The fall Ecology Explorer Program will offer your students the opportunity to explore garden ecosystems and how people's actions can have an effect on them. The program offers hands-on activities and a guided tour through Olbrich's Outdoor Gardens. Curriculum is available for grades kindergarten through 5th grade.
Olbrich educators provide an introduction and tour of the Outdoor Gardens. Hands-on activities are designed to be run by you and your adult leaders with assistance from Olbrich staff and volunteers. Supplemental activities can help prepare students for their visit to Olbrich and provide teachers with ideas for follow-up in the classroom.
Upon Arrival: After a short presentation by Olbrich Educators, your group (maximum 50 kids) will be split into two groups. Please plan how your group will divide before your visit.
Group 1 will work with hands-on science activities at learning stations set up in the Atrium. Activities will cover age-appropriate themes according to your grade level. These hands-on activities are designed to be run by you and your adult leaders with assistance from Olbrich staff and volunteers.
Group 2 will immerse themselves in the rich environment of Olbrich's Outdoor Gardens, learning about Midwestern ecosystems by participating in a guided tour with Olbrich educators.
We offer the following schedule for the Ecology Explorer Program:
October 20, 21, 26 & 27
November 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11
10 - 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 - 2 p.m.
The Ecology Explorer Program runs for 1.5 hours. Dues to the size of the facility, groups must be limited to 50 students.
To schedule an Ecology Explorer experience, contact:
We are unable to accommodate groups outside of the set program times. If the Explorer Program does not fit your schedule, you are always welcome to take a self-guided tour.
The fee is $2 per child.
There is a $40 minimum charge required for each group.
Adult chaperones are free. A minimum on one adult per six students is required. Additional adults are $1 each.
Fees are payable at the time of visit with cash or check only. Please make checks payable to Olbrich Botanical Gardens, 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704.
You will need to download the Ecology Explorer Curriculum in preparation for your visit. Please provide adult chaperones with copies of the curriculum so they can effectively assist your group. We strongly encourage you to make the Explorer Program part of a curriculum rather than simply a field trip. Students get much more out of the experience if they arrive with some background. The Explorer Program is designed to augment school curriculum and to satisfy standards requirements at each level.
Ecology Explorer curriculum is currently being updated and will be available online soon.
Weather: Please come to the Ecology Explorer Program prepared for the weather. An indoor alternative will be offered only in severe weather or lightning.
Funding: Your group may be eligible for Nature Express Funding through Nature Net.
Garden Etiquette: Please share these guidelines with your group before your visit.