Zilker Botanical Garden
Austin Area Garden Center
2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin TX 78746 - 512-477-8672


Groups are welcome to visit the 22 acres of gardens at Zilker Botanical Garden in Austin's Zilker Park. Docents can be reserved for tours for both adult and children's groups.

We are always looking for enthusiastic gardeners to act as volunteer docents for school and adult tours. A training class is provided. Incentives are provided to docents after they have given their fifth tour. Look for the green aprons and badges that our docents have earned. Trained docents have frequent opportunities to update and expand their knowledge of Zilker Gardens and horticulture. Monthly sessions are available to all docents. Attendance at each session will earn the docent an additional badge to place on their green apron A schedule of training dates will be posted on the website in August for the current school year.

For more information, or to make reservations for tours, contact us by emailing Roberta.Sherfy@zbgconservancy.org or calling 512-964-4628.


Group Tours (all require advance reservations):

  • School Tours
    ALL school tours (regardless of size) self-guided OR docent-requested need to have a reservation. Trained docents from the Zilker Docents, an AAGC club, will provide informational tours for groups of 15-18 students, preschool through high school age. This basic tour is correlated to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and emphasizes problem solving. The tour dialogue is available to all teachers through the downloadable self-guided tour.

    Each tour is about 90 minutes. Individual docents will bring their special knowledge to each tour. All docents are avid gardeners and very familiar with the gardens. Each is trained to work with a variety of student groups. Some are especially facile with special needs children or ESL kids. When you register make sure you identify any special requests for your groups. March, April and May are especially busy months, so please make your reservations early. Requested donation of $1 per student in addition to the required admission. Please talk to the president of the Zilker Docents if that presents a hardship to your school.

    This 13-page document was developed to provide information for Austin area schoolteachers as they tour the Zilker Botanical Gardens. The ZBG Self Guided Tour is available online in Acrobat PDF format, which can be viewed and printed with Acrobat Reader. Find out more about Adobe Acrobat Reader.

  • Adult Tours
    The Adult tours are also led by trained docents and cover all aspects of the gardens. The cost for the tours for adults is $2 per person with a $50 minimum, in addition to the required admission.

Book Lending Program
For children in younger grades we now offer a free book lending program which includes copies of The Story of Mother Tree and Journey of the Third Seed. Teachers are welcome to call in advance to reserve the books and pick them up at the reception desk upon arrival (leaving a driver's license or other form of i.d. as a deposit). Teachers and students are encouraged to visit the teahouse or other comfortable garden location, and to read these wonderful children's books written expressly about the Taniguchi Japanese Garden.

Read more about our docents and activities-

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Austin Area Garden Council
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