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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 ]

2017-2018 SCHOOL PROGRAMS

Experience one of the most beautiful public gardens in the region! Our programs deliver interactive learning and curriculum that addresses Virginia SOLs.

Registering for a Field Trip

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To register your group, please check our programs and availability calendar and fill out the reservation request by clicking on an available date in the calendar. Call the Children's Education Department at 703-642-5173 for assistance.

Registration for the 2017-2018 school year begins August 21, 2017.

Programs run Tuesday-Fridays.  Pre-K & Kindergarten programs from 10am-11:30am; 1st grade – 5th grade programs 10am-noon.

Fees: $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;
  • Maximum number of students per day: 85;
  • 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.

Expand Preschool-K: Green and Growing Garden

September, October, March, April, May, and June from 10am – 11:30am

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

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand Grade 1: Fantastic Flora and Fauna

September, October, April, May, and June

Share an American Indian tale in our story circle. Examine plants in our gardens as you learn about the plant life cycle. Touch turtle shells and deer antlers 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)
Download Resource Packet

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand Grades 2 & 3: Metamorphosis & More

September, October, April, May, and June

Learn the life cycle of the frog as we 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 our botany lab. (SOL: Science 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, 2.8, 3.4, 3.8)
Download Program Details

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand Grade 2 & 3: Soil Secrets

November, December, January, February, and March

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. 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, 3.10)
Download Program Details

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand 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 our Ladybug Lab! (SOL Science 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 3.8)
Download Program Details

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand 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-up look at our watershed and test our water quality in our water analysis lab. Discover plant adaptations as we walk along our native plant trail. Learn about our 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

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand 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 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)
Download Resource Packet

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand 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. Discover ways to identify rocks using a dichotomous key in our rock lab, and tour the park to see how nature and humans alter our land. (SOL 5.1, 5.7)
Download Program Details

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand Grade 4&5: Meaningful Watershed Education Experience

December, January, and February

Schedule a MWEE Outreach program for your 4th or 5th grade classes 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

Availability Calendar

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



Expand Self-Guided Field Trips

Year-Round

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

CLICK DATE FOR DETAILS



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 heidi.young@fairfaxcounty.gov


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