Outdoors, Out Your Window or Online

Duke Gardens supports relationships among people and plants. In this time of physical distancing, we can still connect with each other and the world around us. While Duke Gardens is closed to visitors in keeping with Duke University's COVID-19 policies, we will update this page to share ways to learn, relax, and connect with the human and beyond-human members of our community, whether we go for a walk, observe the world outside our windows, notice what and who sustain us at home, or tap into virtual networks.

We wish our entire community physical and mental health, and we welcome suggestions of resources we can provide. Please contact us at GardensEducation@duke.edu.

Every other week we send out an email newsletter highlighting new resources for a variety of interests and audiences! Join by emailing GardensEducation@duke.edu with the subject "join programs listserv."

Live Virtual Programs

Virtual Walk on the Wild Side: Biogeography (primary audience: adults)
Explore the wilds of North Carolina in these monthly “Wild Side” talks about Duke Gardens’ Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. In our August 6 program from 11 a.m. to noon, we will discuss biogeography. It’s a chance to talk about plants and ecosystems across both time and space! There is a fascinating story we can read from the biogeography of plants. Let horticulturist Maegan Luckett introduce you. This series continues on the first Thursday of each month. Participation is free, but advance registration is required at this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. We look forward to taking this virtual "walk" with you.

Seasonal Celebrities: landscape plants for North Carolina gardens (primary audience: adults)
This live Zoom discussion will be hosted by Jan Little, director of education and programs at Duke Gardens, and continue weekly, introducing a palette of beautiful plants for your gardens.
Saturdays at 10 a.m. No programs in August. Stay tuned for September schedule.

ecoEXPLORE classes (primary audience: K-8 students)
ecoEXPLORE hosts fun and informative classes through Facebook Live, most Tuesdays-Fridays at 2 p.m. Click here for the schedule and to attend.

North Carolina Zoo Classroom Programs (primary audience: K-12 students)
The North Carolina Zoo is bringing many of its education programs right into your home. Click here for the schedule and to register.

Take-out Science (primary audience: K-12 students)
Dr. Holly Leddy leads an exploration of different topics using a light microscope, an scanning electron microscope (SEM), and her expert colleagues. Click here for more information and to attend.

Science Cafes (primary audience: teens & adults)
Science Cafes at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences are a change from the norm, enabling you to learn about science and technology from experts in an informal setting. Click here for the schedule and to attend.

Night Skies at Home from the Franklin Institute (all ages)
Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts invites stargazers to step outside and join him for a series of night sky tours from home — no telescopes needed. Click here for more information and to attend.

Climate-Conscious Durham (primary audience: teens & adults)
Explore the science and the lived experiences of the people living in rural and urban areas in our State, turning a lens towards participatory data collection, knowledge co-creation, and finding common ground on resilience strategies and solutions that works for people living in different situations.
Sign up for the full series (encouraged) or individual programs.

Audio & Video Collections

Videos created by Duke Gardens staff

Videos by Outdoor Afro, who celebrate & inspire Black leadership in nature

Plant Power: The Power of Plants in a Changing Climate, a podcast from the N.C. Botanical Garden

Webcams in Beaufort, N.C., from the Duke Marine Lab

Webcams around the United States from the U.S. Geological Survey

Live cams of bird nests and feeders from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Live cams of marine animals from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Home Gardening Resources

Garden Talk columns by Duke Gardens staff

N.C. Extension Gardener Handbook

Vegetable Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide from the N.C. Extension Agency

Pollinator Plants: Mid-Atlantic Region (pdf) from the Xerces Society

N.C. State Extension Gardening Resources

Stuck at Home, Not Stuck Inside from the North Carolina Botanical Garden

Learn about the Indigenous peoples connected to this land

We acknowledge that this space and greater university gathers on land that has long served as the site of meeting and exchange amongst a number of Indigenous peoples, historically the Shakori (sha-core-ee) and Catawba (kuh-taa-buh) people.

It is also important to recognize the 8 tribes that currently reside in North Carolina, these include the Coharie (co-HAIR-ee), Lumbee, Meherrin (ma-HAIR-in), Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Haliwa Saponi (HA-lih-WAH suh-PONY), Waccamaw Siouan (WOK-uh-ma Soo-uhn), Sappony, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee. We honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this territory on which we gather.

Land acknowledgement created by the Native American Student Alliance at Duke University

About NC Native Communities from the American Indian Center at UNC-Chapel Hill

The NC Native Ethnobotany Project

The Unacknowledged History of the Land Beneath Our Boots from Blue Ridge Outdoors

Listen & Learn: Black nature enthusiasts

There are many wonderful Black environmental educators and researchers sharing their knowledge and experiences online. We're creating an ever-growing list of people we like to learn from on our Black in Nature page.

Children & Family Activities **Algunas actividades disponibles en español

Explore with Duke Gardens

Learn about the animals that are Masters of Disguise.

