Thank you for interest in Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary for your upcoming adult garden group trip!

We offer a unique combination of indoor and outdoor activities that will enhance your knowledge of native plants and more. Plus, experience a tour of a wonderful display of trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, ground covers and perennials native to the Lone Star State in our native plant gardens. These gardens demonstrate how native plants can be used in urban garden settings. Click here to request a reservation for your group.

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Program Overview

Garden talks at the Heard are led by Jessica Villarreal, Heard Native Plant Horticulturist. In addition to receiving dual degrees in Geography and Spanish, Jessica completed a Bridging Disciplines Program in Botany and the Environment at the University of Texas at Austin. While there, she also worked at the UT Herbarium and numerous research greenhouses on campus. She then worked at the Botanic Garden in Vina del Mar, Chile, specializing in the propagation of rare native plants from Easter Island. During her residency in New York, she spent much of her time volunteering at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Since returning to Texas, she has not only implemented a wildlife preserve revegetation project but also worked at two different plant nurseries that primarily focused on native herbaceous perennials

Garden talks and tours may be scheduled by any adult group of 10 or more persons (groups of 9 or fewer persons are subject to a flat fee—see details below). These talks are available by reservation only. We ask that groups place a reservation request at least two weeks prior to the requested date. Our reservation request form does not create a reservation or hold a date. It is only a request for us to contact you for confirmation. Requests will be processed in the order they were received during our normal business office hours (Tuesdays through Fridays).

Educational Garden Program Pricing

(Fee includes gardening talk and tours of Heard native plant gardens)

  • Adults: $11
  • Seniors 60+: $9

Payment Procedures

  • Pre-payment is required for all reservations.
  • A minimum group size of 10 adults is required to be eligible for the group rate (in lieu of a group of 10 or more persons, groups of 9 or fewer may pay a flat $100 fee. 
  • Fees are non-refundable except in cases of inclement weather (see below).
  • The educational program pricing does not include museum general admission. Guests may add general admission to their trip for an additional $8 per person.


  • Reservations made 6+ weeks in advance of your adult garden group trip date: a 25% NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is due within 10 days of making your reservation. You will be emailed a confirmation letter/invoice within 3 to 5 business days. Deposit payments may be made through this form
  • Reservations made less than 4 weeks prior to your adult garden group trip date: FULL PAYMENT is due at time of reservation. A Confirmation Letter/Invoice will be emailed to you within 1-3 business days.

Changing the Number of Participants on Your Reservation

  • You have up to 4 weeks prior to your field trip date to call and final make modifications to your invoice. Please call Central Reservations at 972-562-5566 x 241. Any additional participants after that time cannot be guaranteed a guided tour. Please let us know of any changes as soon as possible.
  • Refunds or Credits will not be granted for having fewer participants on the day of your adult garden group trip than what is represented on the invoice.
  • Additional participants not included in the reservation (including Heard Museum members) must pay the applicable program fees at check-in on the day of your field trip.

Cancellations and/or Date Changes

  • Inclement Weather: Please DO NOT assume your activity is cancelled. An inclement weather refund will not be issued to “no shows.” We hold programs rain or shine, and cancel only for heavy rain, thunder and lightning, or icy conditions. If we cancel, we will try to reschedule for another date that works for you. If we cannot schedule another time, a full refund will be issued. You will be contacted via the phone number provided on your Reservation Form, and we will contact you as soon as possible. The Heard Museum closes when the McKinney Independent School District cancels and follows delayed openings. Your adult garden group trip will be considered cancelled by us under these conditions.
  • Cancellations without penalty: the Heard Museum must receive a written cancellation notice 4 weeks prior to your field trip date (by email to or through the mail at the following mailing address:  Heard Museum Natural Science Museum, Attn: Education Reservations, 1 Nature Place, McKinney, Texas 75069).
  • Cancellation Fees
    • 75% Refund: Written notification received at least 4 weeks prior to field trip date.
    • NO REFUND: Cancellations within 4 weeks of field trip date. Includes illness and inclement weather cancellations not made by the Heard Natural Science Museum.
    • NO REFUND: Written notification not received.


  • Group leaders are responsible for arriving ten minutes early for all scheduled activities.
  • Group leaders need to report to the front desk of the main building for check-in.
  • Unless you have been notified otherwise, please use the bus drop-off inlet located directly in front of the museum building on Nature Place road.
  • After check-in, group leaders should station their group participants in the circular garden directly in front of the building. Groups should remain in the garden until greeted by a Heard Staff Member or Docent who will direct your scheduled activities.
  • We request that all vehicles larger than passenger vans adhere to our parking and drop-off guidelines as advised by signage posted on Nature Place road. Vehicles larger than passenger vans should not park or unload in the first parking lot unless you receive other instructions.
  • Groups that arrive over fifteen minutes late cannot be guaranteed a full tour or complete educational program unit.


  • Send your Group Leader inside to the front desk to check-in with the following information
  • Total number of adults
  • Name of Group
  • Type of Activity
  • At this time, the Group Leader will pay for any participants not accounted for in the reservation (including Heard Museum members) and receive further instructions for the day’s activities. Refunds or Credits will not be granted for having fewer participants on the day of your field trip than what is represented on the invoice.


  • Adult garden group participants should be prepared for going outside in all weather.
  • Closed-toe shoes and long pants are the recommended attire for a visit to the Museum & Sanctuary for both students and adults.
  • Insect Repellent and sunscreen are advisable. Applying repellent is time consuming so PLEASE APPLY REPELLENTS PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL.
  • Hairspray, perfume & cologne attract insects!
  • Nametags for each group member identifying the person can be very helpful.


  • No one under 18 is allowed inside the Museum or on the Sanctuary unaccompanied.
  • Smoking is prohibited on The Heard Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary property.
  • Help us to preserve our environment. Please do not pick flowers, pull leaves from plants, disturb spider webs, disturb animals, or collect any natural items while you are visiting.
  • Group Leaders are responsible for ensuring the group’s appropriate behavior throughout the entire visit. To guarantee a pleasant visit for all our guests, the Museum reserves the right to remove any individual or group from the premises.
  • If group leaders have questions about any aspect of the field trip or the expectations of chaperones, please ask for assistance from Heard staff.

Picnic Areas

  • Picnic areas are the only place where food can be consumed.
  • Please store your lunches on the bus until you are ready to eat or leave them in your designated picnic area in marked coolers or containers. Lunches may not be stored inside the museum.
  • Please use the trash and recycling containers located in the picnic areas. Due to the number of wild animals on our sanctuary, containment and proper disposal of your trash is very important.
  • In the case of inclement weather we cannot guarantee an available eating area inside the museum.

Click here to read additional information about our visitor tips and guidelines: For additional information, please contact Jessica Villarreal at