Conservation Learning Centre:
School Program

Conservation Learning Centre: School Program

Each spring and fall the Conservation Learning Centre (CLC) offers a school program to Prince Albert and area students in Grades 1 through 12. Our free school program provides quality outdoor education experiences, which give children the opportunity to connect with the natural world around them. The school program corresponds with the Saskatchewan provincial science curricula and encompasses agricultural, environmental conservation, and wildlife topics. Since 1994, over 31,000 students have participated in activities based at the Centre.

In May and June of 2023, over one thousand (1000) students, plus their chaperones, participated in the CLC school program. We had:

  • twenty-seven school and community groups (827 students) participate in a school tour of the CLC site, with curriculum relevant activities,
  • six school groups (122 students) participate in our annual Food Farm event, hosted at the CLC in partnership with Agriculture in the Classroom,
  • twenty-one Guiders participate in an event hosted in partnership with the Bridging Rivers Area Girl Guides,
  • twenty children participate in an event at the Prince Albert Early Years Centre,
  • ten at-risk children pick haskap berries at the CLC and,
  • groups visit from Sturgeon Lake, Prince Albert, Glaslyn, Melfort, Tisdale, Nipawin, Colonsay, and Stanley Mission.

School tours typically begin in our outdoor classroom and are followed by a tour around the site. Depending on grade level, students learn about food chains, plant development, animal adaptations, tour our state-of-the-art SRC climate station, pond dip in our wetlands, explore soils, plant in the garden, learn about sustainable agriculture, and so much more. Our school tours supplement in-classroom knowledge with sensory learning. Children are encouraged to touch, see, smell, and hear their surroundings. The school program allows children to experience first-hand their local environment. This spring, pond dipping was the definitive favourite activity for children and youth of all ages. Participants got to see the diversity of creatures that are found in our wetlands, while also learning the importance of protecting them.

Through our school program, students quickly learn about scientific language, and classification. The CLC has an expansive shelterbelt demonstration, which is prime habitat for birds, squirrels and other creatures. Students identify different tree species while watching native animals in their natural habitats and discuss various conservation practices that our farmers utilize. We also have a collection of boreal furs, on loan from the Prince Albert Model Forest, and animal bones which allow students to get up close to ‘animals’ they might not otherwise see. Through participating in fun and active games, students learn about habitat loss and the impact that we as humans can have on our environment.

Submitted by Robin Lokken