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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 2019-2020 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 9:30 - 11 a.m. and 12 - 1:30 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.

Onsite Lunches

There are opportunities for onsite lunch on designated dates(*) during the AM session. Only groups booked on those dates during the AM session will be able to have lunch in the building.  All others are free to use the outdoor tables in front of the building or the other designated picnic areas.

 

Ecology Explorer 2019

Grades K-5

All 2019 Ecology Explorer Dates Are Full - No New Registrations Accepted

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 2020

Grades K-3

February 3*, 4, 6, 10*, 11, 12, 13, 17*, 18, 19, 20, 24*, 25, 26, 27

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 2020

Grades K-3

April 13*, 14, 15, 16, 20*, 21, 22, 23, 27*, 28, 29, 30
May 4*, 5, 6, 7, 11*, 12, 13, 14, 18*, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28

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

Planning Your Visit

Self-guided visits are available daily during public hours and at regular admission rates for school, daycare, or youth groups (grades PreK-12). Standard fees, times, and passes may be suspended for special events. Groups with less than 10 students are not required to schedule a visit. Groups larger than 10 people are asked to schedule at least two weeks in advance. Visits scheduled less than two weeks advance are dependent upon availability.

Art or photography groups of any size planning to draw, paint, or photograph as a group either in the outdoor gardens and/or indoor Bolz Conservatory must schedule with the Education Registrar two weeks in advance. Learn more about our photography policies to determine if your group will need a photo permit.

 

Group Size, Fees, and Chaperones

  • Maximum Group Size: 80 students
  • Outdoor Gardens Fee: Free
  • Bolz Conservatory Fee : $2 per student, $2 per additional adult (see chart below)
  • 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 charged standard admission fees. 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 charged standard admission fees.

21-30
5

5 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be charged standard admission fees.

31-40
6

6 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be charged standard admission fees.

41-50
7

7 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be charged standard admission fees.

51-60
8

8 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be charged standard admission fees.

61-70
9

9 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be charged standard admission fees.

71-80
10

10 required adults are free.

Additional adults will be charged standard admission fees.

 

Bus Parking

Due to limited parking from ongoing construction, buses will not be allowed to park in Olbrich Gardens' parking lot. Please reference this map of alternative parking locations. Exchange phone numbers with your bus driver(s) so you can contact them when you are ready to depart.

Group Etiquette

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

Reservations

Requests for more information or reservations can be made by emailing aschwoerer@cityofmadison.com or calling 608-245-3648. When scheduling, please provide the following information:

  • Group name
  • Contact information (include phone number and email address)
  • Expected number of students
  • Expected number of adult chaperones
  • Date(s) and time(s) of visit
  • If you are visiting the outdoor gardens and/or indoor Bolz Conservatory

Visit Changes/Cancellation

Please inform the Education Registrar if...

  • Your group determines they will no longer be visiting Olbrich Botanical Gardens.
  • The time and/or day of your visit changes.
  • The number of people in your group drastically changes.
  • Your group decides to add the indoor Bolz Conservatory to your visit.
  • You are running late (call 608-245-3648).

 

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 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

Due to limited parking from ongoing construction, buses will not be allowed to park in Olbrich Gardens' parking lot. Please reference this map of alternative parking locations. Exchange phone numbers with your bus driver(s) so you can contact them when you are ready to depart.

 

Contact Information & Reservations


Contact our Education Registrar to schedule an Explorer School Program or self-guided visit.

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

 


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