Mission: Heritage museums & gardens celebrates american culture and inspires people of all ages to explore, discover, and learn together. We do this by sharing excellence in horticulture, garden design, outdoor discovery, and the exhibition of great collections.
Programs: Collections - heritage provides major exhibitions each year based upon its 12,000 object collection which includes american automobiles, american art, historical objects and native american material. In addition, heritage offers annual special exhibitions which examine aspects of american culture. Outside, heritage presents installations by contemporary artists that relate to the indoor exhibitions. In addition to planning for future exhibits, the collections staff care for and manage our permanent collections.
gardens - about 60 acres of heritage's 100 acre property are intensely planted. These include our internationally significant rhododendron collection of charles dexter hybrids, and significant collections of specimen trees, hostas, daylilies and hydrangeas. A maze garden houses our three-season vine collection and a labyrinth and flume fountain are other specialized features. Heritage works frequently with university extension services on research and testing of new horticultural methods. We catalogue our plants and share information with the field.
visitor experience - heritage provides broad educational offerings for formal and informal settings. Over 24,000 children are served in formal and informal settings. For school children this includes four curriculum-related programs taught at heritage by museum educators as additions to school trips, with pre-and post-visit curriculum materials provided free on-line, and teacher training programs throughout the year, serving almost 7,000 children on field trips. Family informal learning programs include special theme learning days, family fun fridays, and special tours for children and families of our exhibits. For adults, a series of lectures including "under the hood" for auto enthusiasts, one day university, featuring top university professors lecturing on popular topics, horticulture related workshops, seminars, lectures, guided tours and curator-led talks. An internship program provides paid opportunities for 6 horticulture graduate and undergraduate students annually who work with our horticulture professionals. In addition, pre-service teachers do practicums and fulfill other curriculum requirements interning in the hundred acre school. The adventure park offers aerial trails above ground and educational prompts on the ground, the forest walk, a family learning experience on forest ecology.