School programs

Waterton Lakes National Park

Take your classroom outside for the day!

Join Parks Canada interpreters in Waterton Lakes National Park for a day of interactive and engaging learning experiences. Experiential learning programs allow for an immersive adventure in nature and discovery of local landscapes. Waterton Lakes is a perfect location for students to explore ecosystems, plant and animal adaptations, unique qualities of wetlands and Parks Canada’s work in conserving natural and cultural heritage.

Organizer information

For booking and more programming information, email the Waterton Lakes interpretation team:

Fees: Teachers and chaperones admission is complimentary for a school program. View program pricing

Group size: Maximum two groups per day; maximum of 30 people per group

Supervisor to student ratio:

  • Elementary students: One adult supervisor for every 10 students
  • Secondary students: One adult supervisor for every 15 students

Locations: Throughout Waterton Lakes National Park. Please arrive at the program location on time. Advise us of any accessibility concerns while inquiring about your booking.

Language: All programs are offered in English and French (with advanced notice).

In person programming


Plant growth and change (Grade 4)

Duration: 2 hours

Would you consider a flower to be a friend? A tree to be your confidante? We share many similarities with plants and their communities. What we need to thrive is what plants need to survive.

Join a Parks Canada interpreter to discover plant communities and make a friend or two along the way.

Learning objectives

  • Learning plant identification techniques
  • Understanding plant relationships
  • Importance of ecosystem protection

Program activities

  • Scavenger hunt
  • Using scientific equipment for quadrant surveys


Wetland wonders (Grade 5)

Duration: 2.5 hours

Wetlands provide gifts for flora, fauna and us! Discover the wonders of wetlands through pond dipping, water quality testing and a series of other hands-on activities.

The program explores how living and non-living factors influence wetland ecosystems. Students will learn about some of the species that call these wetlands home, how wetlands are beneficial and how we can help these ecosystems thrive.

Learning objectives

  • Understanding abiotic and biotic relationships
  • Identification of wetland plants and animals
  • Threats to wetland ecosystems

Program activities

  • Pond dipping
  • Water quality testing


Pines and needles (Grade 6)

Duration: 2 hours

The pines are in peril - what can we do? Think you can help with a compass or two?

Students will learn and build on basic orienteering skills as they navigate with the help of a compass. They will expand their knowledge of tree identification, forest ecology, local conservation and how they can help at-risk local pine species.

Learning objectives

  • Learn basic navigation and compass skills
  • Tree species identification
  • Forest ecology

Program activities

  • Tree identification
  • Orienteering


Ecosystem explorers (Grade 7)

Duration: 2 hours

Ever really explored an ecosystem? Jump into the paws and claws of wildlife species to experience an ecosystem’s interactions and cycles. Students participate in the practice of environmental monitoring by comparing three distinct ecosystems through plot surveys.

Learning objectives

  • Ecosystem interactions
  • Nutrient cycles
  • Importance of environmental management
  • Ecosystem concepts and terminology

Program activities

  • Predator and prey game
  • Plot surveys and sampling


Learn to bird (Grades 3 to 7)

Duration: 1.5 hours

Join us for a high flying, soaring, dipping and diving day of bird exploration! Hundreds of bird species can be found in the area, and spring is an ideal time view them. Learn about special adaptations, migrations, challenges birds face and what we can do to help. Discover bird watching basics and the importance of bird counts. Students will go home as new citizen scientists!

Learning objectives

  • Basic bird identification
  • Bird adaptations
  • Field journal basics

Program activities

  • Participate in a citizen science bird count
  • Bird identification
  • Art activity

Note: A school bus will be required for the entire program to bus students between two field sites.


Off the shelf programs

Length: 1.5 hours

Have something else in mind? Do you want to still come to Waterton Lakes National Park but these programs don’t match your classrooms learning objectives? No worries! Send an email to and we can discuss additional ideas that may work for you and your classroom.

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