Help your students grow their knowledge of prairie living, ecology studies and appreciation for the natural world with a program from Denver Botanic Gardens held at Plains Conservation Center, located at 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013.

School group programs at Plains Conservation Center are full for the 2018-2019 school year. Summer and Fall 2019 registration are now open. Here is summer programming and registration.

  • Programs are cross-curricular, align with Colorado Academic Standards and emphasize student-led discovery through a variety of hands-on activities and guided explorations. All programs may be modified in the event of inclement weather. Cancellations due to extreme weather may be rescheduled if a mutually agreeable date is available in the schedule.
  • Advance registration and prepayment is required for all programs.

To register, or for more information, program questions or adjustments on program times, please call 720-865-3656 or contact Julie Blue, Plains Education Coordinator, at

Please make sure to read our general information before your field trip.

Discovery Day at Plains Conservation Center (Grades 1-5)

Bring your students to Plains Conservation Center for a day of discovery. Your group will be given a schedule of stations to visit throughout the day, including all three content areas at PCC: Sod Homestead, Cheyenne Camp and Prairie Ecology. These stations are a combination of facilitated and self-guided activities. A wagon ride onto the prairie to learn about the short grass prairie ecosystem is included (weather permitting). 

Cost: $10 student within SCFD, $12 outside SCFD
When: October 1, 2 and 3, 2019
Time:  10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (please plan to arrive in time to start your program at 10 a.m.)


One-Day Prairie Perspectives Immersion Plus Optional Overnight (Grades 3-5)

Immerse your students in the challenging perspective of a child growing up in the 1800s as a Cheyenne Indian or a homesteader. Students explore the prairie ecosystem and participate in activities at the homestead and Cheyenne camp, cook a meal, journal and connect with the cultural history. Overnight portion includes campfire, storytelling, wagon rides on the prairie and sleeping in the tipis (weather permitting).


  • One-Day Prairie Perspective Immersion, 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: $60 within SCFD / $65 outside SCFD
  • One-Day Prairie Perspectives Plus Optional Overnight ends 9 a.m. the following day: $125 within SCFD / $130 outside SCFD

One adult chaperone admitted free for every five students, additional chaperones are $30 each for the one day program and $60 each for the overnight program. A 50 percent deposit is due at least 30 days prior to program date; full payment is due at least one week pre-program.

When: One Day Immersion: September – October and April – May
Overnights: May and September only
Class Size: Maximum 35 students


Life in the High Plains Field Trip (Grades 1-5)

Discover the prairie on a wagon ride (weather permitting) and/or discover what life was like for the Cheyenne Indians and the homesteaders on the high plains in the 1800s. Explore how the Cheyenne adopted a lifestyle of semi-nomadic hunter/gatherers to thrive on the prairie. Learn about roles within the homesteading communities of 1887 and how they supported each other. Learn about the flora and fauna of the prairie while engaging in real field-science which may include bird surveys, prairie dog ethograms and water quality testing.

When registering, please indicate which of the following program areas you would like to reserve: Prairie Ecology, Sod Homestead and/or Cheyenne Camp (maximum of two topics):

  • Option 1: Sod Homestead / Cheyenne Camp Combo
    Class size: Maximum 90 students
  • Option 2: Sod Homestead / Prairie Ecology Combo
    Class size: Maximum 90 students
  • Option 3: Cheyenne Camp / Prairie Ecology Combo
    Class size: Maximum 90 students
  • Option 4: Prairie Ecology
    Class size: Maximum 60 students
  • Option 5: Cheyenne Camp
    Class size: Maximum 60 students
  • Option 6: Sod homestead
    Class size: Maximum 60 students

Cost: $10 per student within SCFD, $12 outside SCFD (One adult chaperone admitted free for every five students, additional chaperones are $7 each)
When: Daily April-May, September-November and on select days throughout the winter and summer
Time: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (including lunch break)


Prairie Ecology (Grades 6-8)

Students engage in real field-science as they explore the prairie flora and fauna. They may conduct bird surveys, perform prairie dog ethograms and do water quality testing.

Cost: $10 per student within SCFD, $12 outside SCFD (One adult chaperone admitted free for every five students, additional chaperones are $7 each)
When: September – November 18 and April – May (available throughout the summer for camp and school groups)
Time: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Class size: Maximum 60 students