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: Read all instructions before beginning your booking process

  1. Go to: https://fairfax.usedirect.com/FairfaxFCPAWeb/ or click the “Request a Reservation”  link on any Field Trip page.
  2. Log in with a ParkTakes account, or create a new one.  You can create an account with a work or personal email.
  3. After logging in, choose your desired location. Enter the park name into the search box and select it from the drop-down menu or click the site’s icon on the interactive map. 
    • Hint: You may need to maximize your screen.
  4. Select the Green or Red “Reserve” button to see the site’s rentable options.
  5. Select the “Reserve” or “Check Availability” button associated with the School Field Trip option. A calendar with available dates will appear.
  6. Available days are represented with a green box.  Use the date selector or arrows to see future dates. When you have found your desired date, click on the green box.
    • Hint: Although there is a drop-down menu for the number of nights, the reservations are for day use. You can continue with your reservation.
    • Hint: Confused about which unit to reserve?  Visit the site’s webpage for definitions. 
  7. Click 'Reserve Unit' in the pop-up window.
  8. On the Booking Details screen, complete all applicable boxes in the “Extra Information” section.  All fields with an asterisk (*) are required.
    • Hint: If you receive an error before the Booking Details screen, you have likely chosen a reservation date that is within two weeks of the current date.  Please select a new date, or call the site directly to book a field trip that is within two weeks of the current date.
    • Hint: There is a 20-character limit in the email field. Your email address may not fit.  This information was captured when you logged in. 
    • Hint: When selecting the number of students, you will notice a drop-down menu.  Please enter the maximum number of students for your trip.  If you have more students than available in the drop-down, you may need to book an additional date. Sites limit the total number of students per day. Larger groups may be accommodated over multiple days.
  9. After completing all information, check the box indicating that you agree with the terms and conditions, then select “Book Site”.  You will then be taken to your shopping cart. 
    • Hint: To make another reservation, select “Reservations” at the top of the Shopping Cart page.
  10. When you have completed making your reservations, review your cart and select “Go to Checkout”.
  11. After you select “Go to Checkout”, a window will open verifying receipt of your request. You will also receive an email. There are no fees charged for a reservation request. Payment is due on the day of the program. Staff will be in touch to finalize your reservation.

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.

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

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

  • $10/person Fairfax County schools
  • $11/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.

Group Admission Fee (12 to 60 people): $30 for the group

Each additional person over 60: $1

 

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

Ask Fairfax Virtual Assistant