field trip options
We can accommodate up to 3 classes at a time (around 60 students), although 2 classes are preferred. If you bring 3 classes, one of the classes will have to divide in two. In order to have time to explore areas not on your tour and to have a picnic lunch on property, it is recommended that you allow 2.5-3 hours for the field trip, not including travel time. The guided portion of your field trip typically lasts 60-75 minutes, unless otherwise noted below.
Please note: due to the popularity of the Smith Children’s Garden and Pfeffer-Beach Butterfly House, groups who have not scheduled the Smith Children’s Garden Experience will not be permitted in it.
Pre – Kindergarten – Kindergarten
Mini Smith Children's Garden Experience
The Pre-Kindergarten-Kindergarten program is an abbreviated Smith Children's Garden Experience tour especially for little ones. The program begins with a story and is followed by guided exploration of the Wild Florida Trail and the Pfeffer-Beach Butterfly House. This program lasts 30-40 minutes.
Kindergarten – 5th grade
Smith Children’s Garden Experience
The Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Children’s Garden is an enclosed garden featuring the Pfeffer-Beach Butterfly House, which is home to a variety of native butterflies; an horticultural area filled with flowers, herbs, and vegetables; and the Wild Florida Trail, showcasing mini-replicas of ecosystems that are unique to our region. In this program, children will explore southwest Florida habitats, learn about gardening, and enjoy a guided butterfly program.
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3rd grade – 5th grade
The Brazilian Garden is a tribute to Brazilian artist, designer, botanist and conservationist Roberto Burle Marx, who has been called “a poet who had chosen to use nature as a means of self-expression.” In this program, students will learn about the connection between science and art – from nature serving as the subject for artistic masterpieces to nature being the source of various pigments and dyes. Along the way, students will also learn about the unusual plants of Brazil and participate in a fun and educational expressive art project.
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3rd grade – 5th grade
Southeast Asia and the Caribbean might be on opposite sides of the globe, but they have more in common than one might think. For example, both are comprised of numerous islands and archipelagos, which presents certain challenges to the people who calls those islands home. Today, students will put on their thinking caps, imagine what it’s like to live on an island, and find out how they can use the plants around them to survive. Students will also learn about the interconnected stories of the plants that were traded between the Caribbean and Asia.
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3rd grade – 5th grade
Butterflies offer a window into the natural world and are an excellent starting point for learning about plant-animal relationships, carrying capacity, and more. Through a series of field and lab experiences, and equipped with field journals, students in this program will hone their observation skills and learn about the butterfly life cycle, butterflies’ role as pollinators, butterfly habitat needs, and butterfly diversity.
*Can only accommodate up to 3 classes per trip – 2 classes are preferred. Please allow 2 hours for the completion of this program. This program works best when it is preceded by studies about butterflies.
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K – 12th grade
Using a map of the gardens, teachers and chaperones can lead students through the Gardens of your choice which include the: Brazilian Garden, Kapnick Caribbean Garden, Marcia and L. Bates Lea Asian Garden, Karen and Robert Scott Florida Garden, Vicky C. and David Byron Smith Uplands Preserve, and the Dotty and Nick Beckwith North Wetlands Preserve; the Smith Children’s Garden and Pfeffer-Beach Butterfly House are not included in this option. This option allows teachers to customize the tour to suit their needs and to have a more flexible schedule. The Self-Guided Tour is led by your teachers and chaperones, but Garden Docents are generally available throughout the Garden to answer any questions you might have. We recommend that children bring a notebook or journal for the Self-Guided Tour, and are given an assignment that is related to the lessons you are teaching in your class.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-325-1356 to discuss customized field trip possibilities.