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Winter home of the Snow Geese and one of Canada's top birdwatching sites.
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School Programs

The British Columbia Waterfowl Society school programs are delivered to up to 5,000 students a year, many of which visit the bird observation tower featured above.

K-7 Nature Walks

Learn about the diversity of local wildlife and habitats by exploring the trails and viewing the estuary from the observation tower. Guides discuss the importance of the estuary and the role of the Sanctuary, bird identification, wildlife needs and habitats, and special terms used. Students should be suitably dressed for the weather, as most of this 1.5 hour program is outside. This program is adjusted for different grades and can includes themes such as the migration of birds, winter survival, habitats and communities, and animal life cycles.

Visit our Resource Page for the series of resource booklets to help explore different themes before and after your visit.

Migration Studies

Learn about how researchers census and manage migratory bird populations across North America, and how wildlife habitat is protected. Students practice survey techniques,waterfowl identification and the use of classification keys. Visit our Resources Page and our Links page for more information on migration, migratory birds and global conservation initiatives.

Older Students

At the time of booking, please indicate which subject the class is taking. Our staff are versatile, and can help focus your students on themes that address Biology, Social Studies and Geography curriculum topics.

Work experience placements are available for a limited number of students each year. Enquire at the Gift Shop about opportunities.

Pertinent BC Science IRP's (2005) and Linking to the New Curriculum (2015):

K-1 Life Science : Characteristics of living things; Properties of objects and materials; Surroundings;Needs of living things; Daily and seasonal changes.
2-3 Life Science : Animal growth and changes; Air, water and soil; Plant growth and changes.
4 Life Science: Habitats and communities; Weather.
Earth and Space Science Renewable and non-renewable resources.
6 Life Science : Diversity of life.
7 Life Science : Ecosystems; Earth's crust.

Biology 11 (Ecology, and the factors affecting populations)
Social Studies 11 (Environmental issues)
Biology 8 (The diversity of biomes, adaptations of animals to their environment, impacts of the use of natural resources)
Geography 12 (People and the environment; sustainability and the use of renewable and non-renewable resources).

Class Sponsors

We sometimes have sponsors to fund admission and bus costs for individual classes requiring assistance. HSBC Bank Canada sponsored hundreds of classes for visits to the Sanctuary between 2006 and 2013, for example.

In this 2018/19 school year, some classes will once again be sponsored to visit the Sanctuary under a special fund provided by Nature Canada under their NatureHood Program. Last year, this funding allowed over 600 students to participate. This funding is for specified schools. Please email us if you would like to be put on a waiting list for future sponsor funding sources for your class. See what the classes said about their program!

Our Museum

Scheduled class bookings often include a short visit to our Lecture Hall, with its museum collections of taxidermy birds, eggs, furs, bones and posters. The Leo Malfet Bird Collection takes up the majority of the space and is housed in cabinets. In 1958, the Malfet family gave their late father's collection of 509 (taxidermy mounted) birds to the Carnegie Museum. The British Columbia Waterfowl Society was chosen as the most appropriate recipient and has taken care of the collection since January 31st, 1984.

Ideas &


Explore our teacher handouts on our Resources page for ideas for before and after your visits. Teachers may also be interested in exploring our Kids & Nature page which provides some basic themes to explore every month with children.


Our school programs are offered at a discounted rate, with most delivery costs borne by our Society. However, we have sometimes received contributions from community partners from time to time to improve programs or displays. In 2000, for example, we received funding from the Vancouver Foundation and the BC Habitat Conservation Trust Fund.

Ducks Unlimited Canada also remains an active education partner since 2000, providing funding or sponsors, or technical assistance with website, interpretive designs and resource materials to help strengthen our programs about wetland conservation.

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