Self-guided Visits

Local schools may visit the Arboretum at a charge of $1 per student/additional adult (1 adult for every 5 students is free) for a self-guided visit Monday through Friday when scheduled at least ten days prior.  To schedule such a visit, contact Michelle Pearce, Youth Education Coordinator, at mpearce@ncarboretum.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.

Schools scheduling a self-guided field trip are entitled to:
  • 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.
  • Admittance to the exhibits in the Baker Exhibit Center, including the exhibit greenhouse.
  • 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.
  • Assistance from Youth Education staff for lunch clean up between 11:00am and 12:00pm.
 
Schools scheduling a self-guided field trip are NOT entitled to:
 
  • 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 self-guided visits (when scheduled at least 10 days in advance)?

  • School groups must be take part in an academic or physical education activity (such as hiking) to qualify for a low-cost, self-guided visit. Visiting for a picnic, end of school party or other non-academic purpose does not qualify for a self-guided 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 self-guided visit to the arboretum.  Visiting for a picnic, party or other non-academic purpose does not qualify for a self-guided visit.
  • Other youth groups also qualify for a self-guided visit 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 low-cost, self-guided visit.

 

Who does not qualify for low-cost, 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 visiting the Arboretum for a non-academic purpose: These groups pay the parking fee and do not need to pre-register.