University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners offer student discounts to Learning Landscape program

URI program helps pay for transportation, admission to botanical center

PROVIDENCE — December 5, 2011 — Transportation scholarships and admission discounts are available to kindergarten and elementary school groups interested in visiting the University of Rhode Island Learning Landscape program at the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center in Providence during February and March.

The cost is $7 per student, but the University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners Association, in conjunction with the Providence Parks and Recreation Department, is offering discounted admission and free busing to Providence and other schools with large numbers of underprivileged students.

The discounts are available to as many as 60 students in kindergarten and grades 1 through 5.

The URI Learning Landscape program puts students in a lush, tropical setting to perform hands-on science activities. Students will learn about how plants adapt, survive and thrive in different climates throughout the world, all within the confines of the botanical center’s glass walls.

They also will learn about various bird species, the role worms play in an ecosystem, how our actions affect the water cycle and the impact insects have on the natural world.

“This trip far exceeded my expectations,” said Denise Phillips, a first-grade teacher at Harris Elementary School in Woonsocket. “The information brought to my students in two hours couldn’t have been done in my classroom.”

The botanical center is the largest public indoor display garden in New England, encompassing about 12,000 square feet of flowers, rare plants, waterfalls and unique exhibits, including carnivorous plants and towering palm trees.

Field trips are available by reservation from 10 a.m. to noon, Tuesday through Friday during February and March.

To make reservations, or for more information, call (401) 874-2900 or email