Green Spring Gardens

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Gate locked at 5 p.m.

4603 Green Spring Road
Alexandria, Virginia

Judy Zatsick,

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Green Spring Gardens Field Trips

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Book Field Trips

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


  • Programs run Tuesday-Friday.
  • Pre-K and Kindergarten programs run from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
  • 1st- to 5th-grade programs run 10 a.m.-noon.


  • $10/person for Fairfax County schools
  • $11/person for out-of-County schools
  • Fees apply 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. Dress for the weather.
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 people: $1

Preschool-K: Green and Growing Garden

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

Grade 1: Fantastic Flora and Fauna

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

Grades 2 & 3: Metamorphosis & More

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

Grade 2 & 3: Soil Secrets

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

Grade 3: Predator & Prey

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

Grade 4 & 5: Virginia Ecosystems: Plants, Animals, Water

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

Grade 4: Peanuts, Popcorn, & Pipe Tobacco

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

Grade 5: Geo Trek

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)

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Grade 4&5: Meaningful Watershed Education Experience

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.

  • 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.  
  • Please be on time.  Late arrival may mean programs are shortened or canceled because of other park programming and operational needs.
  • 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.
  • 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 having students bring water bottles during hot weather.
  • Nametags are helpful so the naturalists can use students’ names during the program.
  • Green Spring Gardens remains open to the public during scheduled events, so please be considerate of visitors and staff.  Chaperones and teachers are asked to monitor students’ behavior during the entire program. Adult participation during activities is greatly encouraged! 
  • Respect the plants, animals and parkland.  Stay on marked trails. Do not pick plants or remove anything, living or otherwise, from the park.
  • 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 with you. 
  • We value your input so we can make our 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 or
  • These have been slightly edited and reorganized

Bus Directions

Fairfax Virtual Assistant