Community Programs

 

We offer a range of hands-on educational opportunities on-site in the Nature House and on the sanctuary grounds and waterways. A reminder that the Nature Sanctuary is zoned for wildlife conservation, so please always leave pets at home.

Can I book a program for my group as a private booking?

Yes! All programs except Junior Stewards and Home School Science can be booked for private groups at a rate of $115 using our online booking calendar. Please read the description of the programs carefully and ensure that the number of participants is under our group size limit. 

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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, Junior Stewards will learn about different ecosystems, engage in hands-on restoration, take part in nature based activities, and spend exploring the outdoors with our environmental educators.

Bring lunch, snacks, and a water bottle and a backpack. This program will have an indoor and outdoor component with health & safety guidelines in place. Please dress ready to spend the day outside including sun & rain protection.

Summer Camps

July 23rd-26th (ages 5-8)

Time: 9:30am - 3:30pm

Cost: $275 for non-members; 10% discount for members

August 6th-9th (ages 9-12)

Time: 9:30am - 3:30pm

Cost: $275 for non-members; 10% discount for members

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Notes: 

  • We are unable to reserve time slots without payment
  • To complete registration and reserve your booking, a payment will be required using a credit card
  • You will be prompted to provide some information about the participant(s) including a waiver
  • We require 48 hours, or 2 business days, notice for cancellations. Any cancellations within 48h before the class starts or any no-shows are non-refundable.
  • Junior Stewards has a cancellation fee of $15, regardless of when the cancellation is requested. 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.
  • Home learner caregivers - please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca if an invoice is required for third party payment. Please do not book the program and request a refund for reimbursement.

IMPORTANT: If you anticipate that your child requires extra support (e.g. medical or learning needs), please contact programs@swanlake.bc.ca prior to booking to ensure the program is a good fit for everyone.

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 hands-on discovery, an outside ramble, a story and a craft.

Who: Ages 3-5

When: 10:00 - 11:30 am

Cost: $24 for 1 session, $8 per extra little, 10% Discount for Members

Maximum Group Size: 10 Big & Little pairs

 

June 7th - Purposeful Pollinators 

July 5th - Outstanding Owls

August 2nd - Remarkable Reptiles

September 6th - Riveting Racoons

Cancellation fee: $15. 20230109

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Private Groups:

Cost: $115 per group; no additional discounts.

Maximum Group Size: 25. We highly recommend a ratio of at least 1 adult: 5 children. 

Accessibility: If you have accessibility needs, please reach out ahead of time so we can work to accommodate you: programs@swanlake.bc.ca

Please let us know which Big & Little topic you would like in the notes in the booking form.

Homeschool Science - Returning in Fall 2024

Sign up for interactive classes and learn about nature and ecology. Using nature based learning, games and hands-on discovery, students will engage in land and science-based activities.

Home learner caregivers - please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca if an invoice is required for third party payment. Please do not book the program and request a refund for reimbursement.

Cancellation fee: $25. 20230109

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Guided Walks at the Nature Sanctuary*

*Note that the Guided Walk schedule will be changing in July 2024; times listed in the booking calendar are accurate.

Our Guided Walks help visitors to gain an understanding of the ecological, cultural, and historical context of this place. Join an educator on a gentle walk to learn more about one of three topics.  Each walk is between 30-45 minutes, including time for questions.

Cultural History Guided Walk (Fridays at 11:00am) – On this walk you will learn about the rich cultural history of the site including Indigenous history of the area, post-colonial activities that occurred at and near Swan Lake, and how the Nature Sanctuary became what it is today.

Ecology Guided Walk (Fridays at 1:00pm) – During this tour, you will learn about the geological processes that formed the land features, the unique and diverse ecosystems that exist here, and some of the species that call the Nature Sanctuary their home. We will also talk about the restoration activities that take place on site to protect important habitats.

Native Plant Garden Guided Walk (Thursdays at 2:00pm) – We will spend our time in the Native Plant Garden near the Nature House. We will discuss the importance of native plants and what you can do to protect them. You will learn about some of the plants growing in the garden and discover what is in bloom seasonally.

 

Cost: $10 per participant
If cost is a barrier to attending this program, please reach out: programs@swanlake.bc.ca

Who: All ages welcome. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Children under 6 are free.

Accessibility: If you have accessibility needs, please reach out ahead of time so we can work to accommodate you: programs@swanlake.bc.ca. All of the Guided Walks can be made wheelchair-accessible.

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Bird Walk Leaders

Private Groups

Cost: $115 per group; no additional discounts.

Maximum Group Size: 12

Nets and other equipment ready for invertebrate sampling on a dock

Private Groups

Please book our Wetlands & Watersheds program.

Wetland Waterkeepers

Select Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:00am

Wetlands, also referred to as “the kidneys of the Earth” due to 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 because they produce large volumes of food and provide ideal habitat conditions for many organisms.

During this program, collect water quality data, gain an understanding of our local watershed, and discuss how your actions can support the resilience of critical wetland habitat.

Gather on the Founder's Wharf.

Pollinator Party in a Rewilded Meadow

Select Wednesdays, 10:00 - 11:00 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 produced. 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. 

During this program, we will train stewards to monitor biodiversity using the iNaturalist and Seek apps, a global data collection repository.  

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

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Private Groups

Please book our Pollinators program.

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Education Assistants

Caregiver Testimonials

"This program could not have been as fun, educational and memorable without the instructors. I love that they included games, crafts and a mix of indoor/ outdoor. The structure of this program could not have been better. I loved that they were so welcoming and adaptive to different kid personalities."

"My son really enjoyed the pond dipping and the owl pellet dissection. There was a fun mix of talking, games, movement and nature objects. Madi and Andy and Aven were so friendly and enthusiastic."

 

Adult Program Testimonials:

"The nature educator’s passion for the subject was obvious which contributed to an interesting and exciting program overall."

"The vibe of the presentation was great. I really enjoyed getting the chance to have a hands on look at the mushrooms, and the walk around the park was the icing on the cake!"

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