Environmental Education, Field Trips

Nature Explorers

Nature Explorers

Originally published in TEACH Magazine, May/June 2019 Issue

It’s finally spring, so get outdoors and enjoy the balmy weather. Help students develop environmental stewardship by exploring the local environment and learning more about ecology and ecosystems up close! Here are some of Canada’s nature centres that offer curriculum-linked programs.

Assiniboine Park
Winnipeg, MB

Assiniboine Park offers interdisciplinary programs for K–12 students, encouraging them to connect with the huge diversity found in nature. For middle school years, students have more action-based classes. The programs include hands-on activities, and different learning styles are encouraged through story, music, verbal presentations, tours, and teamwork. All programs, regardless of location, include admission to the zoo.

John Janzen Nature Centre
Edmonton, AB

Students can experience nature in a fun way with guided tours in the heart of the River Valley, the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America. Kindergarten children can dig for dinosaur fossils, and students in Grades 3–6 are able to observe a working beehive and go on a hunt under the leaves and logs.


Nature Centres
Grand River Area, ON

With a variety of hands-on outdoor classes for K–12 students, the Nature Centres in the Grand River area have a huge list of programs to choose from. One of them is Air and Water in the Environment, which includes a pollution simulation, water cycle game, and temperature and wind speed measurements. In Rocks and Minerals, students may complete a scavenger hunt for Rock Hounds or make a trace fossil of natural materials to take back to school. The cities offering these programs are Brantford, Guelph, Waterloo, Rockwood, Cambridge, and Cayuga.

Stanley Park
Vancouver, BC

Vancouver’s largest urban park offers a diverse range of school field trips for Kindergarten to Grade 7 students. K–3 children can explore the temperate rainforest in a sensory journey through nature, with the opportunity to meet bugs, feed trees, and explore the bats’ habitat. Grade 2 and 3 students will dive into the water cycle to discover nature’s way of recycling. Grade 4–7 students will learn about invasive plants and their impact on biodiversity.