Green History connects a contemporary sustainability issue to its colonial equivalent. This innovative concept in interpreting history was developed and implemented in 2014, with exhibits and visitor experiences designed and curated on the themes of soil, water, energy, and food waste, and was expanded with interactive museum theatrical performances. Through the lens of history, Green History transforms visitors into informed decision makers related to today’s environmental issues.


  • History gives Environmental Issues CONTEXT / EMOTION
  • Current-day enviro-issues give history RELEVANCE
  • Looking at History Backwards to find causation means looking at DECISIONS
  • Learning about decisions is EMPOWERING

It’s more than a program – it’s an experience!

Green History Exhibit

Great for girl scouts, families, or anyone interested in both the environment and history.

  • Exhibit and colonial experience normal weekend hours:
    • Saturdays 10-4
    • Free Admission!

The Science of Soil: Opens April 8, 2017

Ever wonder what it would be like to be able to shrink yourself to the size of a mole and travel beneath the soil to explore a magical world beneath your feet? Accokeek Foundation presents “Underspace! The Science of Soil,” an interactive, family-friendly experience that connects the current-day importance of healthy soil to our colonial past.

This immersive, glow-in-the dark exhibit reveals what most people take for granted — the intricate web of life that resides in healthy soil. Our resident “Soil Explorer” will then introduce you to environmentally friendly ways to feed the soil,  so that you may zoom back to the year 1770 just in the nick of time to pass the knowledge along to the Bolton Family. If you’re brave, grab a hoe and get your hands dirty in order to save the farm!

Water Conservation

Deciding what to have for lunch based on its impact on the environment? One hidden factor most people don’t consider is a food’s “water footprint.” Explore the secret life of water in our eye-opening exhibit “H2oooh!” and then travel back in time to take a look at how the colonials lived with 20 times less of this precious resource. Don’t be surprised if the residents of the National Colonial Farm engage you in a friendly discussion about their water habits or enlist you to help them cook or tend to the garden.

Food Waste

Rediscover the lost arts of food preservation and composting while helping us save the planet!  Did you know that each day Americans throw away enough food to fill the Rose Bowl Stadium? Learn about the history of food waste in our country while having fun learning new skills. Take a spin on our composting bicycle and then interact with the residents of the National Colonial Farm as they “put up” foods to prepare for the winter.

Energy Conservation

In colonial times, families woke and slept according to the natural light. Today we’ve overridden nature’s rhythm with technological advances, but at what cost (both environmentally and financially?) This fall we invite you back to a simpler time to gather around the fire, dip candles, and hear stories. In addition, visit our energy conservation exhibit to learn how to spot energy hogs in your home.

Upcoming Green History Events