As a public garden and educational institution, the Arnold Arboretum is committed to helping children and youth get outside and explore the natural world through many programs. The Arboretum also offers opportunities and free resources to classrooms wishing to visit on their own, and through the recently launched Bus Funding Grants for Boston Educators program, free transportation to our gates. Generous funding from the Powder Mill Foundation allows us to support teachers from Boston Public Schools, charter schools, and parochial schools that are part of the Boston Compact in bringing students for self-guided exploration.

self-guided student explorations
Nature Education Specialist Ana Maria Caballero greets a class of sixth grade students visiting from the Jackson/Mann K-8 School in Allston.

This program grew out of the incredible success of the Field Study Experiences, our guided field trips for elementary school students from Boston Public Schools. Program capacity for visits during the fall and spring seasons are limited, and can be further constrained by the unpredictability of New England weather. Teachers who are closed out of our registrations – or those who prefer a more tailored experience – now have an opportunity to bring their classrooms year-round to our landscape for learning without the prohibitive costs of transportation.

Based on the belief that all children in the City of Boston deserve opportunities for hands-on/minds-on science learning in outdoor spaces. the program will award a chartered bus strip to successful applicants to bring their students to the Arboretum for meaningful, small-group interactions in our landscape. As the Arboretum’s Nature Education Specialist, I coordinate with educators to help customize their trip through learning activities, equipment loans, and content expertise so students respond to the experience in ways that can enhance, deepen, and transfer classroom learning across disciplines. Our hope is to engage even more students from Boston’s middle and high schools so they can see the world that is right outside their windows and not miss it!