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Discovery Garden

Expanded Discovery Garden

Opened June 2015

Four times the size of the existing garden, the expanded Discovery Garden comfortably accommodates the next generation of naturalists and inspires them with exciting new experiences and activities. Maintaining its original focus on very young children (ages 3 to 6), the new garden has also broadened its offerings to engage young people to age 12.

A Closer Look at the Discovery Garden


Winding, intimate paths through tall meadow grasses and flowers create the impression of immersion in a wild ecosystem. Native plantings that attract butterflies, bees, moths, and hummingbirds also lend themselves to a focus on plant-pollinator relationships.


The largest area in the new Discovery Garden, the woodland, includes both deciduous and evergreen forest environments. Raised boardwalks and platforms allow children to explore the habitat from a variety of vantage points.


Young naturalists follow a circuit of split logs and boulders surrounding this rich environment populated with species that have adapted to living in or near water.

Hamm Children’s Learning Courtyard

This gardening area is dedicated to the cultivation of flowers, fruits, and vegetables and offer visitors hands-on scientific encounters with the natural world as they sow, tend, and harvest plants that relate to their own lives.

Kids playing in the Discovery Garden

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Green Facts

Nature helps kids’ brains! Studies indicate that exploring natural environments improves children’s observational and reasoning skills.