Bellevue Botanical Garden Society Programs
Our Living Lab Program provides quality science and botany-related educational opportunities aligned with Washington State Science Essential Learnings (ELRS). During 90-minute sessions, students participate in hands-on activities inside buildings and outside in the Garden. Classes are offered Spring and Fall for K - 5th Grades and include: “Wood Works,” “Flower Power,” “Super Soils,” “Botanical Measurements” & “Native Plants in our Lives.” Classes are free, taught by certified teachers.
BBG curates and maintains a web-based Plant Collection Information System. Visitors search by map/location, plant name or characteristics. Photos and horticultural information about many plants at the Garden are on the website. Search terminals, available in the Visitor Center, at the kiosk in the Rhododendron Glen and on any device connected to an internet browser can connect to this powerful and easy to use database. Choose plants for your garden, improve your plant ID skills, get to know Garden plants better, and enjoy an incredible collection of plant photographs. Volunteers assist with plant documentation, photography, plant research, data entry and plant tracking.
The Docent Program trains volunteers as principal interpreters of the Garden to the public. They have a thorough understanding of the Garden's history, purpose and goals. They offer free tours to the public every weekend day from April - October. Free private group or Plant ID tours are available with advance notice.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Bellevue Botanical Garden received a Museums for America Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The grant allows us to incorporate technological advances into our plant records program. This will help lay the foundation for greater accuracy of the plant information within the database, as well as allow for better presentation of the data through an upgraded database design. Visitors will have real-time access to plant photographs, proper Latin names, attributes and cultivation information.
Growing a Living Legacy Capital Campaign will fund:
- A new Education Center - classrooms for programs, classes, meetings, and offices and storage.
- Visitor Services will serve as a place for tour gathering, interpretation, gift shop and restrooms.
- Ravine Experience will focus on northwest native plants and landscape. A suspension bridge will provide access and a wonderful viewpoint of the steep-sided ravine in an area of the Garden not currently accessible.
- Wetland Sun Terrace Garden will be located west of the current perennial border and surrounding the north and east sides of the wetland.
- Expanded Visitor Parking- a teaching tool, will integrate and interpret environmental sustainability principles.
The BBGS enthusiastically embraces the opportunity to secure the remaining goal to bring the Garden to the next level of development and meet the needs of the citizens of Bellevue and the region.