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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 every year, and registration is open to all homeschool, public school, and private school students in the area.

For more information, contact, or call 256-830-4447 ext. 253.


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.

All Tuesday programs are from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
All Thursday programs are from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
All Saturday programs are from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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


Individual class: $15 per class

Individual class: $20 per class

Interested in becoming a Garden member? Click here!

2022-2023 Classes

August: Gardening for Pollinators

Pollinators rely on plants to survive, and plants rely on pollinators to continue their lifecycle. Come explore this important relationship by learning about the plants that pollinators are most drawn to. Students will see first-hand examples in the Garden and leave with plants to start their own gardens at home!

Tuesday, August 16, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 18, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 27, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

September: Thirsty Plants

Water is essential for all life to exist. It is found in the atmosphere, on the surface of the earth, and underground. Have you ever wondered how water is able to get all the way to the top of a tall tree? Do you want to know why plants wilt without enough water? From the biggest trees to the tiniest plants, we will explore the answers to questions about the relationship between water and plants.   

Tuesday, September 6, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, September 8, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

October: Plants and Migration 

Did you know that plant growth can determine when an animal will migrate? In this class, students will learn the role of plants in migration. Many animals and insects migrate, and a great example is the monarch butterfly. Through hands-on activities, we will learn about the process of tagging monarchs to track their annual migration.

FULL: Tuesday, October 11, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 13, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 15, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

November: Stuffed with Herbs

Herbs play an important role in how we flavor our food, what we drink, and even in our medicines. This month, students will learn about various herbs that can be used in cooking. We will make a simple dish together, and students will even harvest some herbs so they can recreate the dish at home, too!

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

December: Trees: Deciduous and Evergreen

Winter is a wonderful time to explore the Garden from many unique perspectives…such as looking at the vital and amazing world of trees! Why do some trees have no leaves while others are green all year long? Why are leaves shaped differently? Let’s explore these wintry trees together! Each student will make an evergreen sensory bundle to take home.

Tuesday, December 6, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 8, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

January: Nature Needs Our Help

Nature needs our help! Alabama is one of the most biologically diverse states in the U.S. It is up to all of us to help take care of and protect our treasured natural resources. Join us to get a glimpse of how the Garden is working to make a difference in conservation efforts in North Alabama and learn how we can all help.

Tuesday, January 10, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 12, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 21, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

February: Garden Planning

Spring is coming soon! What will we plant? Every day we eat plants, but we often don’t think about what part of the plant we are eating. Join us to explore how to plan and design a vegetable garden. Together, we will also make a tasty treat and discuss the plant parts we are eating and their importance.

Tuesday, February 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 9, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 18, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

March: Down in the Soil

Before we can start our spring gardens, we need to be sure the soil is just right for our plants. Come learn all about composting and worms! How do they help our dirt become good, rich soil for the plants to grow? We will learn about the important nutrients in the soil that help our plants grow.

Tuesday, March 7, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 9, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 18, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

April: Veggies Everywhere!

Spring is here! It is time to plant our vegetable garden so we can enjoy fresh veggies all summer long. In this class, students will learn about the parts of a seed and how to care for your own vegetable garden. See first-hand examples in the Garden and take home plants to start your own garden at home!

Tuesday, April 4, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 6, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 15, 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 or 256-830-4447 ext. 253.

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