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Green Spring Gardens, Field Trip Programs


Experience one of the most beautiful public gardens in the region! Our programs deliver quality instruction with interactive learning that’s fun for all ages. To register your group, please check our availability calendars for each program listing below, or call the Children's Education Department at 703-642-5173.

Register beginning August 26, 2013 for the 2013-2014 School Year.

Programs run Tuesday-Fridays, 10am-12noon
$7 Fairfax County, $8 Out-of-County;

  • Fee applies to students and chaperones;
  • May be subsidized by 50% for Title I schools and Head start programs;
  • Includes teacher resource packet.

Bring lunch and enjoy a picnic at the park after the program, weather permitting!

Please review our bus directions and field trip etiquette before arriving.

Preschool-K: Green and Growing Garden
March, April, and May
Download Resource Packet

Explore the world of the garden. Learn about the life cycle of plants, investigate soil and earthworms in our lab, then visit our vegetable garden for a close look at how veggies grow.  Dig in the dirt, plant some seeds for Green Spring, and take some home. (SOL: K.6, K.10, Oral Language: K.1, K.2)

Availability Calendar


Grade 1: Bees, Bugs, & Big Trees
September, October, November, April, May, and June
Download Resource Packet

Share an American Indian tale of creation in our story circle. Explore pollination in our apple orchard, decomposition at our compost bins, and tree identification on our woodland trail hike. (SOL: Science 1.4, 1.7, 1.8)

Availability Calendar


Grades 2 & 3: Metamorphosis & More
September, March, April, and May
Download Resource Packet

Wander our watershed and learn the life cycle of the frog. Follow the incredible journey of the tiny monarch caterpillar through metamorphosis and migration. Peer through magnifiers to examine the cycle of seed to flower to fruit in our botany lab. (SOL: Science 2.4, 2.5, 3.4, 3.6)

Availability Calendar


Grade 3: Predator & Prey
November, December, January, and February
Download Resource Packet

Producer or consumer, carnivore, or herbivore—which are you? Discover how animals adapt when survival’s the name of the game. Watch wildlife outside with binoculars. Play a food chain game and get the scoop on decomposers in our soil lab. (SOL: Science 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 3.10)

Availability Calendar


Grade 3: Soil Secrets
November, December, January, February, and March
Download Resource Packet

Explore the secrets of soil, from erosion to weathering, from bedrock to topsoil. Get the scoop on clay, silt, sand, and humus in our soil lab. Tour the park to see how water and weather shape the land and learn, with our Enviroscape model, how you can conserve this essential resource. (SOL: Science 3.7, 3.9)

Availability Calendar


Grade 4: Peanuts, Popcorn, & Pipe Tobacco — Plants That Changed Virginia’s History
September, October, and November
Download Resource Packet

Discover these important colonial cash crops — peanuts, tobacco, and corn — in our gardens and at the Historic House. Learn their history, botany, and uses. (SOL: Science 4.4, 4.8; History and Social Studies 4.2, 4.3)

Availability Calendar


Grade 5: Geo Trek
November, December, January, and February
Download Resource Packet

Journey to the core of the earth and back, from rocks, quakes, and volcanoes to plate tectonics. Tour the park to see how nature and humans have altered our landscape, and how archeology unearths our past. (SOL: Science 5.1, 5.6, 5.7)

Availability Calendar


Grade 5: Virginia Ecosystems
November, December, January, and February
Download Resource Packet

Explore Virginia’s geology and the natural resources of its five regions through interactive games and our Enviroscape model.  Learn about the fascinating adaptations plants and animals have developed to survive and see how the ground below affects the life above. (SOL: Science 4.1, 4.4, 4.5, 4.8)

Availability Calendar


Field Trips

“I thought this program was great! The kids had a really great time. It was very sweet to provide snacks as we moved to each location. The station where we looked through soil samples was the best.”

“The content was perfectly aligned to our curriculum and student’s ages. We came at the start of our soil unit and the students remembered a lot from the trip as we continued through our unit.”

Caitlin Varley
3rd Grade Teacher
Soil Secrets

“The program was so well run---the activities were age appropriate and interesting.  Each activity was also the appropriate length of time.  The kids seemed to especially love digging in the dirt!”

“It reinforced and built on what the students had learned at school and it made it ‘real’.”

Sharon Sherry
Pre-school Teacher
Green and Growing Gardens

“We really enjoy all aspects of this field trip.  It is a favorite!”

“The content is very connected to the FCPS second grade curriculum.  I really like the activity with the flowers.  It is good for the students to take the flower apart and see all of the parts.”

“I would thank everyone who spent the day with us on our field trip.  We hope to come again next year!”

Sarah Jacobs
2nd Grade Teacher
Metamorphosis and More

Field Trip Etiquette

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Please keep the following in mind to help make your trip a success.

  • Payment, in full, is due on the day of your visit with check made payable to “Fairfax County Park Authority” or with Visa or MasterCard. 
  • Arrange for enough chaperones so that the adult to student ratio is at least 1:10.  Maximum of 20 chaperones per field trip.  Chaperones pay same price as students.  
  • All of our field trips include a walk outside.  Please make sure all students, chaperones and staff are dressed for the weather including sturdy shoes, coats during cold weather, and raincoats during rainy weather.  Please consider water bottles for students to carry during hot weather as well.
  • Nametags are helpful so the naturalists can use names during programs.
  • Green Spring Gardens remains open to the public during all scheduled events. Please be considerate of our visitors and staff.  Chaperones and teachers are asked to continue monitoring their group’s behavior for the entire program.  Participation of adults during activities is also greatly encouraged! 
  • Remind students, chaperones and staff to respect plants, animals and parkland.  Stay on marked trails and do not pick plants or remove anything, living or otherwise, from the park.
  • Please be on time.  Late arrival may mean programs are shortened or canceled because of other park programming and operational needs.
  • You may want to pack a picnic lunch to eat at the park.  We have plenty of areas for an outdoor picnic. We recommend bringing blankets for children to sit on in the grass. 
  • Because of limited trash pickup and wildlife scavenging at Green Spring, please bring your own trash bags and take your trash out with you. 

We value your input so we can make our programs the best they can be for your students!  Please complete and return the program evaluations given to you at the end of the program or send an email to Ann.Difiore@fairfaxcounty.gov

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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