Invest in Education

Support Educational Programming at the Gardens

It has been noted by the education staff at the Botanical Gardens that a great disparity exists between the number of students from the underserved populations of Buffalo and Lackawanna Schools and the number of suburban/private school students who are able to participate in and experience the hands-on learning opportunities at the Botanical Gardens.

This disparity is due in large part to a lack of institutional funding for field trips, as well as the implications of 49% of Buffalo children and 24.3% of Lackawanna children are living below the poverty level (Census, 2017).

To address this disparity, we have established three programs designed to in essence “level the playing field” for economically disadvantaged youth in the Buffalo Public Schools:  Plants We Eat, is designed to kindergarten through second graders, Plant Pals is designed for third through fifth graders, and Not a Drop to Drink is designed for six through eighth graders.

Your support can help ensure that students in the Cities of Buffalo and Lackawanna are able to take advantage of these wonderful learning opportunities.  Our goal is for every kindergarten through eighth grader is able to experience hands-on educational programming at the Botanical Gardens.

Your gift helps us provide the following programs to Buffalo and Lackawanna students at no cost to the parent/guardian or school... 

Plants We Eat - Grades K-2

Our Plants We Eat program helps students build an understanding of the nutritional value of plants and discover where our food comes from. Students will experience three hands-on learning stations, each focusing on a different group of plants we eat, along with a mini-tour of the Botanical Gardens. This field trip lasts approximately an hour and a half.

  • Vegetable Station: Learn to identify different plant parts while having fun peeling carrots and cutting potatoes.
  • Grain Station: Examine seeds and learn how to identify different grains while grinding barley seeds into flour.
  • Fruit Station: Have fun identifying wacky fruits and learning what makes fruit so important in a plant’s life cycle – seeds! Then, squish oranges into some delicious juice to enjoy.
  • Mini-Tour: Explore our tropical  greenhouses to find edible plants. See banana plants, a lemon tree, a chocolate tree and more!

Plants We Grow - Grades 3-5

Our Plants We Grow program focuses on how plants function and reproduce. Students will experience three hands-on learning stations, each focusing on how different aspects of plant growth and reproduction, along with a mini-tour of the Botanical Gardens. This field trip lasts approximately an hour and a half.

  • Plant Reproduction Station: Explore the many ways plants make more of themselves while studying seeds, spores, and more. Then, propagate a plant through stem cuttings to take back to the classroom!
  • Flower Parts Station: Have fun learning all about what makes flowers so special! Dissect an alstroemeria lily and learn to identify the parts of a flower.
  • Plant Parts Station: Discover each part of the plant to learn how plants grow and function. Then, have fun working together to complete a plant part identity challenge game.
  • Mini-Tour: Explore our greenhouses to discover how plants grow and survive. Discover different types of cacti, staghorn ferns, and our carnivorous plant collection! 

Not A Drop to Drink - Grades 5-8

Our Not a Drop to Drink program encourages students to explore topics of pollution and responsible water usage. Students will discover the important relationship between water, plants, and our planet while learning about the water cycle and the scientific method. The field-trip includes two hands-on learning stations as well as a mini-tour of the Botanical Gardens. The entire program lasts approximately an hour and a half.

  • Terrarium Experiment Station: Learn about the effects of pollution first-hand by setting up an experiment to take back to the classroom! Create individual terrariums to discover how different pollutants affect water quality and plant health.
  • Fred the Fish Station: Simulate river pollution while brainstorming how to solve water quality issues.  What will happen to the plants and animals in the river?
  • Mini-Tour: Discover the relationship between water and plant life while exploring our greenhouses. Examine our aquatic garden ecosystem and learn about the different ways plants adapt to store water.