Educational Opportunities

The Lake Wilderness Arboretum is an amazing outdoor classroom and has a mission to educate its community. During these unprecedented times our education offerings have had to change. We look forward to the time when we will be able to offer more.  Until then, check out these great websites or resources for gardening information:

Educational things to do at the Lake Wilderness Arboretum

Tribal Life Trail

The Tribal Life Trail is a trail-style demonstration garden that focuses on plants used by native peoples of the Puget Sound area. Food, medicine, utility, clothing, and ceremonial uses are the gifts these plants provided. Walk along the trail and learn about the relationship between native plants and native people.

Little Free Library

Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.

The Lake Wilderness Arboretum is home to two Little Free Libraries. Find one hiding in a tree in the Legacy Garden and another in the Children’s Discovery Forest with books just for kids.


A new way to read a book. Take a walk along the Main Looping Trail (along the backside of the Children’s Discovery Forest) and find signs with the pages from a children’s book. Come back every month as a new book is featured each month.

Educating our visitors, no matter their age

The Lake Wilderness Arboretum has educated our community in a number of ways.

Intern program:  For the last decade, the Arboretum has been hiring high school students as interns to learn about gardening, running a public garden and nursery work. Occasionally, we have been lucky enough to hire some college-aged students.

Outdoor classroom: The Arboretum and the Plant Science classes at Tahoma High School have worked together for many years.

Community service location: Many high school students have completed volunteer hours at the Arboretum over the years and the Arboretum is in a better place because of their help.

Student Transition Program:  The Arboretum works with the Student Transition Program at Tahoma High School to provide a job training site for its participants.

Eagle Scout Service Projects: The Arboretum has been fortunate to benefit from local Eagle Scout candidates. For more information about possible projects, please email:

Field trips: Over the years the Arboretum has hosted students of every age for field trips.

Lectures, Workshops & Classes:  The Lake Wilderness Arboretum Foundation works to create programs that will help educate, inspire and connect our community to nature. With Covid-19 these programs have been put on hold.

Guided Tours:  Explore the gardens with a free 1-hour guided tour that will highlight different plants and gardens each month as well as interesting information about the Arboretum and its history. Available the 3rd Saturday May through October at 10:00am.

  • May: Discover our western azaleas
  • June: Explore what’s blooming
  • July: Explore native plants
  • Aug: Hydrangeas Galore!
  • Sept: Fuchsia Color Burst
  • Oct: Celebrate and explore Fall color