School Visits to the Nature Sanctuary!

We offer a range of hands-on educational opportunities on-site in the Nature House and on the sanctuary grounds and waterways. On-Site School programs are designed for districts 61, 62, 63, 64 and surrounding independent schools. All of our programs highlight Garry Oak and Wetland ecosystems and how learners can support local habitats by taking action in their local communities. They are held at the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary during the school year, from September until June. All programs are 60 minutes.

Follow us @SwanLakeNature to learn more!

Quick Links!

Our Policy, Prices and Schedule
Rocks & Fossils (Grades 5-11)
Adaptations (Grades 4-7)
Pacific Salmon Tank Talks (Grades K-12)
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

SarafinaWetlandProgram7_20220510_PhaedraOtwey-e1709231439869

Our Policy, Prices and Schedule

How To Book a Program

Go to the Booking Calendar to select a date for your program. You will be prompted to provide some information about your class.

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.

Class Size

The maximum number of student attendees per program is 30 (except for Wetlands & Watersheds which is capped at 18 students).

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 Scavenger Hunt , Invertebrate Checklist , Bird Checklist , do a litter pick up, and/or visit our Nature House critters including a Western Painted Turtle and various taxidermy. Please print out these checklists before arriving. We can lend out clipboards for your class.

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.

Indoor/Outdoor Programs

Some of these programs are entirely indoors depending on the season and weather. Certain programs focus on exploring different parts of site, while others focus on props, animals, or activities. Wetlands and Watersheds, Adaptations, Pollinators and Garry Oak Ecosystems are the best programs for exploring and learning outside. While Owls, Reptiles, Fossils and Salmon Tank Talks are best for experiencing the incredible assets that nature house has to offer.

We highly recommended arranging extra time to explore the nature house itself as well as the Nature Sanctuary grounds. If you are concerned about where your program will be taking place please contact us before booking  at programs@swanlake.bc.ca 

Price

All programs are $115

Availability

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

In this new program, students will learn about the rock cycle and become rock detectives. They will see some cool fossils, learn about past mass extinctions, and discuss how we can attempt to remedy the one we are currently in. 

This program takes place entirely indoors. Please make sure to allocate time to explore the wonderful trails and site before or after the program.

Rocks & Fossils is best aligned to the Grades 5, 7, 8, and 11 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

BC Curriculum Connections

Science Big Ideas

  • Grade 5 - Earth materials change as they move through the rock cycle and can be used as natural resources.
  • Grade 7 - Earth and its climate have changed over geological time.
  • Grade 8 - The theory of plate tectonics is the unifying theory that explains Earth’s geological processes.
  • Grade 11 - Earth materials are changed as they cycle through the geosphere and are used as resources, with economic and environmental implications.
  • Grade 11 - Plate tectonic theory explains the consequences of tectonic plate interactions.
Fossils
RaccoonSkull20210421_KaleneLillico1
Heron20200423_RobertFraser

From beaver teeth to mallard feathers, our local ecosystems are filled with complex and incredible adaptations! This program delves into the adaptations of various plants, animals and fungi that we can find right here at the Nature Sanctuary. We will discuss physical, behavioral and physiological adaptations, and how they have shaped different organisms and their roles in ecosystems. In this program, we will take short walks to different microclimates on site, as well as spend time viewing some incredible preserved specimens to consider their evolutionary strategies and mechanisms of survival.  Join us for ecological questioning and an immersive nature experience!

Adaptation is best aligned to the Grades 3-7 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

This is an outdoor program, please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

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 - 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 only offered seasonally from ~February to mid April*

Pacific salmon are a culturally and ecologically significant species in BC. Their role in food webs support over 137 plants and animals – such as trees, bears, and orcas. Through games and experiential activities, students will explore the salmon life stages, their anatomy, and stewardship. They will also have the opportunity to see our Coho young, raised from ends from the Goldstream Hatchery and World Fisheries Trust salmon incubation program. 

Salmon Tank Talks is best aligned to the K-Grade 7 and Grades 11-12 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

This program takes place entirely indoors. Please make sure to allocate time to explore the wonderful trails and site before or after the program.

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.
  • Grade 11 - Complex roles and relationships contribute to diversity 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.
EggsOnCloth2021-01-28_KaleneLillico
salmon stuffie 01 20230926
SarafinaWetlandProgram2_20220510_PhaedraOtwey
IMG_1011

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. 

Wetlands & Watersheds is best aligned to the K-Grade 4, Grades 7 & 11 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

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 18 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 predominantly outdoors. On the rare occasion, if there is very bad weather, we do part of the program indoors for the comfort of our participants. Please dress appropriately for the outdoors and any weather that may occur.

Garry Oak Ecosystems is best aligned to the Grades 3, 4, 5 & 7 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

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.
01MadiTeachingInShelter20220526 SHendersoncropped
XmasHillSpringSunset20220510CG
MiaWSANECelementary20221207SLH02-scaled
PeachyintheSun20220712SLH01-scaled-e1709234287375

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. Please make sure to allocate time to explore the wonderful trails and site before or after the program.

Reptiles is best aligned to the K-Grade 7 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

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. 

In the winter months, this program predominantly takes place entirely indoors. Please make sure to allocate time to explore the wonderful trails and site before or after the program. In the Spring and Fall, we incorporate a nature walk into the program.

Owls is best aligned to the K-Grade 7 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

BC Curriculum Standards Being Met
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.
BarredOwlsSnuggling20210401_RobertFraser
AxelMagnifyingGlassRewildedMeadow20220812SLH
Bombus20220627LarissaBron

*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 is available from March to June and September.

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

This program takes place outdoors.

Pollinators is best aligned to the Grade 7 and Grades 11-12 BC Science Curriculum. Please reach out to programs@swanlake.bc.ca to see how this program can be adapted to other audiences.

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]"
20230601144814109
IMG_6435

Have you recently attended one of our school or community programs?

Leave us a review on Chatterblock today!