Welcome back to nature programs at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary!

While nature interpretation continues to be unpredictable during a pandemic, the naturalist team at Swan Lake is excited to offer virtual nature programs! Programs are available Mon, Wed, and Thurs from 9am – 2pm, and Tues from 9am – 12pm.

Program Structure

Virtual programs will be 30 or 45 minutes long, depending on the grade, and include time for questions and discussion at the end. All virtual programs include a test run prior to the program to ensure high quality audio and video over Zoom (takes 5-10 minutes).

What does the teacher need?

  • Access to a computer and webcam
  • Internet connection
  • Projector and speakers

How to book a program:

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Spring 2021 Virtual Nature Program advert

Virtual Nature Program Descriptions:

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake
Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

Preschool – Grade 1 (30 minutes, $50)

Owls – Whooo cooks for you?! Let's learn about owl adaptations, local species, and the importance of these top predators!

Snakes - What makes a snake, a snake?! Explore how these animals move, eat, and survive though real props and live animals!

Raccoons – Get to know your clever and mischievous nocturnal neighbours though puppets, props and imaginary play!

Dragonflies & Damselflies – Join these dragons and damsels for an exciting adventure! Learn about their differences and similarities, amazing lifecycles, and essential adaptations as wetland insects!

Turtles – Come along with Wrinkles, the delightful Western painted turtle, to learn about these wonderful reptiles, their habitat, and their important role in the wetlands.

Grade 2 – Grade 5 (30 minutes, $50)

Raptors – They are not six-foot tall dinosaurs or basketball stars, but these carnivorous birds are equally impressive! Learn about their incredible hunting adaptations, the variety of local species, and their vital role in our ecosystems.

Mammals – They are furry, warm, and just like us! Discover the diversity of mammals on Vancouver Island, and the varied roles they play in nature.

Social Insects – Many legs make light work! Learn about the amazing social communities of bees, wasps and ants, and their incredible importance on our planet.

Reptiles & Amphibians – While reptiles and amphibians are often grouped together, they are equally as different! Meet live local and exotic species to learn about their astonishing adaptations and how we can support them and their habitat.

Wetland Ecosystems – Explore the constantly adapting environment of the wetland, the diverse animal and plant species it supports, and the crucial role these ecosystems play for all living things – including us!

Red legged frog photo
Red legged frog. Photo: Rob Bowen
Garry Oak Meadow flowers
Garry Oak Meadow flowers

Grade 6 – Grade 8 (45 minutes, $75)

Garry Oak Ecosystems – The southeastern tip of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands is home to a rare and precious ecosystem. In this program, we’ll explore the Indigenous knowledge of this unique ecosystem, the diverse animals and plants that live within it, and how we can each support this rare environment.

Ecological Restoration - In urban areas, natural spaces are often degraded or damaged though development, pollution, and invasive species. Come learn about what ecological restoration is, and the role we can play in improving these spaces to support us and wildlife.

Watershed & Wetlands – Follow the rain into the Swan Lake watershed to learn about our personal choices that impact our water, the vital role of wetlands in a climate crisis, and the diverse plant and animal life that this ecosystem supports.

Ecological Stewardship – Stewardship is creating a sense of connection, care, and responsibility for each other and the natural world that supports us. This program is designed to engage and encourage young stewards to seek out ways to support our environment and put their skills into action.

Animal Metamorphosis - Follow the lifecycles of various creatures from egg to adult and witness the massive changes that occur as an animal grows new body parts, loses others, and transforms their shape. Insect and amphibian metamorphosis will be explored as we learn more about the science of change!

As always, we welcome any feedback you can offer about program promotion, booking and delivery – your comments and suggestions are always appreciated!

Click here to find our feedback survey.