Black History Month 2021

Celebrate Black History Month this February and every month with the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden! Enjoy virtual and on-site opportunities to learn more about Black History in horticulture, gardening and the environment.

Events occurring throughout February – see Schedule of Activities below for more information and ticket registration

Month-Long Activities
February 2-28

ger Hunt 

  • Learn about plants connected to historical and contemporary black figures and some interesting plants from Africa in this kid-friendly scavenger hunt. 

Iowa Roots, Global Impact:
The Life and Legacy of George Washington Carver

  • Gain insight into the life of acclaimed scientist George Washington Carver with this self-guided exhibit. Follow along from his days as a student at Simpson College and Iowa State University to his groundbreaking work with soybeans, sweet potatoes, peanuts, and other crops at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. (Blurb courtesy the African American Museum of Iowa website). 

Natural Dyes and George Washington Carver Display

  • George Washington Carver is recognized as an innovator in the realm of botanical dyes. Learn how Carver turned natural materials into colorful pigments and explore the artwork that he created using these pigments. 

Free with admission


Schedule of Activities

Documentary Screening:
George Washington Carver:
An Uncommon Life

While George Washington Carver’s rise from slavery to scientific accomplishment has inspired millions, time has reduced him to the man who did something with peanuts. This documentary uncovers Carver’s complexities and reveals the full impact of his life and work. (Running time: 56 minutes)

On-site Screening
Saturday, February 13, 1-2 p.m.

  • All seats will be six feet apart; masks are required. Free, limited seats available.

VIRTUAL Screening and Q&A Session
Tuesday, February 16, 6- 7:30 p.m.

  • Laurel Bower (producer) and Paxton Williams (associate producer) will join following the screening for a live question and answer session.  Free, limited spots available.

Story Sprouts
Saturday, February 27, 10:30-11 a.m.

Join us for a fun, interactive story time to celebrate Black History month. Participants will enjoy two stories and a short episode of Iowa PBS’s Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum featuring George Washington Carver. Free with admission.


Natural Dyes and George Washington Carver Drop-In
Saturday, February 27, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Explore some of the textile innovations of George Washington Carver, including botanical dyes. Learn how dyes are made and create your own botanical tie-dye handkerchief. This activity will allow groups to work at their own pace and socially distance.  $5 per handkerchief


Calendar of Events

For a complete listing of upcoming events, explore our Event Calendar.

Event Calendar