Workshops at the Sanctuary

Learn about local ecosystems and increase your connection to nature!

Workshop page
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Lichen it! (an introduction to lichens)

This workshop introduces participants to noticing, identifying, and understanding the amazing lichens that surround us in our suburban and urban ecosystems. Build your knowledge around how to identify lichens, what a lichen is (or who they are), common local lichen species, lichen ecology, and discuss the ethics of collecting fallen lichens for various uses. There will be hand lenses to use for closeup lichen viewing, as well as a free lichen ID pamphlet to assist you in becoming familiar with our lichen neighbours! This workshop will tread respectfully, and acknowledge the unceded Indigenous territory on which we are learning. We will be sitting under a covered tent outdoors, then going for a walk around the nature sanctuary. Duration: 2 hours. Class size: 10-18 people. Price: $30. All materials will be provided. If you want to purchase a hand lens, it will be an additional $15.

About Tasha:

Natasha (Tasha) Lavdovsky is a neurodivergent artist & amateur lichenologist, who grew up in traditional W'SANEC First Nations unceded territory. In 2009 Tasha obtained a bachelor's degree in studio art and art history from Princeton University where she also studied geology, oceanography and environmental studies. Since 2011, Tasha has been committed to deepening her understanding of anti-colonial perspectives and environmental stewardship, which greatly informs her ecologically oriented interdisciplinary art practice. Tasha is a member of the Northwest Lichenologists Association, and spends her spare time looking for rare lichens and advocating for ethical ecosystem conservation.


Wild Mushroom Workshop and Field Trip

Stay tuned for 2023!

This workshop will cover essential elements of mushroom biology, uses and ID. Students are welcome to bring mushrooms to the in person Saturday session for identification and discussion.

Instructors and mushroom experts Andy MacKinnon and Kem Luther provide a fun and accessible approach to mushroom identification in the Victoria area and beyond.

COST: $40 for both sessions or $36 for members of Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary Society.

Two notes from the Instructors:

1. If you have a favourite mushroom identification book, please bring it. If you are considering purchasing an identification book, we highly recommend the Royal BC Museum Handbook "Mushrooms of BC" (available at the Nature House gift shop). (Disclaimer: we're the authors!)

2. There is also a terrific tool called 'MycoMatch' for mushroom identification. You can check it out here:

By registering for this course, you are committing to BOTH the Zoom workshop on Wednesday November 9 AND the in person, outdoor workshop on Saturday Nov 12, 10-12 (Location to be announced, but will be in the Greater Victoria BC area)