School Programs

School programs at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary are designed to connect and supplement teachers with BC's core learning objectives such as critical thinking, effective communication, and personal responsibility. By the end of our programs, learners will be inspired to support local habitats by taking action in their local communities. 

We have highlighted which programs best suit various grade levels and ages, but this does not limit you to that program. Our school programs also fulfill some requirements for Girl Guides and Scouts badges. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how any of these programs can be adapted to other audiences.

A reminder that the Nature Sanctuary is zoned for wildlife conservation, so please always leave pets at home.

Quick Links

Our Policy, Prices and Schedule
Wetlands & Watersheds (K-12)
Garry Oak Ecosystems (Grades 3-7)
Reptiles (Grades K-7)
Owls (Grades K-7)
Pollinators (Grades 7-12)

Booking Calendar

Teacher Testimonials

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Our Policy, Prices and Schedule

How To Book a Program

  • Go to the Booking Calendar to select a date for your program
  • To complete registration and reserve your booking, a payment will be required using a credit card
  • Please make sure to completely fill out the form including any needs of your students
  • We are unable to reserve time slots without payment at this time

Price

  • All programs are $115

Availability (until end of June 2024)

Tuesdays - Wednesdays

  • 9:30 - 10:30 AM
  • 10:45 - 11:45 AM
  • 12:30 - 1:30 PM
  • 1:45 - 2:45 PM
Thursdays
  • 9:30 - 10:30 AM
    10:45 - 11:45 AM
  • 12:30 - 1:30 PM

Class Size

  • Our maximum capacity is one class of up to 30 students per program (except for Wetlands & Watersheds which is capped at 20 students).
  • Unfortunately, we do not have the staff to support simultaneous programming for 2 classes

Indoor/Outdoor Programs

  • Please check the individual program descriptions for whether your program is indoors or outdoors
  • If you have any questions or concerns about where your program will be taking place please contact us before booking  at programs@swanlake.bc.ca 

Preparing For Your Upcoming Program

Cancellation Policy

  • We require 48 hours notice for cancellations with a full refund
  • Any cancellation within 48 hours before the class starts or any no-shows are non-refundable
  • It puts a lot of strain on a small non-profit organization to offer refunds or make last minute changes; we appreciate your understanding!

Bus Parking

Grades K - 5: Gain an understanding and record our observations of wetland environments through hands-on examination of the plants, aquatic invertebrates, birds, and mammals that make Swan Lake their home. 

Grades 6 - 12: We will train students to conduct various water quality assessments to understand the health of the lake by making measurements about the aquatic invertebrate community, dissolved oxygen, and other water chemistry. Students will gain an understanding of how their actions on-site and at home can support the resilience of freshwater water systems. 

This program takes place outdoors, rain or shine. Appropriate clothing may include but is not limited to rain gear, boots, and sunscreen. 

Due to the size of the Founders Wharf, this program is limited to 20 students for safety and comfort.

BC Curriculum Connections

Science Big Ideas

  • Kindergarten - Plants and animals have observable features.
  • Kindergarten - Daily and seasonal changes affect all living things.
  • Grade 1 - Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment.
  • Grade 2 - Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment.
  • Grade 2 - Water is essential to all living things, and it cycles through the environment.
  • Grade 3 - Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems.
  • Grade 4 - All living things sense and respond to their environment.
  • Grade 7 - Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
  • Grade 11 - Complex roles and relationships contribute to diversity of ecosystems.
  • Grade 11 - Changing ecosystems are maintained by natural processes.
  • Grade 11 - Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems.
  • Grade 11 - Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems.
  • Grade 12 - Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
  • Grade 12 - Human activities cause changes in the global climate system.
  • Grade 12 - Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.

Did you know that Garry Oak Ecosystems are home to the highest diversity of plants in coastal British Columbia, including nearly 100 species at risk? We will explore ecosystem components in context with Garry Oak Meadows and how the organisms living here interact. From fungi to weevils, this program dives into the extraordinary world of Garry Oak Ecosystems! This program will include different hands-on activities and a short walk outside.

This program takes place outdoors.

BC Curriculum Connections

Science Big Ideas

  • Grade 3 - Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems.
  • Grade 4 - All living things sense and respond to their environment.
  • Grade 5 - Earth materials change as they move through the rock cycle and can be used as natural resources.
  • Grade 7 - Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.

This popular program investigates the world of the cold blooded species! Students will learn what makes reptiles so unique, discover the importance of reptiles, as well discuss the native and invasive species common in our area. They might even get to meet a special guest! 

This program takes place entirely indoors

BC Curriculum Connections

Science Big Ideas

  • Kindergarten - Plants and animals have observable features.
  • Kindergarten - Daily and seasonal changes affect all living things.
  • Grade 1 - Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment.
  • Grade 2 - Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment.
  • Grade 3 - Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems.
  • Grade 4 - All living things sense and respond to their environment.
  • Grade 5 - Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment.
  • Grade 6 - Multicellular organisms rely on internal systems to survive, reproduce, and interact with their environment.
  • Grade 7 - Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.

In this program, students will look at the amazing world of owls through specimens, props, dissected owl pellets and owl calls. They will explore how these incredible raptors survive, how we can protect them and what species of owls we might spot here on the island. Please note that we cannot guarantee a real owl sighting on site during the program.

This program takes place predominantly outdoorsPlease dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur

BC Curriculum Connections
Science Big Ideas

  • Kindergarten - Plants and animals have observable features.
  • Kindergarten - Daily and seasonal changes affect all living things.
  • Grade 1 - Living things have features and behaviors that help them survive in their environment.
  • Grade 2 - Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment.
  • Grade 3 - Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems.
  • Grade 4 - All living things sense and respond to their environment.
  • Grade 5 - Multicellular organisms have organ systems that enable them to survive and interact within their environment.
  • Grade 6 - Multicellular organisms rely on internal systems to survive, reproduce, and interact with their environment.
  • Grade 7 - Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.

*This program is offered seasonally from mid-April to end of June and September.*

Join us and learn to monitor pollinator biodiversity in a rewilded meadow on-site. We will train students to monitor biodiversity using the iNaturalist and Seek apps. Students will learn to make research quality observations. Students will also take a break from their screens and use field guides (Nature Sanctuary-provided) and journals to sketch their observations.

Suggested equipment for students to bring along:
- a journal/sketchbook with writing implements
- students with smartphones are encouraged to bring them for this program

This program takes place outdoors.

BC Curriculum Connections

Science Big Ideas

  • Grade 7 - Evolution by natural selection provides an explanation for the diversity and survival of living things.
  • Grade 11 - Complex roles and relationships contribute to diversity of ecosystems.
  • Grade 11 - Changing ecosystems are maintained by natural processes.
  • Grade 11 - Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems.
  • Grade 11 - Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems.
  • Grade 12 - Human actions affect the quality of water and its ability to sustain life.
  • Grade 12 - Human activities cause changes in the global climate system.
  • Grade 12 - Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.

Teacher Testimonials!

"Even the more reluctant students were, by the end of the program, digging deep into their owl pellets and showing excitement to have identified specific bones!"

"[The best part of the program was] the amount of information shared, and the variety of activities, and it was geared perfectly to Grades 4 and 5 students. Thank you."
"My students loved learning about the water cycle and what various pollutants can do to the rivers, streams, lakes, etc. The hands on part kept my students engaged."
"The combination of the hands on learning with the owl pellet dissection as well as the visual with the costume as they taught about adaptations [was the best part of the program]"
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