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Nature Academy


Discovering STEM in the Garden!

What is Nature Academy? Nature Academy provides hands-on science classes at the Garden to enrich STEM learning for students in grades K-8. Classes are new and improved for the 2021-2022 school year, and registration is open to all homeschool, public school, and private school students in the area.

For more information, contact education@hsvbg.org, or call 256-830-4447 ext. 253.

Schedule

Nature Academy offers three seasons of three classes each. Every month, a new class will be offered covering a different nature science topic. Classes are a two-hour adventure into science at the Garden led by our certified educators. Every class is offered on multiple dates throughout the month, so you can pick the date and time that work best with your schedule.

Fall: August, September, October (3 classes total)
Winter: November, December, January (3 classes total)
Spring: February, March, April (3 classes total)

All classes meet in the Grisham Pavilion and may include inside and outside experiences. Registrants will be notified of any location changes in advance.

Pricing

You can choose to register for an individual class, or you can register for a season pass that includes all three classes of a season.

Members
Individual class: $15
Season pass: $40

Non-members
Individual class: $20
Season pass: $55

Interested in becoming a Garden member? Click here!

Fall Classes

To register for a fall season pass, click here. Please note that you will need to know which dates your student will attend in order to complete the registration process.

To register for an individual class, choose your date and time from the options below.

Plants in Our Food!?

Join us for this science class with a culinary twist! We eat plants every day, but we often don’t think about what part of the plant we are eating. Together, we will make a salad as we discuss the plant parts of our ingredients and their importance to the survival of each plant.  

Tuesday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 19, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 24, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 28, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Seeds, Spores, Birds, and More!

Fly in for a closer look at fall in the Garden! Here in Alabama, September is a time for the beginning of bird migrations, fungal fruiting, and fern planting and dividing. In this session, we will start at the ground to explore ferns, fungus, and lichens, and then we will look up to the sky to examine the role that migrating birds play in helping spread spores and seeds.

Tuesday, September 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 9, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 21, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 23, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Trees and Leaves   

Across the country, it is peak season for fall leaf colors! With this beautiful time of year comes a myriad of questions: Why do leaves change color? What happens when a tree loses its leaves? Why don’t all trees lose their leaves? Can a tree tell and track time? Join us to explore the answers to these questions (and to admire the beauty of autumn in the Garden!).

Tuesday, October 12, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 14, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 23, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 26, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 28, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Winter Classes

Registration for the Winter Season opens on October 1!

Exploring the Fall Harvest 

Images of the bountiful fall harvest are all around us this time of year, but did you know that it is also a great time to plant vegetables? In this class, we will explore both the fall harvest and the winter vegetable garden to learn about a variety of hearty plants that are perfectly suited to the season. Registration opens October 1.

Tuesday, November 9, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 11, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 20, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Getting to the Root of It

Winter is a wondrous time in the Garden that allows for exploration from many unique perspectives…like digging into the vital and amazing world of roots! Explore how roots play an important role in plant survival, conservation, and the culinary arts. Registration opens October 1.

Tuesday, December 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 9, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Nature Needs Our Help!  

Nature needs our help! Alabama is one of the most biologically diverse states in the U.S., and the responsibility of taking care of this treasure and its natural resources belongs to all of us. Get a glimpse into how the Garden is working to make a difference in conservation efforts in the North Alabama region, and learn how we can all do our part to help. Registration opens October 1.

Tuesday, January 11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 13, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 25, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 27, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Spring Classes

Registration for the Spring Season opens on January 7!

Wonders of Water 

Water is essential for all life to exist. It is found in the atmosphere, on the surface of the earth, and even underground. Have you ever wondered how water is able to get all the way to the top of a tall tree? Or why plants wilt when they’re thirsty? From the biggest trees to the tiniest seed, we will explore the answers to these water questions and more. Registration opens January 7.

Tuesday, February 8, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 10, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 24, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Underground Adventures 

Have you ever wondered what’s happening in the world beneath your feet? Bring your curiosity to this class and dive into the world of soil! Through observation and hands-on experiments, we will get to know the Garden’s soil on a deeper level and discover the difference that soil can make in the life of a plant. Registration opens January 7.

Tuesday, March 8, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 10, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 19, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday March 24, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Plants and Water  

April showers bring May flowers! Follow the rain to the places and spaces that water flows as it journeys through the Garden. Our observations and experiments will reveal the importance of water to how plants grow and the relationship between plants, water, and our ecosystems. Registration opens January 7.

Tuesday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 7, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 16, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


Registration & Cancellation:

  • Participants are encouraged to pre-register for all classes. Due to supply and class size limitations, we cannot guarantee registration on the day of the program.
  • Registration and payment for classes may be made online or by calling 256-830-4447 ext. 253.
  • Refunds will be given as a credit to participants who do not attend their scheduled class if notice of cancellation is given at least 48 hours in advance.
  • The Garden reserves the right to cancel any class if a minimum number of participants are not registered. If this happens, either another class option or a 100% refund of registration fees will be offered.
  • Questions? Please contact education@hsvbg.org or 256-830-4447 ext. 253.


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