Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 9:15am

Olbrich Botanical Gardens invites you and your students to experience the extraordinary world of plants by participating in the 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 MMSD Science Curricula Scope and Sequence. We have three excellent programs that are designed to meet the academic needs of you and your students.

Ecology Explorer School Program – Grades K-5

October 3 – November 9, 2017

dels>Registration Deadline: September 26, 2017

The Ecology Explorer School Program investigates the relationship between plants and animals. Students will discover what a habitat is and will explore different habitats through a guided tour of our indoor Bolz Conservatory and outdoor gardens. Students will also learn about basic ecological principles during hands-on activities at guided learning stations. This program is available for grades K-5.

Tropical Explorer School Program – Grades K-3

February 6 – March 1, 2017

Registration Deadline: January 30, 2017

The Tropical Explorer School Program focuses on the unique features of the tropical rainforest. Students will participate in a guided tour through the Bolz Conservatory and engage in guided learning stations that highlight the distinctive plants and animals found in this unique habitat. Tropical Explorer does not include a tour of the outdoor gardens. This program is available for grades K-3.

Botany Explorer School Program – Grades K-3

April 17 – May 31, 2017

Registration Deadline: April 17, 2017

The Botany Explorer School Program concentrates on plants and how they function. Students will discover the parts of plants and explore various plant adaptations at guided learning stations. Students will also participate in a guided tour through the Bolz Conservatory. Botany Explorer does not include a tour of the outdoor gardens. This program is available for grades K-3.

Program Days and Times

Each 90-minute program is available Tuesday through Thursday during the dates listed per program. You may select either 10-11:30 a.m. or 12:30-2 p.m. For an all-day experience, consider exploring our outdoor gardens for the other half of the day and enjoying a picnic lunch in the park across the street. Sorry, no food allowed on the premises.

Group Size, Fees, and Chaperones

Maximum group size is 50 students. Each Explorer School Program is $2.50 per student with a $50 minimum charge per session. One adult chaperone per 8 students is required, and these adults are admitted free. Each additional adult chaperone will be admitted at the $2.50 student rate. A non-refundable $50 deposit per session is due upon registering.


Thanks to the generosity of Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ donors, we are pleased to offer qualifying schools program admission scholarships for participation in Olbrich Botanical Gardens’ Explorer School Program.

Transportation reimbursement scholarships are also available. Please contact our Youth & Family Programs Manager, Kim North, by calling (608) 245-5791 or emailing knorth@cityofmadison.com to learn more about our scholarships.

Need help getting here?

Nature Net offers bus funding reimbursement through the Nature Express program. Check out http://www.naturenet.com/express.html for more information.

Register Today!

Registration is now open for the 2015-2016 academic school year! Dates and times are limited; register early. Contact our Education Registrar, Kai Skadahl, by calling (608) 246-4550 or e-mailing kskadahl@cityofmadison.com to reserve space. Be prepared with three date and time options for your group, grade level(s), expected number of students, and method of payment. A non-refundable $50 deposit per session is due upon registering. Additional program information will be forwarded after your confirmed registration.

We look forward to sharing the beauty of nature and the amazing world of plants with your students through our Explorer School Programs.

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