Bellevue Botanical Garden

  The Living Lab Program serves the local community and supports the mission of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, and the Interpretive Plan of the Bellevue Botanical Garden by providing quality science and botany-related educational opportunities for youth.  

The Living Lab Program is a botany-based 2 hour educational field trip/workshop for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.  The program is offered free as an outreach of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society.  Teachers from public and private schools can reserve a date through an online sign-up.

Living Lab spots for Fall 2018 will open on Friday, June 1 at 8am. Spots are assigned on a first come, first served basis. CLICK HERE to sign up (active on June 1).

Teachers & parent volunteers: if you would like to be on the email list to be notified of future sign-ups, contact the manager. Sign-ups are on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are a homeschool parent, you can contact us and we can include your child with a school group.

Our Staff and Volunteers
The Living Lab program is run by a staff of professional teachers as well as our amazing volunteers. Several members of our staff have worked in the Bellevue school district.  We strive to provide your students with a positive field trip experience.

Participating teachers and their students, volunteer helpers and staff teachers are asked to evaluate their experiences with the Living Lab Program. Judging from their comments, they feel this free program, funded by the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, is valuable and serves the community well. Hands-on learning is fun and educational for all ages!

To sign up to volunteer, email us or sign up on Volgistics. Hope to see you!

Thematic Grade-specific Activities
Students usually come to the garden from 9:30am to 11:30 am, unless special arrangements have been made. Classes are divided into smaller groups that participate in grade-specific activities related to the topic for the day. Groups rotate through the planned activities. If you are looking for a tour of the garden only with no workshop, you would contact the docent program at the garden.

A curriculum has been developed for each grade level (K-5th). Each activity aligns with the Washington State science, math or social studies CORE curriculum as well as the local Bellevue School district curriculum. It also aligns well with the Lake Washington school district and many private school curriculums. We are also mindful of the upcoming Next Gen standards and are adjusting our curriculum to meet those needs.

Hey kids, test your garden skills
with our Word Search game!


The grade level activities are:
Wood Works (kindergarten):  Students learn about wood and wood products made by early Native Americans and contemporary societies. They go on a forest adventure walk in the garden.

Flower Power (1st grade): Students discover the form and function of flowers and their pollinators.

Super Soils (2nd grade):  By observing how water percolates through four different soils, students determine the best soil for the Hens and Chicks plants. They then place their plant in an alpine environment to take home and visit the alpine garden.

Measurement Madness (3rd grade):  Students measure the soil mixture for Hens and Chicks plants that they take home, and also measure tree height and circumference in search of a suitable mast for a fictitious ship.

Native Plants in Our Lives (4th grade):  Students learn to identify native plants in the garden and their uses by local Native Americans. They apply their knowledge when they work together as a “Native American village” in a game of survival.

Garden Environments: Plant selection challenge (4th or 5th grade):  New program designed to challenge students to find plants in the garden, learn about a specific plant and make a decision about whether it should be planted in a pretend park.

Garden Tour: Each group goes on a short tour of the garden tailored to their topic for the day. It usually includes the Tateuchi pavilion, the Shorts ground cover garden, and sometimes the rhododendron glen or the Yao garden. The tour includes talking about the Shorts family and the history of the garden. For smaller groups, the tour is led by the teacher of their last activity. The tours are geared to reflect the topic for the day.

Classroom Teacher comments:
"This was our second year and once again we were awed by the professional student-centered lesson and curriculum connections presented. Thank you for supporting our community."

“My students enjoyed all of the activities! They were all age appropriate and the teachers were great!”



Copyright 2018 Bellevue Botanical Garden Society.All rights reserved.
The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a successful partnership between the City of Bellevue Parks and Community Services and the nonprofit Bellevue Botanical Garden Society.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden, 12001 Main Street, Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 452-2750