This activity is perfect for science fairs or similar event.
Additional Opportunities for youth and families:
- Garden Geckos. Wednesdays, 10 to 11 a.m.
Upcoming dates: Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 (four weeks) and Oct. 22 to Nov. 11 (four weeks) An early-childhood parent/child program introduces young children to the wonders of the natural world. Each week’s little outdoor adventure includes stories, hand-on activities, and songs. Program fees are for the entire four-week series and include one child (3 to 5 years old) and one parent. $50 ($40 members).
- Summer Camps. Each of our 5-day camps blends experiential garden activities and scientific exploration with the creative arts and camp games. Campers will develop a basic understanding of the intricacies of plant life, as well as a renewed admiration for the wonder of our desert habitat. More information will be available online this spring.
How to Schedule Your Field Trip
- Remember to schedule your field trip well in advance. The busiest months for Butterfly Magic are March and April. Tours fill up fast.
- We schedule Butterfly Magic field trips at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, starting Oct. 1st and ending on May 31st. Gardens-Only field trips are available year-round Monday through Friday (times flexible). Garden hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. September through May.
- Grow, Grow, Grow is available on Tuesday mornings beginning in October as an add-on to either a Gardens Only or a Butterfly Magic field trip.
- Plant Packs are available to rent in conjunction with any field trip (subject to availability).
The best way schedule your trips is to send an email request that includes your phone number to Lynne Jenrow at: firstname.lastname@example.org. She will follow-up via phone to answer questions, work with you to select open dates, and help you complete the required group registration form (see example form at the end of this packet). Once the form has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation letter or phone call. Please note that “group rates” void all other discounts. You can also call Lynne to make a reservation at: (520) 326-9686 ext. 18.
In order to receive these discounted rates you must pre-schedule your visit. Otherwise you will be charged the regular admission rates.
Youth Group Rates
|Type of visit||Fee||Times Available|
|Self- Guided Tour||$3/person||Monday-Friday|
|Self-Guided Tour and Butterfly Magic||$5/person||Monday-Friday,10am-2pm|
|Self-Guided Tour and Grow, Grow, Grow||$5/Person||Tusdays @ 10am|
|Self-Guided Tour, Grow, Grow, Grow, and Butterfly Magic||$6/person||Tusdays @ 10am|
|Plant Pack Rental (recommended: One pack per group of 1-15)||$5 each pack||Monday-Friday|
Here’s to a wonderful and enriching school year and many thanks for making Tucson Botanical Gardens a part of it! For more information and to learn about new offerings, please visit our website at: www.tucsonbotanical.org/education/youth-education/
Director of Education
Tucson Botanical Gardens
2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85712
Ph: 520-326-9686 ext. 39
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