Explore the outdoors

Explore nature and science on the museum grounds.

Evolution Trail sponsored by ChristianaCare

This 1,500-foot loop trail covers 4.6 billion years, from the formation of Earth to the present day. Take the trail to the right, and you go back in time. Take the trail to the left, and you’ll go forward. Trace the evolution of the planet we call home from the appearance of single cell organisms, to the emergence of complex early life, to the dawn and death of the dinosaurs, and to the present time. Only at the very end—in the last three feet—does the trail reveal the birth of our own species: Homo sapiens. 

Bobbee Vernon Memorial Garden

This garden is dedicated in memory of long-time museum volunteer Laura “Bobbee” Vernon. It features rocks and petrified wood found locally in Delaware, as well as native plants donated by Bobbee’s daughter, Susan Rivenbark, and the Garden Gate Garden Club.

Delaware Rocks!

Explore local geology with boulders from Delaware, within a garden of perennial groundcovers, grasses, ferns and flowers. The display is located between the upper and middle parking lots of the museum.

Wildflower & Native Grass Meadow

This meadow is a field of grasses, wildflowers, and a few woody shrubs. The lack of trees lets the sun shine down. Spaces between clumps of grass create nesting areas, shelter, and travel paths for birds and other small animals. When fully grown in, tall grasses provide cover from predators, such as hawks, and a safe place for breeding.

Pollinator Garden

The seasonal Pollinator Garden contains native plants such as purple coneflowers and milkweed to help attract butterflies and other wildlife, such as hummingbirds, beetles, and caterpillars. Museum members planted a corner of the garden with native plants in April 2024.

Nature Trail

The nature trail winds through the woodlands and wetlands behind the museum. Most of the trail has reopened after the August 2020 tornado damaged the woods, a portion of the trail remains closed. There is also an outdoor classroom used for school tours and summer camp, as well as a fire pit. 

Special thanks to the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) for a grant for new trees, interpretive signage, and seating areas as part of post-tornado restoration.

DISCOVER DelMNS

  • Outdoor Features Refreshed
    Thanks to the hard work of our facilities team and a grant from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) for new trees, interpretive signage, and seating areas, our outdoor spaces have been refreshed.