Adopt A Patch

Rewilded meadow with many vibrant green plants, dead woody debris, and blue sky in the distance.
Once a house, overgrown with exotic and invasive species, now a rewilded meadow!

Interested in ecological stewardship or restoration, but don’t know where to start?
Join us at the Nature Sanctuary to gain hands-on skills you can use in your own backyard!

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary launched Adopt A Patch in Fall 2022, where volunteer groups embrace and rehabilitate designated plots on the Nature Sanctuary grounds or waterways.

This program is ideal for families, schools, organizations, or other community service groups as a team building, learning and restoration activity. Activities are adaptive and accessible for a variety of abilities, group sizes and knowledge levels.

As we saw throughout British Columbia in the fall of 2021, flooding and subsequent erosion of river, lake, and wetland banks can be catastrophic! That is what makes it particularly important to restore riparian habitats (any land next to a water body) and increase the capacity of these areas to prevent excessive flooding, provide homes for native species, and filter pollution. There are many patches around Swan Lake which are overrun with invasive plant species and afford great opportunities for high-impact rehabilitation.

Your Adopt A Patch stewardship team will be trained to remove invasive species and restore native plants with hands-on activities. As the program develops, videos will supplement in-person learning, and participants will be able to advance through modules, learning restoration concepts and earning badges. This program will build your practical knowledge which you can then translate to conservation activities in your own backyard and neighbourhood.

Consider the Adopt A Patch program at the Nature Sanctuary this year, and see the positive impact you can make for climate resilience! For more information contact

Interested in a more casual trial? Consider our Tuesday Crew and Saturday efforts. Group restoration experiences are also available. You can book a 1-2 hour session with a staff member guiding (cost: $35/h for staff wages and tool rental).

Please be aware waivers are required for any restoration activities on site.

"The Adopt A Patch program has become one of the students' favourite parts of our environmental science program at school. We love the relationship we have with Swan Lake."

- Reynold's High School Teacher

"...[W]e made a positive impact. I hope it's a long term impact and others can do the same."

- Reynold's High School Student

"It's far more effective to talk about deforestation and habitat loss when you're actually in a forest. The only way it could be improved is just more. More going out, more learning on site, and in more schools. Great job, I really appreciate this awesome opportunity."

- Reynold's High School Student

World Cafe sessions provides volunteers a chance to share their Adopt A Patch experiences and feedback with the Nature Sanctuary.

World Cafe sessions provides volunteers a chance to share their Adopt A Patch experiences and feedback with the Nature Sanctuary.

Reynold's Reflections

Since Fall 2022, students from Reynold's High School have engaged in nature journalling, in addition to doing restoration and lessons in ethnobotany on site. Below are some of the thoughtful journals they put together.

1. Andie's Nature Journal -

2. Lily's Environmental Science Doc -

3. Brook & Finn's Podcast About Jeopardy

4. Menakahi & Pragya's Photo Journal -

5. Nico's Swan Lake Highlights Journal -

6. Sarah's Nature Journal, Featuring Pollinators -

7. Hanna's Nature Journal-

8. Nature Journal by Anonymous Writer -

9. Carson's Nature Journal -

10. Lisa's Nature Journal -

11. Kamila's Nature Journal -

12. Mya's Nature Journal -

13. Eoin's Nature Journal -

26. Maciah's Nature Journal -

27. Fergus's Nature Journal -

28. Edward's Nature Journal -

29. Jonah's Nature Journal -

30. Mason's Nature Journal -

31. Audio recording (Reynolds secondary school 4) – might need to download to play it?

32. Phyfer's Nature Journal -

33. Thea's Nature Journal -

34. Samantha's Nature Journal -

35. Berlin's Nature Journal -

36. Romy's Nature Journal -

37. Lillian's Nature Journal -