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Wonders of Wetlands
Grades 5 & 8
Get out of the classroom and near a body of water (either a local pond or a wetland in the Park) to discover what types of plants and animals call ponds home! Through hands-on activities, students will learn more about wetland ecosystems. Students will have the opportunity to search for wetland creatures, capture them in nets provided by the Parks Council, and observe them up close using their pond dipping kits. We will also take a look at riparian habitats, water quality, evidence of terrestrial animals, and the importance of wetlands for our local environment. Different focuses will be made to match different grade’s curriculum links.
Natural Notions Eco-Hikes
Preschool – Grade 3
Join the Parks Council for a relaxing jaunt through the Boreal Forest. On the way, we will share with you our knowledge of the local flora & fauna that can be found just outside of Drayton Valley. Students will utilize all of their senses during several fun activities along the way. We’ll listen for wildlife and other forest sounds, search the underbrush for insects, feel the difference between sunlight and shade, and even imagine what it’s like to be an animal living in the Boreal Forest.
Trees & Forests
Grades 4 & 6
Learn about the unique characteristics of our Boreal Forest as well as the plants and wildlife that inhabit it! This program is also an interpretive hike along one of our beautiful trails. Students will learn how to identify some common tree and shrub species, how to determine the age of a tree, what sort of adaptations trees and animals have to survive the Boreal climate, and more!
Science of Snow
Students will learn how snowflakes are formed and create some snowflakes of their own during this program! They will also learn about winter animal adaptations that allow wildlife in Alberta to survive our long winters. Students will then venture outside to build quinzee snow shelters for their little critters and have some fun playing interactive games which teach them about winter habitats and hibernation.
Secondary Grades (Grade 8)
Students will do a scientific study on snow and determine the amount of snow and water in an area through calculations including volume, mass, and area. Students will also learn about animal adaptations in the winter and how snowfall affects the environment.
Explore the world of decomposers from a bug’s eye view! In this program, students will discover what types of plants, animals, and fungi are nature recyclers! Through hands-on activities, students will learn more about how plant and animal waste and dead matter is recycled in our world. Students will have the opportunity to search for decomposers in the forest and search through soil samples to observe them up close. We will discuss the importance of these sometimes overlooked creatures for humans and the environment. This program can be delivered while visiting a local trail system, a Parks Council recreational facility, or a forested area behind or near your school.
Geocaching (currently not available)
This program will teach students how to use a GPS and provide an opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of GPS vs. a compass. Students will then go on a high-tech treasure hunt for caches placed along the trails! The Parks Council will supply the GPS’, maps and other materials required for this program. Students and teachers are invited to bring small trinkets or treasures of their own (ex. Key chains, pens, bracelet, etc.) to leave in the caches once they are found.
Marvelous Misunderstood Bats
Preschool – Grade 6
Bats play a very important role in our Boreal ecosystem and need our protection! During this interactive presentation, students will learn all about the different kinds of bats in Alberta and throughout the world. We will explore the parts of a bat, food sources, special adaptations (i.e. hibernation and echolocation), and threats to bat survival. Students will also have the chance to participate in fun games that allow them to experience the world as a bat! Different focuses will be made to match different grade curriculum links.
Introduction to Outdoor Survival
Grade 7 – 9
Get out of the classroom and into the wilderness of the boreal forest! Through individually-led and hands-on activities, students will learn the difficulties of outdoor survival and rewards of having the necessary skills. Students will discuss the essentials for surviving outdoors in all seasons (especially the cold boreal winters), will have the opportunity to search for their own natural tinder and kindling, and even light a small fire with flint and steel! Students will learn the importance of teamwork for survival when participating in activities. We will also discuss human and animal adaptations for surviving boreal winters, how human disturbance can impact local wildlife’s ability to survive, and the responsibilities for personal safety that come with outdoor recreation. This program is not designed to be a survival course – rather to pique student interest in the subject of Outdoor Survival.
Take your class on a snowshoeing adventure in the backyard of your school or on a local parks system trail! The Parks Council has the following snowshoes for use: 12 pairs of Tykers (up to 80lbs) 12 pairs of Youth (up to 125lbs) 2 pairs of Women (up to 180lbs) 4 pairs of Adult (up to 180lbs).