Communities

The Alberta Community Bat Program provides an Alberta Bats Colouring and Activity Book for elementary grades, a documentary about Alberta bats and the challenges facing their populations, and a guide for building a bat house. You can also take part in citizen science to help researchers learn more about the species of bats in Alberta. As part of the Alberta Community Bat Program, WCS Canada is compiling one of Alberta's largest databases of bat observations. Contribute your data and help better understand the distribution, habitat use, and seasonal timing of bat activity. There is a Bats of Alberta group on iNaturalist! Download the app to add your bat sightings!

Fun for all ages, Sort it Right! teaches youth and adults how to sort waste materials into the black, green, or blue bins, as well as household hazardous waste drop-off and landfill throw 'n' go.

The City of Calgary also has a lesson plan to learn about how Calgary's recyclables are sorted, how Calgary's compost is made, and how to prevent food waste.

The Alberta Conservation Association provides guidebooks about Alberta's local wildlife, including: Ring-necked pheasant, sharp-tailed grouse, ferruginous hawk, amphibians, reptiles, and guidebooks about friendly wildlife fencing and a nest box guide and instructions for making your own nest box!

The Alberta Hunter Education Instructors' Association provides free, downloadable and printable workbooks and videos for all ages on a variety of topics, including:

  • Junior Wildlife 
  • Know Your Knots 
  • Survival Kit Essentials 
  • Tick Awareness 
  • Map and Compass Basics 

The Alberta WaterPortal Society has two online learning tools and a teacher guide with learning outcomes and connections to the Alberta curriculum to support educators in using these activities. All of the online resources from the Alberta Water Nexus project focus on how there are complex interconnections between our water resources, agriculture and food, and energy production. By thinking about the connections, we can innovate and improve as a community. 

  • Follow the Drop: A choose-your-own-adventure game where users travel as a drop of water through the Bow River watershed. We explore the many different water users and how water quality changes as it goes down the river.
  • Video Series: Through six animated videos of 2 minutes each, the viewer gets to explore concepts like how all water users in a watershed are connected, how population growth will increase the demands for food and energy, how farmers protect water quality through practices, and how a healthy environment supports all activities in the water. The videos provide excellent visuals to help students understand the concepts.

The Outdoor Education Toolkit for Grades 9-12 by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (Ophea) provides guidance, tips, safety considerations, and checklists for before and during outdoor education activities. The toolkit also includes lesson plans, conversation starters, and reflection activities.

Toronto Outdoor Education Schools has put together a searchable database of outdoor education activities for all grades and subject areas. 

Nature Companion is a free app/website introducing many of the plants and animals found in Canada’s four western provinces. In just one app, you’ll find basic information about over 300 common plants, trees, birds, animals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. It's available on or off line. Nature Companion provides short, easy-to-understand descriptions and colourful photographs along with a Did you know? section with interesting, unexpected details about each species. It’s free with no ads or sign up and can be installed on your phone or tablet directly from the Nature Companion website.

The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley has downloadable lesson plans about wildlife, conservation, and climate change for Kindergarten to Grade 9 science and social studies curriculum. They continue to improve these plans, including an ongoing collaboration with the Nakoda Youth Council to weave together Indigenous and Western perspectives and will continue adding lessons to the page. The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley truly welcomes teacher input and feedback for improving these resources. 

Furthermore, the Biosphere Institute is excited to visit teachers' digital classroom through your preferred online platform. They are happy to deliver short presentations in topic areas related to climate change, sustainability, and human-wildlife coexistence and are happy to work with teachers on a one-on-one basis to meet their classroom needs. Explore the programs here. Teachers can email education@biosphereinstitute.org to book a program or to reach out with any questions.

Another program is WildSmart, which teaches residents and visitors to live smart with wildlife. Programs include bear spray training sessions, wildlife awareness talks, classroom programs and interactive booths for youth, families, outdoor educators, people employed in the recreation and tourism industry, and outdoor recreationalists.

Hands On Growing education programs are fun, hands-on and easily integrated into existing curriculum. Kids are taught to build and plant their own gardens, with an understanding of composting, vermiculture and the nutrient cycle.