On-Site Programs are available for booking!

On-Site School Programs

On-Site School programs are designed for districts 61, 62, 63, 64 and surrounding independent schools. They are held at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary during the school year, from September until June. All programs are 60 minutes.

Class Size

Please note: the maximum number of student attendees per program is 28. Unfortunately, we do not have the staff to support simultaneous programming for 2 classes.The class not participating in a program could walk around the lake, do a Swan Lake Scavenger Hunt (click here for a Nature House scavenger hunt and here for an outside photo scavenger hunt), do a litter pick up, and/or visit our Nature House critters including a Western Painted Turtle and Garter Snakes.

Cancellation Policy

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.

Bus Parking

Please use alternate parking for any school buses.

Preparing For Your Upcoming Program

We will send a confirmation email of your registration along with instructions for how best to prepare, which can also be found here. Please check your junk mail for these instructions.

Prices:

Owls: $165

Wetlands & Watersheds: $135

Garry Oak Meadow, Pollinators, Snakes: $115

Time Slots available are:

Tuesdays

10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15

Wednesdays

11:00-12:00

Thursdays

10:00 - 11:00
11:15 - 12:15

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Wetlands & Watersheds

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. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

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. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

*Note: Wetlands & Watersheds is only available on Tuesdays

Pollinators (Grades 6 - 12)

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; the latter is an educational tool designed to train students in species identification and nature journaling without posting to iNaturalist. 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. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.
Equipment:
- a journal/sketchbook with writing implements
- students with smartphones are encouraged to bring them for this program

This program is available from March to June and September.

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Meadow Magic (Grades 3 - 8)

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? Join us at the Nature Sanctuary and learn what makes this ecosystem so incredible! This program will include different hands-on activities and a short walk outside. 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!

Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

Reptiles

This popular program investigates the world of the cold blooded species! These scaly and slimy creatures and their incredible adaptations will be explored through discussion, activities and living examples of these amazing animals! We will discover the importance of reptiles, as well as the native and invasive species common in our area. Students will learn the differences between reptiles and amphibians, focusing on the adaptations of our in-house reptiles.

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Owls

We will look at the amazing world of owls through specimens, props, dissected owl pellets and owl calls. In this program students will explore the role owls play in local ecosystems as well as some of the finer details of their magnificent adaptations! Students will learn how these incredible raptors survive, how we can protect them and what species of owls we might spot here on the island. This program also includes an owl pellet dissection.