Double Your Investment

Dear Garden Supporter,
It’s not often you hear the words “Double Your Investment” but that is exactly what a generous donor is offering you as a member of Norfolk Botanical Garden. Educating children about the natural world is important and that is why our donors are pledging a $40,000 matching gift opportunity to help us continue to grow our children’s programs. And we need your help to secure it.

Donate Online Now

Since the opening of WOW, more than 1 million children and adults have had a fun and educational experience in the children’s garden. Each year our education staff creates interactive activities for children and their families to take part in on their visits. As you will see below, these daily activities inspire children and help them to
connect with nature and the environment.

Just think, if you make a gift of $25, the Garden will receive $50 to keep our children’s programs growing. Your gift will have twice the impact and that is quite an investment.

Your tax deductible year-end gift to our “Double Your Investment” campaign will be appreciated by many.

We all have an extraordinary opportunity to be partners in the successful future of this wonderful natural resource,Norfolk Botanical Garden. Thank you for remembering the Garden in your year-end giving. We look forward to seeing you at one of our very popular holiday programs.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Desplaines, President & CEO

PS: You can also help us secure the Garden’s future with a donation of stocks, bonds or real estate that will benefit you with significant tax advantages and ensure a bright future for the Garden.

For more information contact Cathy Fitzgerald at (757) 441-5830 ext 319 or email at

WOW Children’s Activities

Each day throughout the year there are different WOW activities provided by Garden Teachers. Below are example activities that our WOW families experience.

Garden Storytime: a half hour program offered on Wednesdays. A Garden Teacher reads a story and then leads a Garden exploration. From jungle adventures to those three little pigs, each week features a different tale with plenty of pictures and props to delight the senses. An exploration of the Garden looks at some of the plants featured in the story.

Tunes for Tots: Children develop their motor and language skills and learn about nature through music, rhymes and other activities led by a Garden Teacher each Tuesday morning. Weather permitting, this takes place in our “Plantitheater” behind Exploration station. This program is so popular it is limited to the first 75 guests to arrive each day.

Seed Planting: Children plant a seed to take home. They learn what plant needs to grow and the plant life cycle.

Composting: Children learn what compost is, how it is made, and why it is good for plants.

Insects in the Garden: Children observe insects in the garden. They learn insect adaptations (physical and behavioral) while observing insects in their natural setting.

Butterfly Metamorphosis: Children observe monarch caterpillars in the milkweed plants. They discover the life cycle of butterflies in different stages.

Dragonfly Id Walk: Using a field guide picture book, children try to identify dragonflies with their colors and wing patterns. They learn the metamorphosis of a dragonfly.

Desert Plants Talk: Children learn desert plant adaptations and how they were used by the Pueblo Native Americans for food and clothing.

Rainforest Craft: Children learn the different rainforest plant layers and make a craft.

Discover Seeds: Children learn different seeds, their sizes and the plants they will grow to be.

Cereal Ingredients Scavenger Hunt: Children learn to identify what are grain, fruit, sugar and oil plants, the ingredients they find in their cereal.

Fruit and Veggie Cart: Children have fruits and Vegetables on a “Sellers Cart.” Garden Teachers talk about the parts of the plant.

WOW Clue: Children follow clues in the Plant Safari to find habitats and the animals that make up a food chain.

Tree Rings: Children learn how trees grow using tree cookies, and about natural occurrences that affect growth.

Bird Watching Bingo: Children learn to identify bird behaviors with a bingo game. Garden Teachers use a Bird Call box to teach about communication.

Recycled Art: Children reuse “trash” to create art and useful materials. Examples include birdfeeders, toys and musical instruments.

Owl Pellets: Guests work with a Garden Teacher to dissect an “owl pellet” and discover what it ate. The animal is then identified using a chart. This activity teaches about the food chain and the structure of animal skulls.

Powhatan Discovery: Items used by the Powhatan people are shown. Families learn how natural materials, both plants and animals, were utilized by the Native Americans.

Create a Salad or Salsa Scavenger Hunt: Using Discovery Peak, children find all of the ingredients that create a delicious dish.

Healthy Hop Scotch: Children learn about hopscotch games played around the world and how nature often plays a role in the rules of the games.

Forest Theatre: Housed in our Kids Club Log Cabin Playhouse, children use storybooks and puppets to portray the intricate relationships between plants and animals in a forest.


Norfolk Botanical Garden is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.