To fulfill the RJD’s mission “…to maintain a museum that will interest and educate the public in the history, culture, horticulture, and lifestyles of the period through innovative programs and creative exhibits…” the Museum offers a broad range of programming for children and adults, changing and permanent exhibits, lectures and events, in addition to formal educational programs for school children.

Current student programs, serving more than 2,000 students annually, include: a fourth grade Woodland Garden Program, a fifth grade Apiary Program and a fifth grade New Bedford History Program. All programming is offered free of charge and was developed to conform with (to) the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.

Customized student internships and after school programs are also available.



The fourth grade WOODLAND GARDEN Program is offered by the Garden Club of Buzzards Bay in early May. It introduces students to the marvels and complex nature of flowers. Topics for exploration include seed dispersal, plant life cycles, habitat, and environmental and ecological issues. Attendees participate in a guided tour through the woodland garden, a hands-on botany lesson, and introduction to plant terminology and close examination of plant materials.

To book the Fourth Grade Woodland Garden Program, please contact the Garden Club of Buzzards Bay – Susan McLaren at 508-992-5605 or Carolyn Willard at 508-999-3740.




The fifth grade apiary program, GROWING IDEAS: CULTIVATING CONNECTIONS, is offered in September and October.  Utilizing this unique urban setting, students are introduced to the important role of the honeybee in the pollination of food crops and the production of honey, beekeeping practices, the lifecycle and anatomy of the honeybee, and human dependency on their work. In small groups, students examine bees, pollen, and comb, view the Apiary exhibit, try on beekeeping equipment and construct cardboard hexagons to simulate a honeycomb. Support materials for use in the classroom prior to the students’ visit are available on this website by clicking TEACHER SUPPORT MATERIALS. In keeping with the ordinances of the City of New Bedford, no live honeybees are kept on Museum property.

To book Growing Ideas: Cultivating Connections please contact the RJD Museum  at 508-997-1401 or email

Additional Honeybee Information: National Honey Board




New Bedford History Program

LEARNING HISTORY AT HISTORIC PLACES focuses on domestic and commercial life in New Bedford during the 19th century. It explores the enormous growth of the city due to the whaling industry, the entrepreneurial accomplishments of the time frame, and role Quaker values played in shaping economic and business practices.

Explorations incorporate historic artifacts in the Museum’s collections including this 1834 mansion and its furnishings of everyday household objects. Students explore three floors of the Museum, a timeline of local events, in addition to commercial and leisure activities of the period. Support materials for use in the classroom prior to the students’ visit to the Museum are available on this website by clicking TEACHER SUPPORT MATERIALS. Materials include resource information, graphics, illustrations and activities. The program is offered February – March.

To book Learning History at Historic Places please contact the RJD Museum  at 508-997-1401 or email

Please click here for Education Support Materials and Evaluation Forms.

The Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum
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