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.  

Our volunteer group has returned year after year to have fun with the kids and assist the staff teachers with classes. Teachers in the Bellevue School District receive a program announcement several months before the classes begin for the spring and fall sessions. They select the activity that relates to their class level.

Students usually come to the Garden from 9:30am to 11:00 am unless special arrangements have been made. Classes are divided into two smaller groups that participate in grade-specific activities related to the topic for the day (see list of activities, descriptions and grade level for each). Groups rotate through the 2 or 3 activities planned for the day.

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 or sign up on Volgistics. Hope to see you!

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

Program Historic Perspective
The Living Lab Program has been in existence at the Bellevue Botanical Garden since 1994. The original program objective was to offer plant and water-related classes to third and fourth grade students in the Bellevue School District. In those early days, the City of Bellevue Utilities Department supported the program. The Department supplied the funding and a program coordinator. Volunteers taught the classes.
In 1996, two staff teachers were hired. In 1999 the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society assumed full responsibility for the financial and administrative functions of the program. A professional program coordinator/ developer and two professional staff teachers were hired. The program was expanded from two days to three days per week during the spring and a fall session was added. Volunteers were trained to assist staff teachers. Grade level offerings increased to include K-5. All activities align with the Washington State Standards for Social Studies and Science, the EALRS and CBAs.


Wood Works for kindergarten
Flower Power for grade one
Super Soils for grade two
Measurement Madness for grade three
Native Plants in Our Lives for grade four
Park Environment: Plant Selection Challenge for grade five

Sign up for Spring 2015 Living Lab Classes

All activities are interactive, fun, hands-on, and aligned with the Washington State Standards for Science. Download our flyer for complete class descriptions.

Teacher comments:
"This was our 2nd year and once again we were awed by the professional student centered lesson and curriculum connections presented. Thank you for supporting our community."

"So much GREAT info and activities in a
short time!"

Student activities:
• Use hand lenses and microscopes.
• Make paper flowers, pollinators, and play the "Pollination Game".
• Observe and identify the parts of a flower, role-play their function.
• Handle Native American artifacts made from plants; identify native plants.
• Apply knowledge of native plants in a game of survival.
• Learn the parts of a tree, sort tree products, and make one to take home.
• Observe, record, experiment and compare the perc rate for 4 soils.
• Determine the best soil for: most plants, swimming pool, Hens & Chicks.
• Measure trees, analyze data to determine the best tree for a mast.
• Weigh 3 soils to make mixture for mini-alpine rock gardens to take home.

Living Lab is a lot of learning
and a lot of fun!


Copyright 2015 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