The Living Lab

Learning in the Garden

Thought-provoking, conservation-minded lessons aligned to the Sunshine State educational standards — online and on location

What is the

Living Laboratory?

The mission of the Living Laboratory program is to have each student personally and actively engaged in thought-provoking, Living Lab Logoconservation-minded lessons that are aligned to the Sunshine State educational standards. Our learners develop an awareness of the land, our resources and our unique biodiversity.

We cover the state-mandated benchmarks and we include hands-on, interactive activities that promote field investigation and personal, conscious, ethical thinking and discussions. We develop environmentally conscious learners.

About The Living Lab – online and on location

The Living Lab: K-12

The Living Lab program is a collaborative effort between the Key West Botanical Garden and the Monroe County School District, which serves over 3000 children.

Our program actively involves students. Students become “scientists” and collect information to answer questions about the world around them.

What we do

The staff of the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden work with teachers and administrators to create interactive lesson plans for use during garden visits.

Students are welcome to return to the garden to work on their projects. The garden features educational programs throughout the year.

Schedule your class trip

Ready to explore The Living Lab? Contact us to set up your class trip. We work with teachers to coordinate visits and create custom workshops for students. It’s fun. It’s educational. And it’s great to be outside.


Education Department 
(305) 849-8733

We are grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences

The Living Laboratory project is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services FAIN MA-11-16-0415-16.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s approximately 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums.

Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Thank you to our sponsors

Wells Fargo Logo
TDC out of County logo
Culture Build Florida Logo
Batchelor Foundation logo
Dogwood Foundation Logo

What would you like to do today?

Become a member

Memberships include unlimited free admission, special events, gift shop discounts, volunteer opportunities and offers from our partners.

Check events calendar

There's always something to do in the botanical garden and tropical forest. The latest schedules for yoga, plant sales, speaker series and more.

Become a volunteer

Our volunteers get their hands dirty -- or not. We have opportunities for volunteers who love people, plants, trees and animals.

Make a donation

Sustain and preserve our fragile Florida Keys ecosystems. Purchase endangered plants and trees and support educational programs.

Schedule a venue

Wedding? Family reunion? Company outing? Whatever you're planning, our venues are the perfect setting for your special event.


Student and adult education: Speaker Series, Species Spotlight and StoryTime are among our extensive in-person and online courses.