Community Programs

Fall Registration Now Open!

How To Book Community Programs

  1. Go to the Booking Calendar to select a date for your program. You will be prompted to provide some information about you or your child.
  2. To complete registration and reserve your booking, a payment will be required using a credit card. We are unable to reserve time slots without payment at this time.
  3. Complete the associated Waiver Form for the program:
    • Junior Stewards, Homeschool Science, and Summer Science: complete our Medical and Waiver Form and send to programs@swanlake.bc.ca at least 7 days before program start. Your registration is not considered complete until this form is received. You can also bring in the completed form to the Nature House (please see hours).

IMPORTANT: If you anticipate that your child requires extra support (neurodivergent, for example: ADHD) – please contact programs@swanlake.bc.ca prior to booking to ensure the program is a good fit for everyone.

Please call 250-479-0211 or email programs@swanlake.bc.ca if you have any questions.

CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS:

We require 48 hours notice for cancellations. Any cancellation within 48h before class start or any no-shows is non-refundable. It puts a lot of strain on a small non-profit organization to offer refunds (due to staff time and the cost of issuing e-transfers). We appreciate your understanding.

Junior Stewards

Stewardship is about creating a sense of connection, care, and responsibility for each other and the natural world that supports us. In these outdoor, hands-on sessions, young stewards will be introduced to the Garry Oak ecosystem, and then learn and practice restoration skills.

Bring lunch, snacks provided. This program will have an indoor and outdoor component with health & safety guidelines in place. Please dress ready to spend the day outside. This is a drop-off program.

Participant Group Size: 10 Maximum

Pro-D Camp - Friday Oct 21st 

Ages 7-10

9-3pm

Cost: $80/non-members, 10% discount for members

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Big & Little

Caregivers and their littles are invited to come explore nature at the Nature Sanctuary together! Big & Little is a fun and interactive program for kids ages 3-5 and their adults. This program includes include hands-on discovery, an outside ramble, a story and a craft.

Classes are on Fridays, from 10:00 – 11:30am. Check out our the dates and themes below!

Ages 3 - 5

10:00 - 11:30 am$24 for 1 session, $8 per extra little

10% Discount for Members

Participant Group Size: 10 Big & Little pairs

September 9th - Incredible Insects

October 7th - Brilliant Birds

November 4th - Outstanding Owls

December 2nd - Remarkable Reptiles

Homeschool Science

Sign up for interactive classes and learn about nature and ecology. Using games and hands-on discovery, students will engage in land and science based activities. This is a repeating series and the content will in large remain the same, however, there will be some variation depending on seasonal changes. This is a drop-off program.

These programs will have an indoor and outdoor component with health & safety guidelines in place.

November 

Ages 7-10

1-2:30pm

$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Thursday November 3, 10, 17, 24.

Three children look over a map in the outdoors.

Marvelous Mushrooms

Did you know that humans are more closely related to Fungi than we are to any other kingdom? Or that Split Gill Fungus grows on every continent except Antarctica and has over 28,000 different sexes? Join us at The Sanctuary to delve into the incredible world of fungi and their amazing roles in ecosystems and society. Whether you are a mycophile, have fungiphobia or are somewhere in between we can assure this program will prove that fungi are impressive to say the least!

This program is for beginners to this incredible kingdom and will cover identification basics, the roles and uses of fungi, the dangers of fungi and much more! This hour-long program will be held inside and participants will be encouraged to take a self-guided fungi walk at the end.  

Weekly September to mid-November

Saturdays 11:15-12:15

$20, 10% discount for members
If cost is a barrier to attending this program, we offer a sliding scale to make it more accessible. 

This is an adult program for participants ages 17 +

Drop-in Community Programs (by donation)

Join us on Wednesdays for one of our Drop-In Community Programs. This is a new initiative to bring community together and engage them in important biodiversity monitoring work. Contribute to community-led research with either one of our biomonitoring programs designed for all ages which includes the Pollinator Party and Wetland Waterkeepers. Or find peace on a guided wellness walk designed for adults.

Program structure will largely be driven by the interests of the community. There will be a Community Educator facilitating a learning and teaching cycle among the participants. There will be an education component to these activities, but we encourage participants to share their knowledge with others as well as to bring a curious, respectful, and open-minded spirit.

All drop-in programs are pay by donation. Registration and waivers are required.

All Ages Programs

Wetland Waterkeepers
Bi-Weekly, 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society has designed a lake water quality monitoring program that will train community members as Wetland Waterkeepers. Wetlands, also referred to as “the kidneys of the Earth” because of their ability to filter out contaminants, are areas that are saturated long enough to result in anaerobic or low-oxygen soils. These bogs, swamps and open water protect us from flooding, drought and climate change.  Wetlands support a remarkable degree of biodiversity, as much as rainforests and coral reefs, because they produce large volumes of food and provide ideal habitat conditions for many organisms. Swan Lake’s wetlands flourish with abundant plant and animal life, from cattails and muskrats to red osier dogwood and nesting warblers.

Volunteers will work alongside our staff team and other local community leaders in a collaborative framework to make meaningful, positive changes to the Nature Sanctuary's sensitive marshland ecosystems. We will train stewards to conduct various water quality assessments to understand the health of the lake by making measurements about the aquatic arthropod community, dissolved oxygen, and other water chemistry. Waterkeepers will also gain an understanding of their local watershed and how their actions on-site and at home can support the resilience of critical wetland habitat. The impact of this stewardship work on site will positively benefit various sensitive wetland species such as the endangered Western Painted Turtle population.
Gather on the Founder's Wharf.

Nets and other equipment ready for invertebrate sampling on a dock

Pollinator Party in a Rewilded Meadow
Bi-Weekly, 10:30 - 11:30 AM

Join us to help monitor pollinator biodiversity in a rewilded meadow on-site using iNaturalist and field-guides. For roughly 100 million years, insects and flowering plants have lived in harmony, with insects transporting nutritious (for them) pollen from plant to plant so that seeds are produces. This ancient symbiotic relationship is essential for human food security and the persistence of all wildlife. Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, and buffer the planet from climate change.  Today these relationships are at risk as pollinators and plants can respond differently to cues from a warming climate. Our community-led monitoring will help to support sensitive and threatened plant and animal species.

We will train stewards to monitor biodiversity using the iNaturalist and Seek apps, the latter is an educational tool designed to train students in species identification and nature journaling without posting to iNaturalist. Participants will learn to make research quality observations. Participants will also take a break from their screens and use field guides and journals to sketch their observations. Once participants are confident at making careful observations and have completed their modules, they can start contributing to the global community and its data repository.

Gather by the covered bike rack/information kiosk in the parking lot.

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Adult Programs

Wellness Wednesdays & Serenity Saturdays
Weekly, 1 - 2 PM

 

Wellness Wednesdays offer a space for participants to connect to with themselves, nature and community through mindfulness, gentle silence and observational activities in nature. The program will vary each week and activities will range from short, guided walks, art in nature, quiet observation, soundscapes and more! Guided walks will be close to the Nature House on flat ground. Participants will meet at the white tent in front of the Nature House, unless otherwise specified. This program focuses on doing less, being still and taking a step back from the busy world around us. If you have mobility issues, please email our educational staff at programs@swanlake.bc.ca as we will work to accommodate your needs.

Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

 

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Program Inquiries

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