Community Programs

Junior Stewards

Registration now open!

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.

Participant Group Size: 10 Maximum

½ Day Week-Long Summer Camp July 11-15

Ages 5 - 7

8:30-12:30pm  

Cost: $140/non-members, $125/members

 ½ Day Week-Long Summer Camp August 8-12 

Ages 8 - 12 

8:30-12:30pm

Cost: $140/non-members, $125/members

Homeschool Science

This series of four 90-Minute classes is for home-learners aged 5 to 7 years. We provide hands-on, nature themed programs with games, discovery and activities which encourage land- and science-based learning while socializing with other home learners.

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

Ages 5 - 7
10:00 - 11:30 am
$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on May 6, 13, 20, 27.

Ages 8 - 12
1:00 - 2:30 pm
$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on May 6, 13, 20, 27

Summer 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.

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

June

Ages 5 - 7
10:00 - 11:30 am
$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Friday June 3, 10, 17, 24

Ages 8 - 12
1:00 - 2:30 pm
$105 for all 4 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Friday June 3, 10, 17, 24

July

Ages 8 - 12
2:00 - 4:00 pm
$105 for all 3 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Tuesday July 5, 12, 19

August

Ages 5 - 7
2:00 - 4:00 pm
$105 for all 3 sessions, $95 for members

These sessions will occur on Tuesday August 9, 16, 23, 30

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 bring a curious, respectful, and open-minded spirit.

All programs are pay by donation; registration and waivers are required.

All Ages Programs

Wetland Waterkeepers
Bi-Weekly, 9 - 10 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
Bi-Weekly, 9 - 10 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.

Adult Programs

Wellness Walks
Weekly, 1 - 2 PM

Wellness Walks are on hiatus until summer.

In this mindfulness practice, we will offer a space for participants to connect with themselves, nature, and each other. Participants will either be guided on the Summit Loop Trail (0.6km) on Christmas Hill (meeting at the Trail head by Nicholson St. and Nelthrope Rd) or the Lake Loop Trail (2.5km) (meeting in front of the Nature House). Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

How To Book Community Programs

Go to the Spring Booking Calendar to select a date for your program.

You will be prompted to provide some information about your child.

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.

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 download and fill out required medical documentation and send to programs@swanlake.bc.ca at least 7 days before program start.

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

Cancellation Policy

We require 48 hours notice for cancellations. Any cancellation within 48h before class start or any no-shows is non-refundable.

Program Inquiries

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