Youth Education

Programs for Families

Weezie’s Garden for Children

This whimsical garden is designed as a series of small spiraling gardens, each with its own theme and way to engage the senses.

Family Programs in the Garden

These programs are free, drop-in programs hosted in Weezie’s Garden. All programs begin at 11 a.m.


Wednesdays, June – August
Join Kathi Gariepy for Caterpillar Club. Each week she’ll lead activities that will help young children explore the gardens and the environment. Enjoy hands-on activities, puppets and stories and discover the natural world!

Thursdays, June – August
Come for Story Time! Ideal for preschoolers, we’ll read stories and sing some songs to help visitors enjoy time outside.  Dover Town Library will bring their Super Awesome Fun Time to the gardens for special dates in June, and July 11 – August 15. All other weeks, Mass Hort staff will lead the story time.

Friday through Sunday
Led by our garden educators, our youngest gardeners can get crafty, put on their scientific-thinking caps, and explore the garden throughout the seasons. Each week will feature a new theme of hands-on activities that connect to natural activity in the garden. (check out our Facebook page for details).

Family Discovery Guide

Download this fun exploration of The Gardens at Elm Bank.

Programs for Schools

Plantmobile: We visit your School or Community

Mentoring in your school or community garden:

Need some mentoring for your new or established school or community garden? Let us help!

At your community event:

Plantmobile offers a unique tabling opportunity at community events, libraries, town fairs, green events, and more. We provide a gardening experience no matter where we go!

For more information on our Garden Mentor program or Community Events or please contact Lise Lorimer at LLorimer@masshort.org or call 617-933-4972.

In the classroom:

The Mass Hort Plantmobile is a traveling plant science program that brings workshops to your classrooms. Currently, we provide hands-on educational programs for students in pre-K to grade 5. Plantmobile programs are designed to provide all Massachusetts students with a rewarding horticultural experience. Programs are offered on a variety of topics and activities coincide with elementary school plant science curriculum and standards. 

Pricing and Conditions: 

To request a Plantmobile visit please click here, for more information contact Lise Lorimer at LLorimer@masshort.org or call 617-933-4972.

Current Program offerings for Plantmobile:

Seed to Flower: Learn the lifecycle of flowering plants with special emphasis on seeds. Topics include seed anatomy, seed dispersal methods, conditions seeds need to grow, and more. Activities incorporate seed dissection, planting a seed, observing seeds and plants in different stages of development.

Parts of a Plant: Students will learn the anatomy of flowering plants and their physiological needs. Activities include pin the part on the plant, flower dissection, and potting up a small plant.

All about Pollinators: Without pollinators humans would have no food. Connections will be made between the relationships of specific plants and their highly specialized pollinators. We will see the world through the lens of a bee, discover the life cycle of a butterfly, and learn about plants that support them.

Coming Summer 2020:

Crazy for Compost: One third of USA’s garbage is compostable and can be diverted from landfills. Students will go through the cycle of food scrap recycling, including what is compostable and what organisms and environmental conditions break them down into organic matter. We will review red-wriggler worms, their lifecycle, and a worm bin will be also be in attendance. 

Plants we eat: Plants are in everything we eat, even processed foods. Learn the botanical difference between a fruit and a vegetable, including what flowers, seeds, and leaves people might eat. Determine the parts of the plants that show up on our plates, learn about their history, and how they’ve changed since their humble beginnings as wild plants. 

On-site Educational Field Trips

On-site educational experiences at Mass Hort’s Gardens at Elm Bank are a truly unique experience that can’t be replicated inside a classroom or anywhere else. Join us for a hands on learning experience with frameworks derived curriculum on a wide variety of topics. Classes take place in Weezie’s Garden, a site designed specifically for children and the myriad of ways in which they learn. It’s a place where students can observe, interact, and learn from water, plants, animal and insect life first hand. Classes are developed and taught by Mass Hort trained leaders and class guides with CORI checks. 

Please see the School & Youth Tour Informational Packet for more information.

Self-Guided Garden Tours: Enjoy The Gardens at Elm Bank at your own pace, groups can explore the gardens, picnic, and walk the woodland trails along the Charles River. Develop your own activities, sketch, or create a nature journal during your visit. 

Discover the Charles River: Take a walk in any season to see what grows and lives in our native woods and waterways. Discover how we benefit from the Charles River and the importance it plays in our day to day lives. 

Seed to Flower: Learn the lifecycle of flowering plants with special emphasis on seeds. Topics include seed anatomy, seed dispersal methods, conditions seeds need to grow, and more. Activities incorporate seed dissection, planting a seed, observing seeds and plants in different stages of development.

Parts of a Plant: Students will learn the anatomy of flowering plants and their physiological needs. Activities include pin the part on the plant, flower dissection, and potting up a small plant.

All about Pollinators: Without pollinators humans would have no food. Connections will be made between the relationships of specific plants and their highly specialized pollinators. We will see the world through the lens of a bee, discover the life cycle of a butterfly, and learn about plants that support them. 

To request a field trip please click here , For more information, contact Allison Dush at ADush@masshort.org or call 617-933-4973.

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