Green Spring Gardens

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Visitor Center open Mon - Sat. 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Sunday noon - 4:30 p.m.; Gate locked at 5 p.m.

4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, Virginia

Nicole Conners,
Manager

Green Spring Gardens Field Trips

Step by Step Instructions to Request a Field Trip Date:

  1. Click the “Request a Reservation” link.
  2. In the Facility Reservation Portal, choose your desired location using the search box or click the site’s icon on the interactive map.
  3. Select your chosen park’s “Reserve” button.
  4. On your chosen park’s page, click the “Reserve” or “Check Availability” button in the School Field Trips box to see the availability calendar.
  5. Use the calendar to identify which days are available. Available dates are green.
  6. Click on your desired day.
  7. Navigate through the calendar using the Calendar Date field.
  8. Click 'Reserve Unit' in the pop up window.
  9. Log in with an existing ParkTakes account, or create a new one.
  10. In the Booking Details screen, fill in all applicable boxes in the ‘Extra Information section.  All fields with an asterisk are required.
  11. Click ‘Book Site’.
  12. Review your cart and check out. There are no fees charged for a reservation request. Payment is due on the day of the program.
  13. After your reservation is complete, a window will open with confirmation of your request. 
  14. You will receive an email that confirms receipt of your request. Staff will be in touch to finalize your booking and any additional details.

If you are requesting a date less than two weeks in advance, please call the park for availability.

Please note that sites limit the total number of students per day. Larger groups may be accommodated over multiple days.

To book consecutive days:

  • Select the first day in your series.
  • In the pop up, use the drop down under “Dates” to select the total days you are booking.
  • Click Reserve Unit.
  • For non-consecutive days, you will need to perform two transactions. After adding the first date to your cart, use the “Reservations” tab on the top right of the page to return to the reservation page and add another date to the cart.

Download Detailed Instructions

Experience one of the most beautiful public gardens in the region! Green Spring programs deliver interactive learning and curricula that address Virginia SOLs.

Registering for a Field Trip

  • Email Heidi.Young@fairfaxcounty.gov.
  • Call the Children's Education Department at 703-642-5173 for assistance.

Times

  • Programs run Tuesday-Fridays.
  • Pre-K & Kindergarten programs run from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • First to fifth grade programs run 10 a.m.-noon.

Fees

  • $9/person Fairfax County schools
  • $10/person Out-of-County schools
  • Fee applies to students and chaperones.
  • Fees may be subsidized by 50% for Title I schools and Head Start programs.
  • Maximum number of students per day: 85
  • Fee includes teacher resource packet.
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 bus directions and field trip etiquette before arriving.
 
Self-guided groups
Please call ahead (703-642-5173) to schedule a visit so staff is better able to manage visitor traffic. A suggested donation of $3 per person for self-guided groups is appreciated.
 

September, October, March, April, May, and June from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Explore the world of the garden. Investigate the living and nonliving things that make up soil, and learn how plants grow. Use your senses to discover vegetable and herb gardens. Look for signs of animals around the gardens. Dig in the dirt and plant seeds to take back to the classroom. (SOL: K.2, K.4, K.6, K.7, K.9)

Download Program Details

September, October, April, May, and June

Share an American Indian tale in a story circle. Examine plants in the gardens as you learn about the plant life cycle. Touch turtle shells and deer antlers at an interactive animal station. Explore trees and their seasonal changes along a woodland trail. (SOL: Science 1.4, 1.5, 1.7, 1.8)

Download Resource Packet

September, October, April, May, and June

Learn the life cycle of the frog and explore its habitat and ecosystem. Follow the monarch caterpillar on its journey through metamorphosis and migration. Examine the cycle of seed from flower to fruit in a botany lab. (SOL: Science 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.8)

Download Program Details

November, December, January, February, and March

Explore the secrets of soil from erosion to weathering and from bedrock to topsoil. Get the scoop on clay, silt, sand, and humus in a 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 an Enviroscape watershed model. (SOL Science 2.7, 2.8, 3.7, 3.9, 3.10)

Download Program Details

November, December, January, February, and March

Producer or consumer, carnivore or herbivore. Which are you? Discover how animals 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 the Ladybug Lab! (SOL Science 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8)

Download Program Details

October, November, December, January, February, and March

Explore Virginia's rich flora and fauna. Learn about the fascinating adaptations plants and animals have developed to survive. Take a close look at a watershed, and test water quality in a water analysis lab. Discover plant adaptations in a walk along a native plant trail. Learn about the local food web and the many cooperative relationships that plants and animals share. (SOL Science 3.8, 3.10, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.5, 5.7)

Download Program Details

September, October, and November

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 the gardens and visit the Historic House to learn the fascinating botany and origins of these plants. Discover how their cultivation changed the course of history in Virginia and throughout the world. (SOL Science 4.4, 4.8, Vs 1e, VS 2b, VS 2c, VS 3a, VS 4a)

Download Program Details

October, November, December, January, and February

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

Download Program Details

December, January, and February

Schedule a MWEE Outreach program for your fourth- or fifth-grade class to help meet the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement education requirements for elementary school students. Instructors from Green Spring Gardens will come to your school to teach a three-station, 1.5-hour program on your watershed and litter for up to 65 students/program.

Download Program Details

Field Trip Etiquette

Download a printable copy of this information.

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

  • Payment in full is due on the day of your visit. Make check payable to “Fairfax County Park Authority” or pay 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 the same price as students.  
  • All field trips include a walk outside.  Dress for the weather, including sturdy shoes, coats during cold weather and raincoats during rainy weather.  Please consider water bottles for students during hot weather.
  • Nametags are helpful so the naturalists can use names during programs.
  • Green Spring Gardens remains open to the public during scheduled events. Please be considerate of visitors and staff.  Chaperones and teachers are asked to monitor behavior for the entire program.  Adult participation during activities is greatly encouraged! 
  • Respect plants, animals and parkland.  Stay on marked trails. 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.
  • Pack a picnic lunch to eat at the park.  There are 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, please bring your own trash bags and take your trash out with you. 

We value input so we can make programs the best they can be. Please complete and return the program evaluations given to you at the end of the program, or send an email to heidi.young@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Bus Directions