Ed Programs- Blandy Backpacks

What are Blandy Backpacks?

They are themed sets of backpacks designed for groups of various sizes to use in self-guided in their exploration of Blandy and the Arboretum!

Each themed set consists of four identical backpacks which include all the necessary materials, activity instructions, equipment, and suggested locations for engaging a range of students in outdoor, nature-based exploration. Each backpack in a set is intended for chaperoned groups of 6 students, meaning one backpack set can accommodate up to 24 students total.

Reserve a backpack full of engaging, self-directed activities today using our on-line program registration system!

For more information, contact [email protected]

Fee for each Backpack Set: $15

Secrets of the Garden

Early Elementary (K-4)

Study the plants, trees, and herbs at Blandy to explore tree and plant life cycles, plants, and how they rely on pollinators like bees, plant uses, as well as organism life needs. Students use Peterson Flash Guides, hand lenses, and observation skills. Activities include an arboretum nature scavenger hunt, a close, hands-on look at tree slivers (or cookies), a couple of games about plants and trees, a leaf rubbing pattern and shape study, and a story about the importance of bees for plants.

Use Some Sense

Pre-School & Kindergarten


Develop students’ senses as they observe the natural world. Hands-on activities include: Leaf texture scavenger hunt; exploring primary and secondary colors using color paddles; practice reading and listening skills with the Butterfly Alphabet book; and more!

Wild Things

Grades 4-7

Observe the wildlife that makes their home at the Arboretum! Using Peterson Flash Guides, binoculars, and hands-on activities, students hone observation and identification skills as they look for wildlife signs, learn about animal adaptations and disguises, and discover how ecosystems depend on all living things. Activities include an arboretum scavenger hunt, birds and worms relay, stories, and a close up hands-on study of deer antlers, hides, and tracks


Earth Talks

Grades 6-8

Through geologic explorations, your students examine rocks and soils of Blandy with identification guides and hands-on investigations. They learn about Virginia fossils and the geology that shaped our world today.