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5200 Sumas Prairie Rd. Chilliwack, BC
604-823-6603

School Programs

Our Goal

To educate and inspire people of all ages to understand, protect and preserve nature and wildlife through fun, engaging, and interactive environmental awareness programs.


Overview: School Programs

  • Environmental Programs are delivered by our knowledgeable Environmental Educators and our Wildlife Art classes are delivered by an engaging local artist
  • Each program lasts 1 hour
  • Bookings with multiple programs are scheduled to include 15-minute breaks between each program
  • Bookings may be made for a combination of art and nature programming, or multiple of each
  • Booking fees include the use of the picnic area and/or the Discovery Annex Classroom for lunches during inclement weather
  • See below for program descriptions to guide your selection progress. Please note that some classes are only available seasonally.

Program Fees

  • Booking fees are as follows: $100.00 / per group, per hour with a $6.00 admin fee / per group, per hour
  • Bookings made through Peek require a credit card in  order to complete the booking, however, cards will not be charged until GBHNR staff do so manually. Educators may make their booking by entering one card and can inform our staff that they wish to pay with another card. Please contact us immediately after booking with card information if you are making a booking with a card you do not wish us to charge. 

Please review the program descriptions and additional notes below

If you are familiar with our booking process you can jump straight to Peek here:

Book Now

*If you are not able to pay via credit card at the time of booking – please contact us at: [email protected]

2023 School Program Descriptions:

Click here to learn about preschool programs.

Click here to learn about homeschool programs.

Wetlands Diversity

What is so important about a wetland? Come explore our reserve and learn about this diverse ecosystem through observation and activities. Discussions and observations surrounding the wetland habitat and it’s inhabitants will be the primary focus. This program is appropriate at any time of year.

Beavers Plus

Learn about the special features that beavers have to help accommodate their watery lifestyle – clear eyelids, webbed feet, and more! Explore beaver habitat, hunt for beaver clues, and discuss the part they play in creating and maintaining wetland habitats. This program is appropriate at any time of year.

Pond Prowl

This informative program with dip netting will give students a real field experience as they explore pond ecology. Learn about the life cycles and habitats of some of the special creatures that make up our pond community. This program can be booked at any time of year, but is best in the fall and the spring.

Bug Hunt

Compare and contrast spiders, insects, and multi-legged critters (millipedes and centipedes). Come meet them all in this hands on exploratory program which can be booked in the fall and the spring (spiders are particularly abundant in the fall).

Fabulous Frogs

An exploration of amphibian habitat gives and opportunity to see some fabulous frogs, learn some fabulous froggy facts, and hear some fabulous froggy sounds. Did you know that frogs have teeth? Best booked in the months of April through June.

Hectic Herons

Get a close up look at hundreds of nesting Pacific Great Blue Heron and observe their unique behaviors. Learn about their habitat, adaptations, life cycle, and check our what is in a heron’s lunchbox. The best heron viewing is March to May, although they remain on their nests into July.

Plants and Pollinators

A discovery of plants native to the Great Blue Heron Reserve and the Pollinators that help them to reproduce. Learn about the importance of pollinators to the ecosystem and the species of plants that they provide food for them including trees and other vegetation.

Feathered Friends

Students will explore diversity in birds and be to introduced to the concept of bird watching and identification. Students will learn how birds differ from other animals and what unique features make them so abundant, then visit several spots on the reserve to observe various species and families of birds.

Salmon Stories

Take a look at the salmon life cycle through storyboards, cooperative activities and observations of our spawning channels from our fabulous salmon observation platform. Releasing fry in the spring? Consider a fall/winter trip to the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve to compliment your classroom salmon experience. The best salmon viewing is in November and December.

Outrageously Rare

Check out the wetland habitat and learn about local Species at Risk. This fun and interactive program introduces a serious concept. Students will learn why some animals are at risk and some of the things we can do to help. This program can be booked in any season.

Wildlife Art

These one hour workshops use a variety of techniques to create works of art depicting wildlife. Local artists share their expertise & enthusiasm with your students. Three mini art lessons introduce sketching, painting and cartooning. Art projects can be linked to a specific outdoor program (ie frogs, bugs) or a special interest (ie bats, cougars).

Visiting Schools Choose Their Own Programs and Start Times

Classes are offered for two to three groups at a time. Please note that we can only accommodate one group of students for art classes per hour, as we only have one classroom set up to teach art. Nature programs can be taught up to 2 at a time or 3 at a time if there is no art class scheduled. See below for an example of how we schedule multiple group bookings:

Select one of the options below to begin your class's adventure:

*If you are not able to pay via credit card at the time of booking – please contact us at: [email protected]

School Program - 1 Group School Program - 2 Groups School Program - 3 Groups

Notes for Teachers & Group Leaders:

  • Please plan your bus to arrive 10 minutes before your start time
  • Programs starting late will still need to be finished on time due to other booked events
  • Programs run rain or shine so please have students be prepared to be outside! Proper outerwear and footwear is a must!
  • Cancellations are subject to a $50 cancellation fee per class if less than 3 days' notice unless exceptional circumstances.
  • Maximum of 30 students and six supervising parents per program
  • Lunches must be pack-in / pack-out as we have limited waste disposal
  • Most trails and all facilities are wheelchair-accessible

Parking:

  • Bus drop off is in the lower roundabout, enter from Sumas Prairie Road, go up and over the dyke, and down into the parking loop
  • Additional car parking is to the left, below the dyke, outside the gates
  • Parking for the disabled is inside the gates, on top of the dyke, near the Rotary Interpretive Centre, or in the lower roundabout
  • If your group is arriving via. parent drivers, please notify us so we can do our best to ensure sufficient parking is available.

Bringing a class on your own?

    The Nature Reserve is open to educators, daycare providers, and community facilities for self-guided visits. However, advanced notice is required to coordinate arrival and departure times to not disrupt our paid programs. 
    Paid programs take priority and the site has a maximum capacity of 5 classes at a time to minimize disturbance to the environment and wildlife. Visitors are expected to stay on the trail, be respectful of the wildlife, and give space to any paid school groups. No wildlife-catching equipment is allowed and there is no indoor space available for eating or gathering for unpaid groups, however, the outdoor picnic space may be used if not occupied by a school group. 
    Lunches and snacks must be packed out.



Questions can be directed to: 

Re. booking and scheduling: Kristen Glass (Education Coordinator) via email 

Re. program payments: Camille Coray (Executive Director) via email

Or call our office: 604-823-6603

Thanks for your support!