Painting with Soil
Be an artist and a scientist by collecting soil samples to create your own paint!
Written directions  |  Video with directions and more fun activities

Pintar con Tierra
¡Sé un artista y un científico recogiendo muestras de tierra para crear tu propia pintura!
Instrucciones escritas  |  Un video con instrucciones y más información (con subtítulos en español)

Whistling with Grass
Be a musician and a scientist with this activity.
Written guide  |  Video with directions

Silbar con Hierba
Sé músico y científico con esta actividad.
Instrucciones escritas  |  Un video con instrucciones (video solo en inglés)

Meet  a Plant
Learn about comon plants. Go on your own plant adventure with these guides for learning, exploring and crafts.
- Rose
- Dandelion

Summer Fun at Home
We will miss our time together in Duke Gardens with campers this year, but thanks to your interest and feedback we are creating materials for families to enjoy at home. 

Ways to Learn, Explore and Play Inspired by Nature
Save and revisit this collection of quick, engaging and adaptable ideas for families.

Nature Navigators Journals
These outdoor exploration booklets are part of our homeschool student certificate, but they can be used by anyone. Feel free to change the directions to fit your situation. Available for 4- to 5-year-olds6- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 12-year-olds.

More explorations from our neighbors

Life and Science at Home from the Museum of Life + Science
Every day, the Museum of Life + Science will share digital content to provide you with engaging ways to learn, ask questions, and discover life and science in exciting new ways.

**Vida y Ciencias en casa por el Museo de Vida y Ciencias
Todos los días, el Museo de Vida y Ciencias compartirán contenido digital para proporcionarle formas interactivas de aprender, hacer preguntas y descubrir la vida y la ciencia de maneras nuevas y emocionantes.

Activity videos and more from Outdoor Afro
Outdoor Afro is a national network that celebrates and inspires Black connections and leadership in nature.

STEM at Home for Families from NASA
These science, technology, engineering and math activities are fun for kids, adults and the whole family.

Art Activities for Families from the Nasher Museum of Art
These art activities and lesson plans can be used by parents or teachers, and feature suggestions for careful looking, guided conversation, and further work inspired by select works of art.

Local Storytellers on Instagram
Follow @theliberationstation (Tues.+Thurs. storytime on IGTV) and @storytimedurham for kid-focused stories & songs.

Stuck at Home, Not Stuck Inside from the North Carolina Botanical Garden
NCBG has compiled a list of activities to help you still get your Vitamin N (nature), even if you are confined to your home.

Community Science Projects

National Moth Week, July 18-26
The ninth annual National Moth Week, invites novice and experienced “moth-ers,” alike, to observe these fascinating creatures in their own backyards and contribute to scientific knowledge as part of one of the world’s largest citizen science projects.

Pollinator Biothon from Keep Durham Beautiful
Celebrate spring and June's National Pollinator Week by learning about the biodiversity of your backyard habitat!

Become a Triangle Explorer through the Triangle Land Conservancy
The Triangle Explorer Challenge is an opportunity to get kids outside and learning in fun and engaging ways through conducting science experiments, exploring nature, and creating works of art.

How To Go on a Turtle Trek from Piedmont Wildlife Center
Learn how you can become part of PWC's citizen science project, Triangle Turtle Trekkers!

NYBG Steere Herbarium digitazation
You can contribute to scientific research from anywhere by helping botanists interpret herbarium specimens.

SciStarter is the place to find, join, and contribute to science through providing people access to more than 2,700 searchable formal and informal research projects and events.

The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.

Bumble Bee Watch
Bumble Bee Watch is a collaborative effort to track and conserve North America’s bumble bees.

EarthEcho Water Challenge
The EarthEcho Water Challenge builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local bodies of water.​

eBird data document bird distribution, abundance, habitat use and trends through checklist data collected within a simple scientific framework.

ecoEXPLORE, for children in grades K-8, combines science exploration with kid-friendly technology to foster a fun learning environment for children while encouraging them to explore the outdoors and participate in citizen science.

Foldit is a revolutionary crowdsourcing computer game enabling you to contribute to important scientific research by taking advantage of humans' puzzle-solving intuitions and having people play competitively to fold the best proteins.

GLOBE Observer
Your observations help scientists track changes in clouds, water, plants and other life in support of climate research. 

HerpMapper gathers and shares information about reptile and amphibian observations across the planet.

iNaturalist.org is a place where you can record what you see in nature, meet other nature lovers, and learn about the natural world. 

ISeeChange is dedicated to empowering communities to document and understand their environment, weather and climate in order to increase resilience.

Nature's Notebook
Nature's Notebook gathers information on plant and animal phenology across the U.S. to be used for decision-making on local, national and global scales to ensure the continued vitality of our environment.

Project BudBurst
This network of citizen scientists tracks changes in plant seasons to assist scientists studying climate.

Durham Community Resources

COVID-19 Community Resources from Duke University's Office of Durham & Community Affairs
This site aims to quickly share a wide range of support information and activities for our Duke and Durham community.

Where to Buy Local While Social Distancing from the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
More than 150 farms across North and South Carolina have added on-farm pickups, home delivery & online pre-orders to accommodate for social distancing in light of the COVID-19 outbreak

Durham FEAST
Durham FEAST provides complete meals, fresh produce, and shelf-stable ingredients to children and adults experiencing food insecurity during COVID-19.

Welcome Baby
Welcome Baby provides accurate child development information and emotional and practical support, including remote resources and virtual classes.

Community Resources to Support Families During COVID-19 from NC Cooperative Extension
The Durham County Extension Center has compiled a list of resources connecting people with food, healthcare, computer & internet, public school assistance, and financial & emergency.