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Huntington Botanical Garden (Mahya Babaie and Elizabeth Davis)

Welcome to The Huntington, one of the world’s great cultural, research, and educational centers

Reviewed by: Mahya Babaie (7th grade Life Science teacher) & Elizabeth Davis (6th grade science and language arts teacher)

Location: Satellite view of Huntington Garden.
Direction to Huntington Garden:

Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

 Direction to Huntington Garden can be found on Google Map

Visitors' Guide to Huntington Garden. 

Description of field trip

    The Huntington’s education programs serve a broad audience and provide enrichment for members of the institution, casual visitors, school teachers, children, and adults. Programs range from lively activities for preschoolers to intensive five-week institutes for K-12 classroom teachers.
    On average, The Huntington’s school programs serve approximately 12,000 children and 750 teachers each year. Students from throughout Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties participate in 11 different school field trip programs, free of charge. Lesson plans in science, art, and the humanities, developed by Huntington educators and scholars, and that feature The Huntington’s collections, are put to use in schools nationwide.
Please provide a paragraph description of the field trip.  Include a physical description of the site, explanation of ownership/management, mission (if an institution), history, access, and other relevant issues. 

History, ownership, and management of Huntington Garden: 
    Henry Edwards Huntington was born in 1850 in Oneonta, New York. In 1872 he went to work for his uncle, Collis P. Huntington, one of the owners of the Central Pacific Railroad. Twenty years later Huntington moved to San Francisco at his uncle’s request to share management of the Southern Pacific Railroad. Enroute to San Francisco he visited the J. DeBarth Shorb estate, “San Marino,” which he later purchased. Today the estate is home to his collections.
    In 1902, Huntington moved his business operations to Los Angeles, where he greatly expanded the existing electric railway lines, creating an extensive inter-urban system providing the transportation necessary to encourage population growth. As a result of the railway linkages and the development of the property adjacent to the lines, the population of the region tripled between 1900 and 1910. Huntington’s business interests continued to grow particularly in the areas of water, power, and land development; at one time he served on as many as 60 corporate boards throughout the United States.
    At the age of 60 he announced his decision to retire in order to devote time to his book and art collections and the landscaping of the 600-acre ranch. He operated the ranch as a commercial enterprise for several years, later selling more than half the acreage. In 1911 the large Beaux Arts mansion (now the Huntington Art Gallery), designed by architect Myron Hunt, was completed.
    In 1913, Huntington married Arabella Duval Huntington, the widow of his uncle Collis. She was Henry’s age and shared his interests in collecting. As one of the most important art collectors of her generation, she was highly influential in the development of the art collection now displayed in the former mansion.
    In 1919, Henry and Arabella Huntington signed the indenture that transferred their San Marino property and collections to a nonprofit educational trust, creating The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, which hosts more than 500,000 visitors each year.
    Henry E. Huntington died in 1927; Arabella predeceased him by three years. Both are buried in the mausoleum on the property, designed by John Russell Pope, who later designed the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Audience: Teachers and students from K-12 can enjoy visiting this interactive place in which students are able to master various academic standard through inquiry-based learning. 
  • A secondary life science teacher would benefit visiting the Huntington Garden because they could witness practical examples of biomes, plants' adaptation, different types of ecosystems and the relationship between plant, soil and water. 
  • A botany teacher/plant biologist would benefit by a visit to Huntington Garden because it provides local examples of plants and mixed coniferous forests, and many other phenomenon.
Science Concepts Addressed:
  • Desert's Biome and ecosystem: Huntington Garden includes an amazing desert garden. The desert garden features more than 5,000 species of succulents and desert plants in sixty landscaped beds. Many plants are labeled with their name and country of origin.
  • Animals and plants adaptation : Desert gardens represents a distinct ecosystem, where plants are adapted to the unique conditions of their local environment, from the arid and sunny climate of the Desert Garden, to the wet and shady Jungle Garden.
Study Guide: Please refer to the following Map of the Huntington Ground. It is very essential to review this map before visiting Huntington Garden. (study guide created by Elizabeth Davis)

Hungtington Gardens Botanical Gardens Field Guide

While visiting the botanical gardens, you will be observing examples of several different biomes throughout the botanical gardens.  Before you go, you will need to spend some time researching information about the various biomes so that you know what to look for on your field trip.  

  • Tasks: During the field trip, you need to visit desert garden and make detail observation regarding habitat, adaptation and appearance of plants and organisms. 
  • Observations: Answer the following questions during the field trip. 
1) What is the soil like in the desert garden?  Describe the color, texture, moisture level, compactness, and rockiness.
2) What functions do the spines on the cacti serve?
3) Read the scientific plaques in front of many of the plants.  List the countries where these plants naturally grow.
4)Observe several of the desert garden plants.  Describe the general characteristics of the plants that you choose: 

a)    height: ______________________

b)   space between plants: __________________________

c)    common colors of plants: __________________________

d)   types/shapes of leaves: __________________________

e)    are flowers present?  __________________________

 5)  Find the plant with the specific name Mammillaria Geminispina. 

a)    Where does this plant natively grow?  

           6)    How do succulents appear different from the cacti? Provide descriptions.
           7)  Look closely at the cacti, do you notice any leaves? What adaptations have cacti had to make to survive in the arid,  
                  sunny climate? What happened to their leaves?    
     Describe the appearance of this plant – color, size, height, flowers, leaves, etc. 

     8)     Choose two other plants and provide the following information for each plant:

a.     Scientific name

b.     Common name (if provided)

c.      Country of origin

d.     Description of appearance – color, size, height, flowers, leaves, etc. 

e.     Draw a picture for each plant – one of the whole plant and one side diagram of an up-close detail (like a leaf, a flower, or bark).

                                                                       i.     Plant 1: ___________________________________________________________

ii. Plant 2: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Click on the slide show to view the pictures.
Photographs: Click here to view the photo gallery.

Huntington Gardens

Additional information: 


Mahya Babaie,
Nov 9, 2011, 4:03 PM