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Green Spring Gardens, Field Trip Programs

  • Green Spring Gardens
  • Green Spring Gardens
  • Green Spring Gardens
  • Green Spring Gardens
  • Green Spring Gardens
  • Green Spring Gardens
  • Green Spring Gardens

[ 4603 Green Spring Road ] [ Alexandria, VA 22312 ] [ 703-642-5173 ]


Experience one of the most beautiful public gardens in the region! Our programs deliver quality instruction with interactive learning and improved curriculum to better accommodate changing Virginia SOLs. 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.

Registration begins August 31, 2015 for the 2015-2016 School Year.

Download Print-friendly Information Sheet

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.

Self-guided groups

We request that self-guided groups call ahead to schedule their visit (703-642-5173) so we are better able to manage visitor traffic. A suggested donation of $3 per person for self-guided groups is appreciated.

Bring lunch and enjoy an outdoor picnic at the park after the program (weather permitting). Indoor spaces are not available for students to eat lunch.

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

Preschool-K: Green and Growing Garden
September, October, April, May, and June
Download Resource Packet

Discover the world of the garden. Learn about the life cycle of plants, explore seasonal patterns and investigate living and non-living things in the soil. Play a shape and color sorting game and use your senses to explore our seasonal pumpkin patch, vegetable, and herb gardens. Dig in the dirt and plant some seeds to take home, too.
(SOL: Science K.4, K.6, K.7, K.9)

Availability Calendar


Grade 1: Fantastic Flora and Fauna
September, October, April, May, and June
Download Resource Packet

Share an American Indian tale in our story circle. Learn about edible and flowering plants by examining seasonal sunflowers or fruit blossoms. Visit some amazing plants in our gardens. Touch turtle shells and deer antlers as we look at animal characteristics in our interactive animal station. Explore trees and their seasonal changes in our woodland trail hike.
(SOL: Science 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8)

Availability Calendar


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

Learn the life cycle of the frog as we explore its habitat and ecosystem. Follow butterfly caterpillars on their journey through metamorphosis and migration and discover insect survival adaptations. Examine the cycle of seed from flower to fruit in our botany lab.
(SOL: Science 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.8)

Availability Calendar


Grade 2 & 3: Soil Secrets
November, December, January, February, and March
Download Resource Packet

Explore the secrets of soil, from erosion to weathering, 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. Journey through the water cycle and discover the connections between soil and water using our Enviroscape watershed model.
(SOL Science 2.7, 2.8, 3.7, 3.9)

Availability Calendar


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

Producer or consumer, carnivore or herbivore— which are you? Discover how animals and plants adapt when survival is the name of the game. Explore the food web, search for wildlife and habitats outside, and discover one of the smallest predators in our Ladybug Lab!
(SOL: Science 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8)

Availability Calendar


Grade 4: Virginia Ecosystems
November, December, January, February, and March
Download Resource Packet

Explore Virginia's rich flora and fauna and the human impact on these ecosystems. Learn about the fascinating adaptations plants and animals have developed to survive and how they fit into the food web. Take a close-up look at seeds and flowers in our botany lab, and go on a discovery walk through the park to learn about the many cooperative relationships between plants and animals.
(SOL: Science 3.8, 3.10, 4.4, 4.5)

Availability Calendar


Grade 4: Peanuts, Popcorn, & Pipe Tobacco
November, December, January, and February

Visit Green Spring Gardens, the site of a former colonial tobacco plantation, to discover the four most important colonial cash crops — peanuts, tobacco, cotton and corn. Tour our gardens and visit our Historic House to learn the fascinating botany and origins of these plants. Discover how their cultivation changed the course of history here in Virginia and throughout the world.
(SOL: Science 4.4, 4.8; VS 1e, VS 2b, VS 2c, VS 3a, VS 4a)

Availability Calendar


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

Journey to the core of Earth, from rocks, quakes, and volcanoes to plate tectonics. Explore how rocks form through the rock cycle. Discover ways to identify rocks using a dichotomous key and microscopes in our rock lab, and tour the park to see how nature and humans alter our land.
(SOL: Science 5.1, 5.7)

Availability Calendar


Self-Guided Field Trips

To schedule your visit, contact Children's Education at 703-642-5173 or submit a date request for a self-guided visit in the Availability Calendar.

Availability Calendar


Field Trips

“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

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