Community Programs

Winter & Spring Registration Opening Soon!

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.

Youth Programs

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. These programs will specifically benefit our endangered Western Painted Turtle population, the only remaining native turtle species on Vancouver Island.

Bring lunch, snacks, and a water bottle. 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 Feb 17th - Registration URL

Pro-D Camp - Friday May 19th - Registration URL

Ages 8-12

9-4pm

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

Pro-D Registration for Winter & Spring opening soon!

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happy father carrying little girl on shoulder.

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 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

December 2nd - Remarkable Reptiles - Registration URL

January 6th - Fungi and Lichen - Registration URL

February 3rd - Rockin' Reptiles - Registration URL

March 3rd - Magnificent Mammals - Registration URL

Apil 7th - Incredible Invertebrates - Registration URL

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.

February

Ages 5-7 Registration URL

1-2:30pm

$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Thursday February 2, 9, 16, 23

April

Ages 8-12 Registration URL

1-2:30pm

$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Thursday April 6, 13, 20, 27

Three children look over a map in the outdoors.

Adult Programs

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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

Final Session: November 26, 11:15 - 12:15 Registration URL

$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 +

Wellness Wednesdays Journalling Series

Weekly, 1 - 2 PM

Wellness Wednesdays offer a space for participants to connect with themselves, nature and community through mindfulness, gentle silence and observational activities in nature. This winter, we invite you to engage in our indoor journalling series that will include guided wellness activities, time and space for expression, and shared reflections. This program aims to evoke thoughtful reflections on what it means to exist with, among or nearby nature and how nature holds expressions of us all. Each session will have a focal theme that relates to positionality in nature and sparks the discussion. We may explore pieces of art or literature that align with the topic to help inspire and prompt introspection. A Community Educator will guide participants through journalling prompts. This program is community orientated and aims to bring us closer to nature and each other!

Themes:

Belonging in Nature: Wednesday November 9 Registration URL

Gratitude in Nature: Wednesday November 16 Registration URL

Queerness in Nature: Wednesday November 23 Registration URL

Cost: $5 per participant

If cost is a barrier to attending this program, please reach out.

 

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Seniors Programs

Asian senior woman sitting on the wheelchair with family happy smile face on the green park

Available Time Slots:

Tuesday:

1:30 – 2:30

Thursday:

11:30 -12:30

Friday:

11:00 – 12:00

12:30 – 1:30

Please email programs@swanlake.bc.ca to confirm time and date.

We are in the process of re-launching our Senior Programs, new programs options will be added once they are created. Some of our old favourites like ‘Mind your Mammals’ & ‘History and tea’ will be coming back over the next few months, we just need time to make them perfect!

Bookable programs:

Hawks, Herons & Hummers

1 hour Program

Take flight with us as we explore the lives of various birds and how their habitat, characteristics and behaviours differ from one another.

We will be focusing on birds that you can find around the Nature Sanctuary, listening to their calls and showing off their beautiful nests which have been donated to the Nature House.

This educational program is aimed to help the community fall back in love with birds, and allow participants to have a hands-on learning experience.

Maximum Group Size: 28 attendees

Cost: $115

All Ages Programs

A Closer Look!

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

This all-ages, fun and educational Community Program offers participants an opportunity to take a closer look at various aspects of the natural world. This program makes use of our incredible Microeye, a user-friendly microscope that allows us to zoom into intricacies and designs we would never notice with the naked eye! Each session will have a unique topic which we will discuss as we view related props under the Microeye. For this program we ask participants to bring in some items they would like to view under the Microeye, bonus if they are related to the topic, but this is not a requirement.

This program runs on Wednesdays, beginning November 2nd, from 10:30 - 11:30 AM

All ages, children must be accompanied by an adult for the entirety of the program

Cost: $5 per participant

Themes:

Fungi, Lichen, and Slime Mold: Wednesday November 9 Registration URL

Life, Death, and Decomposition: Wednesday November 16 Registration URL

Bones and Builds: Wednesday November 23 Registration URL

If cost is a barrier to attending this program, please reach out. Please see collection guidelines while registering if bringing items from off site.

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Nets and other equipment ready for invertebrate sampling on a dock

Wetland Waterkeepers

Returning in Spring 2023!
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.

Pollinator Party in a Rewilded Meadow

Returning in Spring 2023!
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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Program Inquiries

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