Local schools may visit the Arboretum free of charge for a self-guided visit Saturdays through Tuesdays when scheduled at least ten days prior. To schedule such a visit, contact Michelle Pearce, Youth Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 665-2492 x 224. The links below offer handouts and worksheets that may be used on the trails, exhibits and garden areas of the Arboretum.
- A free day pass, which waives the parking fee for students, teachers and chaperones.
- Access to all outdoor areas including the trails and gardens.
- Access to the Nature Discovery Room at the ground floor of the Education Center.
- Access to teaching materials such as the Discovery Packs and Geocaching Packets.
- Access to downloadable handouts that can be used on the trails: Carolina Mountain Trail; Natural Garden Trail; Children's Garden; Baker Pond;and Twig Identification..
- Use of restroom facilities during open building hours.
- Admittance to the exhibits in the Baker Exhibit Center, including the exhibit greenhouse.
- Conduct stream investigation programs wherein children enter the stream.
- Drive vehicles onto gravel roads and trails.
- Break any other rule outlined in the Arboretum policies and procedures.
Who qualifies for free, self-guided visits (when scheduled 10 days in advance)?
- School groups must be take part in an academic or physical education activity (such as hiking) to qualify for a free visit. Visiting for a picnic, end of school party or other non-academic purpose does not qualify for a free visit. Both public and private schools are required to abide by this guidline to qualify for free parking.
- Organized home school groups may also request a free self-guided visit to the arboretum. Visiting for a picnic, party or other non-academic purpose does not qualify for a free visit.
- Other youth groups also qualify for a free self-guided visit during the months of September through May, as long as they are not led by for-profit touring companies. Examples of such groups qualifying for free visits include scout groups, youth groups and church groups or any other organized group. All groups must engage in educational programming to qualify for a free visit.
Who does not qulify for free, self-guided visits?
- Summer Camp Groups and For-Profit Touring Groups: These groups pay the parking fee and do not need to pre-register.
- Any group planning to visit during the summer months (June through August).