The College of the Environment and others host a wide range of environmental education programs and special events for visitors of all ages and interests. We are dedicated to improving the experience of visitors by creating meaningful and engaging learning opportunities for school groups, families and individuals. Self-guided tours, youth and family programming, museum exhibits and public lectures are just a few of the many reasons to join us on campus or at one of our field sites.

Places to visit

UW Botanic Gardens

  • Center for Urban Horticulture
    The center hosts meetings for over 40 horticultural and environmental groups in its buildings, which are also available for rental to the general public. The newly rebuilt Merrill Hall houses the UW Botanic Gardens headquarters, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library and the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium.
  • Union Bay Natural Area
    The Union Bay Natural Area is a public wildlife area, natural restoration laboratory and an important habitat next to Lake Washington. At 74 acres, with four miles of shoreline, it is the second-largest natural system left on the lake. More than 30 years of restoration have turned this former landfill into a diverse system of meadows, woods and wetlands. Considered one of the best birdwatching sites in the city of Seattle, over 200 species of birds have been sighted here.
  • Washington Park Arboretum
    The arboretum is a spectacular urban green space on the shores of Lake Washington just east of downtown Seattle and south of the University of Washington’s Seattle campus. Washington’s official State Arboretum contains internationally recognized woody plant collections on 230 acres. Noteworthy are North America’s largest collections of Sorbus and Acer (maple) trees, the second-largest collection of Hollies, and significant collections of oaks, conifers and camellias.

Brockman Memorial Tree Tour

An online guide to some of the almost 500 different kinds of trees on the Seattle campus. Since the late 1800s, forestry professors, botanists, gardeners and landscape architects have planted native and non-native trees for decoration and education.

Interpretive Program at Pack Forest

Located at the foot of Mt. Rainier, the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest sits on 4,300 acres of third-party certified, working forestland. The interpretive program provides a number of opportunities for you or your group to learn about forest ecology, forest management, new ideas in forestry and what we’re doing at Pack Forest today. These opportunities range from self-guided trails and displays in our gatehouse, to naturalist-led trail walks and a curriculum on forest ecology for elementary to middle school students.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Open daily, the Burke Museum welcomes all visitors who are curious about the natural wonders of Washington state, the Pacific Northwest and the Pacific Rim. In addition to its standing collections and exhibits, the museum features changing exhibits for the general public to enjoy on subjects ranging from current research and recent discoveries in natural history, to the finest traditional and contemporary cultural arts.