Enjoy Our New Self-Guided Tours
By Jamie Haas
Visitors exploring the newly opened paths of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will encounter signage offering a new way to experience a number of our garden spaces. Created by the Friends’ Education and Visitor Experience team and made possible by a generous gift from Publix Super Markets Charities, the signs allow you to take a self-guided audio tour to learn about the Southern Living Garden perennial border, enjoy a mindful woodland hike in the Barber Alabama Woodlands, and delve into other garden gems.
According to Brooke McMinn, Director of Education and Visitor Experience, these self-guided tours were born out of a desire to engage and educate garden-goers while also highlighting some of the many ways that Friends (staff, volunteers, donors, and sponsors) come together to enhance and strengthen the Gardens. The tours, many of which align with stories in The Garden Dirt, also encourage social distancing
“We’ve found that self-guided audio tours in natural areas—either on your own or with family—can be very empowering, almost meditative.”—Brooke McMinn
While inviting guests to dig deeper and seek comfort in the Gardens, they offer the additional advantage of adaptability. The Friends team plans to update the audio tours seasonally.
“A challenge for garden signage is that plants change frequently. The fact that these self-guided tours can be updated frequently is a wonderful bonus,” she says.
Visitors can anticipate the introduction of more self-guided tours throughout the Gardens as the year goes on, with informational tours already in the works for popular spaces like the Fern Glade and for features such as the Gardens’ sculpture collection.
To hear the audio tours, simply open your smartphone camera app or other QR code reader, hold it steady to scan the QR code on each sign, and listen.