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Guided Field Trips

Schedule a class field trip to allow your students to discover the Gardens’ wonders.

Plan a field trip.

Give your students the opportunity to connect with nature and experience hands-on learning by taking part in the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ free Discovery Field Trip series. Led by volunteer field trip docents from the Junior League of Birmingham, all field trips extend the life science concepts that you teach in your classroom.

Curriculum based and designed for students in kindergarten through eighth grade, our field trips correlate with the Alabama State Course of Study and Alabama College and Career Ready Standards and align with National Science Education Standards.

Available at 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. You may bring two classes, or up to 50 students. Students spend one hour on the field trip and one hour exploring the Gardens with materials provided.

Field Trip Reservations

Request your Discovery Field Trip and preferred date at least two weeks in advance by calling 205.414.3950, ext. 106, or emailing [email protected]. You will be contacted by our staff to confirm your field trip.


The Junior League of Birmingham is happy to fund bus transportation for classes from Birmingham City Schools attending field trips for kindergarten through grade 6. Free transportation for Plants: Inside Out! is provided for schools attending field trips for grades 7–8.

The Secret
Life of Trees

Recommended for September–November, January–May
  • Kindergarten–Grade 1
  • Discover the life cycle of a tree and earn a tree detective badge.
  • Count annual growth rings on “tree cookies.”
  • Compare tree bark and leaf shapes.
  • Investigate a fallen log.

Alabama Woodlands

Recommended for October–November, March–May

  • Grades 1–6
  • Discover how animals need plants and the ways woodland plants depend on animals: interdependence!
  • Explore the Barber Alabama Woodlands and find evidence of creatures who live there.
  • Alabama Audubon is proud to offer a bird identification bird walk as an option to your free time following your Alabama Woodlands field trip. Teachers and students will learn how to identify birds found in the Gardens, as well as how to use binoculars. Field guides, binoculars, and other resources will be available. Teachers, please request upon scheduling.

Native American Plant Practices

Recommended for October–November, March–May

  • Grades 1–6
  • Identify varieties of plants used by Native Americans for food, medicine, ceremonies, travel, and shelter.
  • Discover the roles of corn, beans, and squash in a Three Sisters garden and explore the symbiotic relationship of this Native American planting method.
  • Learn about Native American culture.
  • Photograph your students in a replica dugout canoe.

Pollination Observation

Recommended for September–November, March-May

  • Kindergarten–Grade 6
  • Discover pollinators through children’s literature at the Library at the Gardens. 
  • Explore plant habitats in the Gardens to observe pollinators, collect data, and communicate results.
  • Identify the parts of a plant important for pollination. Learn how pollinators need plants, how plants need pollinators, and how we can help!

Tropical Rain Forest

Recommended for March–May

  • Grades 1–6
  • Explore the Gardens’ Conservatory and discover plants from which we get chocolate, coffee, lemons, and bananas.
  • Learn about six plant adaptations for survival in a tropical rain forest.

Dr. George Washington Carver

Recommended for September–November

  • Grades 1–6 
  • Learn about the life and legacy of pioneering agricultural scientist Dr. George Washington Carver.
  • Simulate the nitrogen cycle through an interactive game.
  • Harvest peanuts, sweet potatoes, and cotton in the George Washington Carver Garden to take back to class.
  • Identify edible plants.

Bonus! Dr. George Washington Carver: An Exploration of Photographs and Historic Artifacts

As an add-on to your field trip experience, the Archives and Rare Book Room at Birmingham Botanical Gardens invites you to gain a closer look at Dr. George Washington Carver’s life and accomplishments by exploring photographs from Tuskegee University Archives and artifacts from the Gardens’ own collections including a 1945 Carver poster, a 1931 handwritten letter from Carver, sweet potato bulletins from the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), and more! Classes may choose to visit the Library at the Gardens to explore the collection during their self-guided hour. A student and teacher guide will be provided.

Plants: Inside Out

Recommended for September–November, March–May

  • Grades 7–8
  • Use  magnifying tools to discover how plants make their own food. 
  • Explore a world of plants, from the tropical rain forest to the desert, and their amazing adaptations in the Gardens’ Conservatory..
  • Explore the Gardens and identify a variety of trees on our Big Tree Trail.
  • Discover the pigments in a leaf through chromatography, and learn about the role of chlorophyll in absorbing sunlight for photosynthesis. Instructions will be provided for a follow-up lab in the classroom.

Garden Gates

Recommended for January–February

  • Grades 3–5
  • Identify parts of a plant and the function of each: roots, stems, leaves, and flowers.
  • Identify parts of a flower and the function of each: petal, stamen (anther, filament, pollen), and pistol (stigma, style, ovary).
  • Discover how bees pollinate flowers.
  • Propagate plants using three methods of propagation (seeds, cuttings, and division), and take plants back to class.
  • Describe the benefits of plants in our daily lives (food, shelter, medicine, clothing, and source of oxygen).
  • Teachers will plant a paper white bulb for the class to grow.

Contact Us

Request your Discovery Field Trip and preferred date at least two weeks in advance by completing our online form. Questions? Call 205.414.3950, ext. 106, or email [email protected]. You will be contacted by our staff to confirm your field trip.

What teachers are saying about our Discovery Field Trips

100% of responding teachers say they would recommend our field trips to others!

“Hands-on, very interactive, students involved, children were interested in all activities.”

Teacher from Calera

“Excellent: right on grade level, great outdoor science lesson.”

Teacher from Birmingham

“Excellent to teach science objectives.”

Teacher from Mountain Brook

“Every child should have this experience.”

Teacher from Chelsea