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Garden Field Trips

Garden Field Trips

Lincoln Memorial Garden offers seasonal environmental education programs for preschool through grade 12. Field trips are offered on a reservation basis on Tuesdays-Fridays.

Please remind the children to dress for the outdoors, whatever the weather. In case of heavy rain, the teacher can check with us to arrange an inside program (limited to groups of 30 or less) or to reschedule the visit.

The Nature Center’s discovery room will be open to students after the field trip.


The cost is $2 per student with a $20 minimum fee per group. There is no charge for teachers and aides, but there is a $2 per person charge for adult chaperones.


The Nature Center programs have two goals. The first is to introduce students to the wonders of the natural world. The second is to explore the native ecosystems found at Lincoln Memorial Garden. Through such explorations students learn to appreciate the natural world and discover how their decisions and actions impact the environment. A hands-on, discovery hike emphasizing teachable moments on the trail is the framework for field trips. Age appropriate topics are offered for children three through twelve years of age. Special topics for older students can be developed in cooperation with the Education Coordinator. Please call for details.

Programs are not exclusive to the grade levels assigned. Programs can be adapted to match your group’s needs. Please specify your preferred program when making reservations.


Lincoln Memorial Garden is on the south side of Lake Springfield about 11 miles from downtown Springfield and three miles east of the Chatham Interchange on I-55 (exit 88) just south of the Lake Springfield Bridge.
The Garden also can be reached from southeast Springfield by leaving I-55 at the Stevenson Drive exit and following East Lake Drive for 6 miles.

Rules and Regulations

Lincoln Memorial Garden is intended for all visitors’ walking pleasure, nature study and nature appreciation.. Visitors must stay on the trails to protect fragile native ecosystems. No picking or collecting of wildflowers or other natural materials allowed. No pets allowed.


The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset. The Nature Center is open to the general public from Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

How to Schedule

Schedule your field trip today by contacting the Garden at (217) 529-1111 or


Signs of Fall
Preschool & Kindergarten
What’s happening at the Garden as summer departs and fall arrives? Discover the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and yes, tastes of Lincoln Memorial Garden. We’ll use our naturalist tools to explore autumn
1 hour

Insect Investigations
Kindergarten – 3rd Grade
Come see butterflies and bees search for sweet nectar, listen to cicadas and crickets playing their rhythmic songs, and find food sources and homes for Illinois insects.
1 hour -1 ½ hours

Nature’s Hitchhikers
1st & 2nd Grade
Seed dispersal is important to all plant survival. Actually, seeds are just young plants in suitcases needing a little space from parents in order to grow successfully. Observe the ways seeds travel — from parachuting to catapulting to hitching a ride.
1 ½ hours

Ecosystem Search
3rd & 4th Grade
Investigate the differences between the prairie, wetland, and forest ecosystems while hiking the trails at Lincoln Memorial Garden. Habitats and inhabitants vary a great deal within our three native communities. Come compare and contrast.
1 ½ hours

Tallgrass Prairies
5th & 6th Grade
Visit the Ostermeier Prairie Center and learn about adaptations of grasses and forbs. Experience the intricate web of life in our restored tallgrass prairie and learn about the history of prairie in Illinois.
1 ½ hours


The Nature of Winter
Preschool – 6th Grade
Sharpen your senses and discover the splendor of the natural world in winter. Search for animal tracks and signs. Explore ecosystems and the birds who live in them and stay with us year around. Learn how to identify trees by buds and bark. Experience the peace of winter hikes.
1 hour -1 ½ hours

Maple Syrup Time
Preschool – 12th Grade
The sap is running and spring truly is coming! Join us for our traditional activity of tapping the sugar maple trees at the Garden. Let’s hike to find a tree, tap it, gather sap, watch the sap cook down into real maple syrup in the sugar shack, and finally, taste the sweet success of our labors.
1 hour
*Maple Syrup Time hikes are only available from mid February – mid March


Signs of Spring
Preschool and Kindergarten
Look around you! Smell the flowers! Touch the moss! Listen to the birds sing! What is happening throughout the Garden as winter departs and spring arrives? Come and see.
1 hour

Spring Birds
1st Grade & 2nd Grade
Come meet some fine feathered friends. By watching and identifying birds in the area, we can learn about interesting adaptations, songs, nests and habitats of our most visible wild animals as we hike our native ecosystems. Learn about avian food chains.
1 ½ hours

Animal Homes and Habitats
3rd Grade & 4th Grade
Find out who lives in that hole in the ground or that hole in a tree. Investigate the secret life of some of the Garden’s residents in our native woodland, wetland, and grassland communities. Learn more about the webs of life in our ecosystems at the Garden.
1 ½ hours

Forests and Flowers
5th Grade & 6th Grade
Come explore the woodlands as the plant kingdom bursts to life with the lengthening days. Learn to identify spring wildflowers and to recognize trees by their leaves. Discover plant parts up close while enjoying the beauty of a spring day at the Garden.
1 ½ hours