Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - copy

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens - copy

Welcome to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens!
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history.  Established by forward thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida.  The Downtown Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point (HSP) Campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. The HSP Campus, one of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history.

Selby Gardens is a respected center for research and education. Selby Gardens is an open-air and under-glass museum of thousands of colorful and exotic plants.  Many of these plants have been collected from the wild by Selby Gardens’ research staff on more than 200 scientific expeditions to tropical rainforests. Our guests see beautiful horticultural displays and learn from our many educational programs.  They also take away with them a better understanding and greater appreciation of the natural world and the challenge it faces.

In 2013, Selby Gardens opened the Ann Goldstein Children’s Rainforest Garden at their Downtown Sarasota campus to attract children of all ages and further enhance Selby Gardens’ mission to provide an oasis of inspiration and tranquility, while furthering the understanding and appreciation of plants, especially epiphytes.

Extend your classroom to Selby Gardens by taking your students on an engaging, informative journey in our unique, tropical botanical gardens.  We offer specialized age-appropriate programs designed with curriculum in mind.  We are also happy to tailor a program in support of the unique needs and interests of your students.
Click here for our School Programs Guide.

Ready to book? Fill out the School Tour Booking Request Form here.
(A minimum of 10 students is required for the group rate.)



(941) 366-5731, ext. 273

Where Land Meets Sea: Mangrove and Estuary Exploration at Downtown Sarasota Campus (Grades 9-12)

Program description

Explore Florida’s mangroves and estuaries at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus (grades 9-12) 

This exploration was created by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens especially for middle and high school science classes to extend a field trip on the Carefree Learner. This field study specifically focusing on estuaries and mangroves, will broaden students’ understanding of the coastal wetlands of Southwest Florida and our individual and societal interconnectedness with these precious ecosystems. Students will stroll along Selby Gardens’ beautiful bayfront to discover the unique traits that allow mangroves to survive and thrive in coastal conditions, and explore how the maze of the mangrove root system contributes not only to coastal wetland and estuary ecosystems, but to nearby ecosystems as well. Students will learn how to identify the three types of mangroves native to Florida, and will come away with a deeper appreciation of the valuable ecosystem services provided by these fascinating members of the plant kingdom. The tour concludes at our dock on Hudson Bayou, where students will board the Carefree Learner. Aboard the Carefree Learner students will investigate the beautifully biodiverse Sarasota Bay, discover the living and non-living elements of an estuarine ecosystem, and have an up-close and personal encounter with some of the creatures who call this important estuary home. 

To book a trip on the Carefree Learner, please visit Trips and transportation are free for Sarasota County Schools middle school students in a life science course (7th grade). All other grades start at $15 per student, transportation not included. 

For student groups who are not booked on the Carefree Learner, please see our similar “Fantastic Florida” exploration. 

Ready to book? Fill out our School Tour Booking Request form here! 

Booking / scheduling contact

Anastasia Sallen, Director of Environmental Education

   941-366-5731 ext 273

Program detail
Artistic discipline:
Cultural Origin: Array, Array
Program type: Off-Campus Field Trip
Population served: 9-12
Subject: Science
Bilingual: No

1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL 34236

Fees / Ticketing:



Is transportation needed for this exploration?: Yes
If Yes, who arranges transportation?: School
Is financial assistance offered?: Yes

Program info

Summer or Family Programs Offered?: yes