AdoptAPatch Orange Circle
Rewilded meadow with many vibrant green plants, dead woody debris, and blue sky in the distance.
A rewilded meadow that was once a house, overgrown with exotic and invasive species.

Interested in ecological stewardship, but don’t know where to start?

Come to the Nature Sanctuary to gain hands-on invasive plant management skills you can use in your own backyard.

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary launched a new program in 2022 Adopt A Patch, 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

Not interested in consistent ongoing restoration? Consider Tuesday and Saturday crew. If you have a group of folx interested in one  restoration experience, you can also 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.

Have you attended a restoration session at the Nature Sanctuary before? If so, we want your feedback!

Take the Survey!

This 23-question survey is designed to gain insight from people who have volunteered in restoration or stewardship at the Nature Sanctuary.

Our goal is to better understand how restoration & stewardship activities affect volunteers' physical and mental health, wellness, and pro-environmental behaviour. Further, we hope to better understand which communities are engaging in these programs.

Your responses will be treated confidentially and will not be seen by anyone outside of the Nature Sanctuary. Summary data will be used to create infographics

As a thank you, all those who share their views will be entered into a draw for a native plant gift. 🌿
Don't delay!  The deadline is Tuesday September 12th!
"Even though not many of us realized how much we did, we made a positive impact. I hope it's a long term impact and others can do the same."
- Reynold's Highschool Student
"The Adopt A Patch program has become one of the students favorite parts of our environmental science program at school. We love the relationship we have with Swan Lake."
- Reynold's Highschool Teacher
The Adopt a Patch program supplies groups of volunteers with the necessary tools to restore their patch.
Ecosystem Restoration
Youth Volunteers from the Invasive Species Council of BC adopted their patch in January 2023. Approximately 10 bags of invasive Himalayan blackberry was removed (shown here) in their first session!
"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 Highschool 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.
Wetland Steward Sticker
Garry Oak Steward Sticker

Reynold's Reflections

Since Fall 2022, students from Reynold's Highschool 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 -