Red Butte Garden Botany Bins

What are Botany Bins?

Botany Bins at Red Butte Garden Botany Bins at Red Butte Garden Botany Bins at Red Butte Garden

Red Butte Garden is pleased to offer a new education outreach program for public and charter classroom teachers and community groups at NO COST! Botany Bins are teacher resource kits that contain engaging, hands-on, Utah core-curriculum aligned lesson plans, related literature, touchable specimens, posters, magnifying lenses, flower presses, and reproducible materials to be used in classrooms. The Botany Bin program is provided for free to Utah public school teachers state-wide. Visual aids and background information make the kits easy for teachers and students alike to explore the world of plants and study the fascinating science of botany!

Botany Bins align with Utah State Core Curriculum and NGSS SEEd aligned standards. Teachers can reserve and pick up Botany Bins at Red Butte Garden or at one of eight other locations throughout Utah. Optional teacher trainings are also offered.

For questions and inquiries about the Botany Bin Program, please contact Sarah Sandoval at: 801-213-0734 or email:

Botany Bin Funding is Needed!
Please Make A Donation

Red Butte Garden needs your help to develop new modules and maintain our current ones. We've had such great success with our Botany Bins that teachers and students are asking for more - that's where you can help. Your gift to the Botany Bin Program helps us fulfill our mission to connect people with plants and the beauty of living landscapes.

Help us grow this new Education Outreach Program so it can continue to be provided for free to Utah public school teachers and students. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that students statewide will receive research and inquiry-based learning that aligns with the current Utah State Core Curriculum standards, and makes science fun, engaging, and interactive.

For more information and to learn about Botany Bin donations and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Wendy Loyning at 801-585-5658 or email:

¡Ahora en Español!

Due to a generous contribution from the STEM Action Center we are excited to offer a Spanish language version of our Botany Bin program! The supplemental folder containing Spanish language contents can be requested during the reservation process. Please contact Sarah Sandoval with any questions at: 801-213-0734 or email:


Ethnobotany: People and Plants

Ethnobotany Bin

This bin is entitled “Ethnobotany: People and Plants,” a study of how people interact with plants in their environment. Lesson plans for this module are written to align with fourth grade science core, but can also be modified for other grade level science core and intended learning outcomes. Lessons are interdisciplinary and include classification, Utah biomes, Utah native plants and their use by native people and pioneers, and plant adaptations. Teachers can efficiently cover a number of other content areas in addition to science - math, language arts, social studies, fine arts – as the bins contain appealing materials and fun, hands-on activities.

Bin Reservations

There are a total of 16 bins. Each teacher may check out one bin for a two and one-half week time period.
CLICK HERE to reserve a Botany Bin

Conserving Water in the Desert

Conserving Water in the Desert Bin

“Conserving Water in the Desert,” provides information and activities for students to explore the water resources in Utah and the Western United States. In addition, it is the intent of this program to raise awareness about the limited availability of water in our desert climate and to encourage water conservation. The lessons focus on basic water science, the sources and availability of water for human use, some of the issues surrounding human water consumption, the importance of plants in the quality of our water, and how individual citizens can become stewards of this precious resource.

Bin Reservations

There are a total of 16 bins. Each teacher may check out one bin for a two and one-half week time period.
CLICK HERE to reserve a Botany Bin

Patterns and Partnerships

Patterns and Partnerships

Our newest bin welcomes you and your students to discover the incredible ecosystems found within Utah’s mountains. This Botany Bin module covers fifth grade Core and sixth grade SEEd life-science standards with phenomena-based lesson plans and materials. Through investigation of over 100 represented organisms, students explore the who, when, where, and why of traits, with a special look at canines. Through the lenses of dendrochronology, the Utah mountain ecosystem, the bark beetle outbreak, and forest fire management students analyze data, construct explanations, develop models, engage in arguments based on evidence and evaluate design solutions based on an understanding of how ecosystems function and change. Along the way students learn about scientists, and laypeople, who study these topics and how that science is applied.

Bin Reservations

There are a total of 16 bins. Each teacher may check out one bin for a two and one-half week time period.
CLICK HERE to reserve a Botany Bin


Botany Bin workshops are offered at different times and locations across the state. They are not mandatory, but will give teachers an opportunity to preview the Bins and explore activities in an inquiry-based, supportive environment. Scheduled workshop dates are listed below:

2019 Summer / Fall Workshops

  • TBA

Ethnobotany Botany Bin Workshops:

  • TBA

Conserving Water in the Desert Botany Bin Workshops w/partners Utah Society for Environmental Education & Project Wet:

  • TBA

Patterns and Partnerships:

  • January 26, 10AM-Noon in RBG Classroom

If you have questions please email:


Teachers Accolades about Botany Bins

“Students were fascinated by the plants and their uses. Materials coordinated with teaching about Utah environments science curriculum and our social studies curriculum unlike anything previously available for Utah teachers.”
– Falcon Ridge Elementary, West Jordan, UT

“The lesson plans were so beautiful… and they filled the requirements regarding objectives. They were teacher-friendly, along with all the engaging activities for students.”
– Davis School District, Farmington, UT

“I thought the Bin provided so much more than what was actually in it. We were able to have so many discussions, and new lessons were created as spinoffs to what was provided.”
– Bonneville Elementary, Salt Lake City, UT

“The plant materials were fabulous! Easy to use and understand. We would like to check out more Bins in the future, they are enriching and provide many resources I don’t have access to.”
– Morningside Elementary, Holladay, UT

“I have a student with limited writing and reading skills but he was able to demonstrate his knowledge and understanding because of the visual and hands-on demonstrations.”
– Rose Creek Elementary, Riverton, UT

“Children grow healthier, wiser, and more content when they are more fully connected throughout their childhood to the natural environment in as many educational and recreational settings as possible. These benefits are long term and significant and contribute to their future well being and the contributions they will make to the world as adults.”
– World Forum - Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC)


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