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Homeschool Programs

Bi-monthly Environmental Education and Nature Studies in the Garden

Each program uses the Garden’s 112 acres of developed and natural areas as a teaching classroom, while connecting to STEM and Common Core Standards.

Click on the age group/date to register.


Session 1: Groovy Gastropods: A Snail of an Exploration

There are over 650 species of freshwater snails in North America.  The Mobile River Basin, which includes the Alabama, Black Warrior, Coosa, Cahaba, and Tombigbee Rivers, is home to 18 percent or 120 of these species.  Freshwater snails are fascinating creatures and are considered threatened.  Students will learn about snails and what they do for our freshwater ecosystems here in Alabama.
K-2nd:              November 7                 12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:             November 9                 12-1:30pm
6th-8th:            November 9                 12-1:30pm

Session 2: Cooking with States of Matter

The 4 states of matter are all around us.  We see them change in everything from the weather to the produces we create.  This hands-on class will explore the states of matter using cooking! Students will help create edible evidence of how matter changes from solid to liquid and more.  This class will be limited to no more than 20 students and will require preregistration.  We will be unable to accept walk-ins due to limitations on supplies.  
K-2nd:                         November 28               12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:                        November 30               12-1:30pm
6th-8th:                        November 30               12-1:30pm


Session 1: Bioluminescence-Nature’s Decorations

During the holiday season, the Garden puts on the Galaxy of Lights display.  As it turns out, nature has its own light display it puts on all year long.  Students will discover the amazing plants and animals that use bioluminescence and develop an understanding of how it actually works.  Students will then create their own holiday themed light project to take home.  This class will be limited to no more than 20 students and will require preregistration.  We will be unable to accept walk-ins due to limitations on supplies.  
K-2nd:           December 12           12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:          December 14           12-1:30pm
6th-8th:         December 14           12-1:30pm


Session 1: Wintering Waterfowl

Wheeler Wildlife Refuge supports the largest concentration of wintering waterfowl in Alabama every year.  This can include up to 60,000 geese and nearly 125,000 ducks.  Students will have an opportunity to get ready for the Festival of the Cranes (January 13-14, 2018) at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center in Decatur by learning more about the various waterfowl that call the refuge home along with the well-known species of cranes.
K-2nd:           January 9                12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:          January 11              12-1:30pm
6th-8th:         January 11              12-1:30pm

Session 2: Animal Superpowers

It’s a bird, it’s a bat, no it’s an octopus! Comic books aren’t the only place you will find superpowers.  There are some intriguing animals that have superpowers of their own like: echolocation, magnetic sense, shapeshifting, absorbing powers, and chemical weapons. Students will discover amazing animals and the powers they use to survive in a variety of different habitats.
K-2nd:           January 23              12-1:30pm
3rd-5th:          January 25              12-1:30pm
6th-8th:         January 25              12-1:30pm

Registration & Cancellation:

  • Participants must be pre-registered for all programs. There will be no registration the day of programs due to supply and class size limitations.
  • Registration and payment for classes may be made online or by calling the Education Department.
  • Refunds will be given as a credit to participants who do not attend their scheduled program if the garden is given a 48-hour advance notice.
  • HBG reserves the right to cancel any program if a minimum number of participants are not registered. If this happens, another class option or 100% refund of registration fees will be offered.
  • Contact the Education Department if you have questions:
    Soozi Pline: 256-830-4447 Ext 252
    Misty Hertzig: 256-830-4447 Ext 253

All classes meet in the education classrooms and will include inside and outside experiences.

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