Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

School Group Programs

Explorer School Program

Self-Guided Youth Group Visits

How Construction May Impact Your Visit

Contact Information & Reservations

Visiting school or daycare groups will benefit from a rich learning experience that can supplement classroom curricula and state learning standards. Depending on your group’s age range and time of visit, we offer two scheduling options. K-5 school groups can elect to participate in a paid guided program through one of our Explorer School Programs. Groups that do not fall within this age range or cannot attend during our available program times can schedule a self-guided visit of the outdoor gardens and/or Bolz Conservatory. See the options below to determine what fits your group’s needs.

Explorer School Program - Guided Visit

Join us for hands-on, inquiry-based field trips! Olbrich Botanical Gardens invites you and your students to experience the extraordinary world of plants by participating in our Explorer School Programs. Join us as we introduce your students to plants through hands-on, inquiry-based activities that support the Wisconsin Model Academic Standards and the Madison Metropolitan School District Science Curricula Scope and Sequence. We offer three excellent programs designed to meet the academic needs of you and your students. Each program is 90 minutes and includes indoor learning stations and a tour of either the indoor tropical Bolz Conservatory or the outdoor gardens.

 

Group Size, Fees, and Chaperones

  • Maximum Group Size: 55 students
  • Fee: $2.50 per student; $50.00 minimum charge per session
  • Adult Chaperones: To determine how many adults are required to attend with your group, please refer to the chart below. Required adults are admitted for free, and additional adults will be admitted at the $2.50 student rate. As a note, adults include teachers, school staff, and chaperones.
    • Chaperones play an important role in creating a positive and safe learning experience for the entire group. Please distribute a copy of How to be a Chaperone (PDF) to each chaperone before your field trip.

Number of

Students

Number of Required Adults*

Fee

Information

10-20
4

4 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be admitted at the $2.50 student rate.

21-40
6

6 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be admitted at the $2.50 student rate.

41+
8

8 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be admitted at the $2.50 student rate.

*Adults include teachers, school staff, and chaperones.

Registration is now open for the 2018-2019 academic year!

Dates and times are limited so secure your spot early. Please contact our Education Registrar Aleeh Schwoerer at aschwoerer@cityofmadison.com or 608-245-3648 to register. Additional program information will be sent after your confirmed registration. Program times on the designated dates are 10:00-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:00 p.m.

When registering, please include the following information:

  • Three date and time options for your group
  • Grade level(s)
  • Expected number of students
  • Expected number of adult chaperones
  • Payment method

Need help getting here?

Nature Net offers bus funding reimbursement through the Nature Express program. You qualify for bus funding by participating in two different Explorer School Programs or by visiting two different Nature Net sites with your students. Find more info here!

School and Daycare Group Etiquette

Please share and review these Etiquette Guidelines with your group and chaperones before visiting Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

Ecology Explorer 2018

Grades K-5

October 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31
November 1, 6, 7, 8

The Ecology Explorer School Program investigates the relationship between plants and animals. Students will discover what a habitat is, as well as what it provides plants and animals, through hands-on activities. Students will explore different habitats through a guided tour of our outdoor gardens and scavenger hunt in our indoor tropical conservatory.

Program Summary & Standards Correlation (PDF)

“The children loved the indoor program with the 3 stations! I wanted to let you know that on the 3rd grade state WKCE test they took the week after being at Olbrich that they had test questions on the water cycle! I think they all aced it.” - K-4th grade teacher

Ecology Explorer

 

Tropical Explorer 2019

Grades K-3

February 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 18, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28

The Tropical Explorer School Program focuses on the unique features of the tropical rainforest. Students will explore characteristics of the tropical rainforest by comparing it to Wisconsin’s deciduous forests. Students will engage with the distinctive plants and animals found in tropical rainforests through hands-on, guided learning stations and go on a guided tour through our indoor tropical conservatory. A self-guided scavenger hunt also allows students to have time to explore the tropical habitat on their own.

Program Summary & Standards Correlation (PDF)

“My students were completely engaged. I was so impressed with the subject matter and the hands on materials.” - 1st grade teacher

Tropical Explorer

 

Botany Explorer 2019

Grades K-3

April 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30
May 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

The Botany Explorer School Program concentrates on plants and how they function. Students will discover the parts of a plant and explore various plant adaptations at hands-on, guided learning stations. Students will experience a guided plant part tour through the indoor tropical conservatory or outdoor gardens. Students will also have an opportunity to search for plants with unique plant part adaptations during a self-guided scavenger hunt.

Program Summary & Standards Correlation (PDF)

“It is one of the best field trips I have taken my students on. Very well organized and fits our curriculum perfectly. Thank you.” - 2nd grade teacher

Botany Explorer

 

Self-Guided Youth Group Visits

Scheduled self-guided visits are available for school or daycare groups that do not fall within the K-5 grade level range, are unable to fit in our scheduled Explorer school group programs or would rather tour the outdoor gardens or Bolz Conservatory on their own. Your group can explore at your own pace while learning about the tropical Bolz Conservatory or Olbrich's outdoor gardens. This type of visit may be scheduled Monday through Friday throughout the year between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 

Group Size

Groups with 10-80 people must call ahead to schedule a self-guided visit. Groups with more than 80 people must schedule separate visits to meet the min / max group size requirements. Groups visiting the Bolz Conservatory may be asked to divide into smaller groups and rotate during their visit. Groups with fewer than 10 people do not need to make a reservation.

 

Fees

There is no fee for visiting the outdoor gardens however donations are gratefully accepted. Groups scheduling a visit to the Bolz Conservatory are charged a $2 fee per person ages 6 and up. Cash or check payments are accepted upon arrival.

 

Chaperones

For groups with children ages 4 and under, we require one adult chaperone for every six students (1:6 ratio is required). For groups with children ages 5 and older, we require one adult chaperone for every eight students (1:8 ratio is required). These adults are admitted free. Each additional adult chaperone will be admitted at the $2.00 student rate.

Chaperones play an important role in creating a positive and safe learning experience for the entire group. Please distribute a copy of How to be a Chaperone to each chaperone before your field trip, and follow the guidelines while you are visiting Olbrich Botanical Gardens with your group.

How to be a Chaperone (PDF)

 

Olbrich is Growing!

We want to let you know some exciting news before you visit. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is growing with the addition of new classrooms (3 indoors and 1 outdoor) and new greenhouses.

This means there is a fair amount of construction activity happening around the Visitor Center building and in the parking lot. The construction does not impact access to any of the outdoor gardens. There is a construction fence installed around the construction zone within the outdoor gardens, as well as altered paths to follow, and signage to assist in navigating away from the construction zone.

Construction Sounds

Bring ear plugs or coverings for members in your group who are sound sensitive. As you move further into the outdoor gardens, the construction sounds are not as prevalent.

Bus Parking

During this time, buses will not be allowed to park in Olbrich's parking lot. Instead, please park buses a short distance away at the Olbrich Playfields, at the corner of Atwood Avenue and Walter Street. Exchange phone numbers with your bus driver(s) so you can contact them when you are ready to depart from Olbrich. Click here for a PDF of directions to the Olbrich Playfields parking lot.

 

Contact Information & Reservations


Contact our Education Registrar to request a reservation.

Aleeh Schwoerer
Education Registrar
3330 Atwood Avenue
Madison, WI 53704
phone: 608-245-3648
fax: 608-246-4719
aschwoerer@cityofmadison.com

 

School and Daycare Group Etiquette

Please share and review these Etiquette Guidelines with your group and chaperones before visiting Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

 


Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719