Home » Learn » Outreach


An important part of our mission is to involve the public in the process of conservation and living in harmony with nature. Education and outreach programs at The Arboretum engage thousands of schoolchildren, teachers, volunteers, families and individuals every year.

School Field Trips

The Dawes Arboretum offers a variety of unique educational programs, called Science Days, to engage your young learners. Each 90-minute class is taught by our staff of naturalists and professional educators who specialize in providing hands-on, age appropriate, informative and exciting outdoor education. Inquiry-based programs are designed to meet your specific grade-level science curriculum needs and state academic standards.

Click the following link for more details on The Arboretum’s programs for school groups: Teacher Resources Guide

Senior Center Outreach

Let us bring The Arboretum to you! An exciting variety of programs are offered from birds or butterflies to a virtual tour of the grounds. Enjoy nature through these fun and informative programs.

The fee for each program listed below starts at $25 and is based on group size, distance to travel and supplies needed. Request your program(s) by contacting us online or by calling our Education Department at 740.323.2355.

  • Birds – See colorful specimens of real birds and hear the melodies of recorded bird songs.
  • Reptiles – Witness a live animal or reptile shells, skulls and skins. Debunk the myths, legends and lore about these often misunderstood creatures.
  • Mammals – Learn about the classification system of our native wildlife such as hibernators, herbivores (plant-eaters) or rodents (squirrels, muskrats, groundhogs). See and feel pelts and skull replicas from these furry animals and share stories of hunting and bounties paid over the years.
  • Insects – See amazing encased specimens and discuss life cycles and the wonderful benefits and horrible damage sometimes caused by insects.
  • Trees – Observe the bounty we obtain from trees—wood, nuts, fruits, to name a few—and trace the history of Arbor Day.

The following programs feature a PowerPoint presentation and are available if your gathering space contains a projection screen or white wall for viewing:

  • Maple Syruping − Follow the history of maple syrup production up to the present method used at The Arboretum. Includes a tasty sample.
  • Butterflies and Their Plants – Enjoy beautiful photos and specimens of caterpillars, butterflies, and their host flowers, bringing the splendor of the growing season indoors.
  • History of The Dawes Arboretum – Discover how an industrialist became a champion of trees and other fascinating historical details about co-founders Beman and Bertie Dawes.
  • Frogs, Toads and Their Calls – Look at the handsome patterns and hear the incredible songs of our native amphibians. See the variety of scenic habitats that support these animals.
  • The Dawes Arboretum Through the Seasons – Sit back, relax and take in the beauty of the grounds. Learn how The Arboretum has changed over the years and how it is managed and enjoyed today.

Arboretum Staff Presentations

Our experts are available to present a wide variety of plant, gardening, history and nature-related talks and demonstrations to your community group, garden club, or special-interest society. Schedule your program by calling 740.323.2355.

Maple Syrup Madness Road Show

We travel to your site, complete with visual aids, a colorful slideshow and a delectable maple syrup tasting at the end. Request your road show online.