Teacher Professional Development

Come learn with us in the Garden! The VBGA is pleased to welcome educators & teachers to our online and in-person Teacher Professional Development workshops at the VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Throughout the academic year we strive to offer engaging educational courses to help develop your gardening and botany skills, deepen your local ecology knowledge, and inspire you to step outside and explore with your students in the great outdoors.

Find the perfect fit for you and your teaching team.

  • +The Garden Classroom Series 2023-2024 with Megan Zeni

    Free Registration for practicing K-7 Teachers!
    September 2023 – June 2024
    Wednesdays from 7:00pm – 8:30pm
    September 6, October 11, November 8, December 6, January 10, February 7, March 6, April 10, May 8, June 5

    This online 10-part series with Megan Zeni will support K-7 elementary teachers eager to explore opportunities for teaching across the curriculum in their Westcoast school garden.

    Each month we will review timely tasks that help keep gardens growing, as well as specific curricular connections, and practical management tips for teaching outdoors. Seasonal resources will be shared, and participants are encouraged to share their own success stories and challenges to broaden our collective expertise.

    Register now!

  • +October 20, 9.00am - 12.00pm: Nature Journaling with your Students SOLD OUT

    Friday, October 20th, 9.00am – 12.00pm
    VanDusen Botanical Garden

    Teacher Pro-D Workshop

    Join Bea Martin at VanDusen Botanical Garden for this fun and interactive skill-building workshop, where participants will learn how to bring nature journaling to their classrooms.

    In a friendly, welcoming, and supportive environment, participants will learn and practice easy activities and exercises, drawing fundamentals, explore a variety of low-cost art materials, and how to apply them to drawing outdoors with their students, using pictures, words, and numbers. Curricular tie-ins abound!

    You do not need to be an artist to bring nature journaling to your classroom or keep a nature journal. All you need is a pencil and a sketchbook… and curiosity! We will spend time indoors and outdoors, weather permitting.


    Join the waitlist

  • +October 20, 12.30pm - 3.00pm: Intro to Pressing Plants for Science & Art SOLD OUT

    Friday, October 20th, 12.30pm – 3.00pm
    VanDusen Botanical Garden

    Teacher Pro-D Workshop

    Today, it is more important than ever to document the Earth’s plant biodiversity during this critical period of climate change and rapid biodiversity loss. Pressing plants and making a scientific plant specimen is a fascinating and fun way to document local biodiversity while making beautiful art in the classroom.

    In this introductory workshop, you will learn how to use this outdoor activity to encourage your students to look closely at their surroundings, and find inspiration in the plant species found in their schoolyard and neighbourhood.

    Linda will show participants how to prepare your materials before you head out to collect, including responsible and ethical collecting and cultural considerations, as well as how to collect specimens for preservation, and what species to start with. Participants with learn to make a plant pressing, as well as create a sustainable craft to take home as an example of the many ways teachers can utilize this skill with their students.


    Join the waitlist


  • +Custom Teacher Professional Development Workshops

    The VBGA is pleased to offer Custom Teacher Professional Development Workshops at VanDusen Botanical Garden for your full staff team this upcoming school year!

    Design your perfect day of customized learning and skill-building for your team by selecting from a menu of workshop themes best suited to your team. Our workshops are facilitated by our dynamic VBGA education staff, using the 55-acre garden as our classroom for the day. Programs will run out of the Guides Classroom in the Visitor Centre.

    Choose from half day (3hrs) or full day (5hrs) programs.

    Themes include:

    • Coastal BC Native Plants
    • Nature Play in the Garden
    • Natural Heritage Walk
    • Fantastic World of Flowers
    • A Seasonal Sense of Nature

    We look forward to welcoming your staff team to the Garden!

    With a limited number of dates available each year, booking well in advance is highly recommended.

    Program Fees:  

    Half Day Workshop (3 hrs)  $800.00 + gst  Program fee includes up to 20 people. Additional participants will be charged at $40 / person.  
    Full Day Workshop (5 hrs)  $1,200.00 + gst  Program fee includes up to 20 people. Additional participants will be charged at $60 / person. 

    *A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the full fee is required to reserve your workshop date at time of booking. 

    How to Book: For inquiries, please send an email with your preferred workshop date, name, school and district, estimated number of staff, to Jessica Henry, Adult & Family Programs Manager: jhenry@vandusen.org

    Cancellation Policy: Cancellations prior to 4 weeks of program receive 50% refund. No refund for cancellations within 4 weeks of program date. Please notify us of your cancellation in writing at learn@vandusen.org. 

  • +Free courses for K-12 teachers

    If you are a K – Grade 12 teacher, you may be eligible for free online Botany, Ecology or Gardening classes to aid in your classroom teaching or development of a school garden. Check out our online course offerings under Adult Education – Botany & Ecology or Gardening & Design, then please complete this Request Form, and send to apineda@vandusen.org to register.