Teacher/Professional Development

Teachers are invited to experience The Holden Arboretum firsthand. If you have never visited and would like to see what an amazing educational facility we have to teach about plants and the natural environment, we invite you to be our guests. Contact Sharon Graper for a Member for a Day pass and come see what you have been missing!


If you would like to receive our monthly electronic Teacher Tree-Mail and our other mailings make sure we have your current contact information.


Integrating Outdoor Science

Into the Early Childhood Classroom


Wednesday, Sept. 30, 6:45 - 8:45pm

What child hasn't run into an ant? Ant Homes Under the Ground brings young children down to ground-level with this ubiquitous insect, introducing them to ant behavior using role-play, cooperative exercises and up-close observation. In mutlilayered activities, students learn about the insects' body structure, "jobs," and homes by observing ants in nature and in an ant farm. They role-play ants following a scent trail and dragging food through a tunnel-like structure.


A large Ant Nest poster, included with the guide, is assembled in stages to highlight ant-colony tunnels, food, social structure, and life cycle as each of these elements is introduced. A culminating cooperative logic game called "Fill the Hill" uses stimulating mathematical and cooperative skills to round up knowledge the children have gained. This unit provides a wealth of life-science learning as well as the natural integration of science and math. Ways to expand this concept into the natural world and your outdoor space will be introduced and discussed.


Cost: $30, includes curriculum guide


Step up to Quality Approval is pending.




Trees Matter Summit

A problem-based learning opportunity for middle and high school students and teachers


Wednesday, Oct. 7, 9:30am – 1:30pm


Join us for the third annual Trees Matter Summit. Schools from local counties are invited to send teams to the Trees Matter Summit for a one-day educational and informational program.


The Holden Arboretum's Trees Matter Summit is designed to engage middle and high school students and teachers in a variety of efforts to increase awareness of the value of trees on their school grounds and in their communities.


Students will hear from experts in the fields of forestry, environmental planning and others, learn about science-based educational resources to document and demonstrate the value of trees, and and gain knowledge that they can take back to their schools to enhance the presence and importance of trees on their school grounds. Learn more.


This is a free event, but pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Contact Sharon Graper by email or by calling 440.602.3843for more information or to register.



Using Real Stuff: Ecosystem Inquiry in the Real World


Friday, Oct. 9, 5 - 9pm

Saturday, Oct. 10, 8am – 5 pm

How often do you use real stuff in your science lessons? Learning about the natural world is not as effective if you are not actually manipulating, observing, experimenting and problem solving with the real stuff. It might be a bit messy and unpredictable, but that is what makes it so educationally worthwhile. It will also increase interest and engagement in your students.


Come get a chance to explore the new Murch Canopy Walk with the Kalberer Emergent Tower and as we focus on the science content needed to learn about a forest ecosystem. Abiotic and biotic factors, energy transfer, photosynthesis, food chains, population dynamics and landforms are all part of the puzzle. Learn how to design an inquiry lesson that will interest you and your students, and incorporate many of the life science standards at your grade level. Contact Sharon Graper for more information.



$ 80 payable to The Holden Arboretum

$150 for 1 graduate credit payable to Lake Erie College


Print a flyer for more information.


NEOEA Day 2016: Trees from the Top Down


Exploring the new Murch Canopy Walk

with the Kalberer Emergent Tower

Friday, Oct. 16, 9am - 12pm


Spend the morning taking a journey through and above the trees on two amazing structures at The Holden Arboretum. Be one of the first to experience the Judith and Maynard H. Murch IV Canopy Walk and Kalberer Family Emergent Tower. These two  structures allow visitors to see trees from the top down and the bottom up. The tower is 120 feet tall and on a clear day you can see Lake Erie. After you climb the 202 steps to the top you will have a new appreciation for the magnificence of trees and forests. This is the perfect spot to learn about bird life, insects, photosynthesis, diversity and energy transfer. The Fall colors will be amazing.


The Canopy Walk is just as amazing. The 500-foot-long walk reaches 65 feet above the valley and includes 4 suspension bridges that wind their way through the tops of the trees. Sometimes a new perspective is all is takes to learn something new about the trees and native forests that we take for granted. The sounds, smells and feel are all new and different. This is an experience you will want to share with others.


You will also learn first hand about a new middle school field trip that will be offered in the spring of 2016. Experience some of the activities and see if this might be something to share with your students. Participants will  receive a copy of a book about the cultural and natural importance of trees in our society.


Participants must be able to walk up 202 steps. A fear of heights may be an issue.


Cost: $20 NEOEA members, $30 non members



View Our Online Teacher Resources


The Teacher Treesource page is a new informational site that puts content knowledge, activities, books and web sites at your finger tips. Learn more.


Personalized Professional Development for Schools

The Holden Arboretum has been delivering professional development to teachers in early childhood through high school classrooms for more than 30 years. We specialize in teaching content about the natural world in cooperation with hands-on, engaging activities. If you do not see what you are looking for we can design something to fit your needs. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.


For further information please contact the Education Department at 440.602.3833 or sgraper@holdenarb.org

Professional Development at Cleveland Botanical Garden

Cleveland Botanical Garden The Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden are in the process of integrating. That is great news for teachers and all those who are interested in plants and the natural world. The Botanical Garden offers many teacher professional development opportunities for all age levels. There are workshops on plants and literacy, Scout programs and home school days, just to name just a few.


For more information and complete descriptions contact Rowenna Collins, director of academics at Cleveland Botanical Garden, 216.707.2831.