Meewasin is the steward of the river valley in Saskatoon and area, which is upwards of 67 square kilometres of area. Our staff works hard year-round to conserve and monitor the natural spaces that provide habitat for wildlife, provide opportunities for outdoor learning, and offer engaging public experiences in the Meewasin Valley.

In-Person Education Programming

Typically, Meewasin offers education programming for a variety of age groups at the Northeast Swale, Saskatoon Natural Grasslands, and Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA).

Please note that due to the pandemic we have had to minimize our current program offerings. We are currently offering full-day programming for Grade 5 students at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA) on Thursday & Fridays only.

Fill out this form to book a program at Beaver Creek.

Our Fall/Winter 2020 Programming is currently fully booked. If you fill out the form and any programming dates become available, we will contact you as soon as possible.

We are currently gauging interest in and demand for additional programming and we’d like your feedback! If you are a group or educator interested in programming for other age groups and/or at other Meewasin sites, please help us better understand your needs by completing this survey.

Questions? Please contact us at: meewasin@meewasin.com

K-12 Educator Resources

Are you an educator interested in accessing resources to help you get started or give you more ideas in regards to outdoor education?

Meewasin, in partnership with the Public and Catholic School divisions have been hard at work over the summer to develop a series of materials to help educators to achieve curriculum outcomes in an outdoor environment. It is important to Meewasin to have educators taking students into the Meewasin Valley and other natural areas to engage in further learning about conservation and other environmental learning.

These materials will help you prepare for and engage your students in outdoor learning and include resources such as:

  • Outdoor Learning – Setting up for Success
  • Excursion checklist
  • Interpretive program guide
  • Grade-specific lessons
  • Quick facts and more!

Educators can submit a request to access our K-12 educator resources by completing a short form at this link.

This allows Meewasin to track usage of materials and resources and plan for further development.

You can also visit our Activities to do at Home section for at-home learning resources!

Meewasin will be expanding and digitizing additional resources for educators to use in the future. Keep an eye on our website or subscribe to our newsletter for updates.

Beaver Creek Conservation Area

Meewasin leads hands-on educational tours at Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA) for grade 5 school groups.

Considered a microcosm of the Meewasin Valley, BCCA offers educational programs that provide visitors with opportunities to discover nature along a selection of nature trails winding through prairie, forest, sand dune, creek and river valley habitats. Every year, BCCA offers interpretive programs for thousands of Grade 5 students.

Please note that due to the pandemic we have had to minimize our current program offerings. We are currently offering full-day programming for Grade 5 students at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA) on Thursday & Fridays only.

Fill out this form to book a program at Beaver Creek Conservation Area.

If you have any questions about the Grade 5 Education Programs in the meantime, please contact Beaver Creek Conservation Area at 306-374-2474.

Meewasin Northeast Swale

Meewasin leads hands-on educational tours at the Northeast Swale for grade 3 school groups.

The Meewasin Northeast Swale contains considerable areas of native prairie grasslands and offers high quality biodiversity, proximity to urban areas, economic benefits for recreation and education and a natural filter for our air and water. The swale contains wetlands that provide a means of flood control for the surrounding community.

Please note that due to the pandemic we have had to minimize our current program offerings and are not currently taking bookings for this site.

If you are a group or educator interested in future programming at this site, please help us better understand your needs by completing this survey.

Click here for a location map of the Meewasin Northeast Swale.

Saskatoon Natural Grasslands

Meewasin leads hands-on educational tours at Saskatoon Natural Grasslands for grade 2 school groups.

The Saskatoon Natural Grasslands (SNG) is a 34 acre (13.8 hectare) parcel of native Saskatchewan grassland persisting in a surprisingly natural condition.  It lies within the area known as Silverspring.  This fescue grassland is not just grass, but an ecosystem – a complex association of grasses, flowering and non-flowering plants, birds, animals and insects representing 10,000 years of natural history since the glaciers receded.

Please note that due to the pandemic we have had to minimize our current program offerings and are not currently taking bookings for this site.

If you are a group or educator interested in future programming at this site, please help us better understand your needs by completing this survey.

Thanks to education programs provided by the University of Saskatchewan Centre for Continuing and Distance Education, the Saskatoon Nature Society, the City of Saskatoon, the Greater Saskatoon Catholic School Division, the Saskatoon Public School Division, Meewasin  and others; and the stewardship by the Silverspring community, the SNG continues to provide habitat, aesthetic and recreational opportunities, soil protection and gene pool for future medical and agricultural research.

Related resources at Meewasin: SNG brochure (223 KB pdf), SNG Ecological Education Guide (29 MB pdf).

Dark Skies

Meewasin hosts an annual celebration of International Bat Week with our Dark Skies at the Creek event at Beaver Creek Conservation Area. Take part by joining Meewasin interpreters, astronomers and local naturalists and learn about the importance of dark skies, the amazing diversity of nocturnal animals, and how both are affected by global light pollution.

The Saskatoon Dark Sky Initiative is both a monitoring and educational program aimed at educating the public about the negative effects of light pollution on nocturnal wildlife within Saskatoon. The program was designed to engage public and students of all ages through in-class programming, Dark Skies at the Creek public awareness events, and citizen science projects aimed at collecting valuable information on local light pollution within the Meewasin river valley. Thanks to our partners the Saskatoon Nature Society, and the Royal Astronomical Society Saskatoon Centre for the ongoing support of Meewasin’s Dark Sky event.

With over 20% of the terrestrial surface of our planet experiencing light pollution in its many forms, we are now beginning to understand the importance of maintaining dark skies for human health, plant physiology and nocturnal wildlife populations. Many studies have identified the negative effects of light pollution on human health, correlating greater light pollution with disrupting sleep patterns, negatively affecting the regulation of a variety of hormones, and lessening memory retention.

Light pollution has been shown to negatively affect nocturnal wildlife and ecosystems as a whole by changing animal behaviours, disrupting seasonal movements, and altering the structure of ecosystems. Many native species residing in and around the City of Saskatoon depend on dark skies for their survival. Nocturnal species, such as the endangered common nighthawk and the big brown bat, rely on natural darkness for foraging and movement patterns. Northern leopard frogs and tiger salamanders, both given a status of Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), depend upon dark skies for the their normal behaviours, such as the timing of their vocal calls during their reproductive seasons. Smaller aquatic macro-invertebrates that are a vital source of nutrition in wetland environments, depend on light-dark cycles to govern their feeding behaviors. Even small changes to the illumination of our natural areas can drastically affect their ecological health and the survivability of the species that encompass them.

Field Trip and In-class Programs

Please note that due to the pandemic we have had to minimize our current program offerings. We are currently offering full-day programming for Grade 5 students at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA) on Thursday & Fridays only.

We are currently gauging interest in and demand for additional programming and we’d like your feedback! If you are a group or educator interested in programming for other age groups and/or at other Meewasin sites, please help us better understand your needs by completing this survey.

One of Meewasin’s goals is to get students out in nature in hands-on, experiential learning experiences. We generally lead interpretive tours to most natural areas around the City of Saskatoon and provide in-class programming for a variety of topics, so we are pretty flexible in finding something that will work for your group. Here are the programs we are currently offering:

1) Meewasin Northeast Swale: Just on the outskirts of Saskatoon lies a unique ancient river ecosystem contains vital prairie-wetland habitats, full of native flora and fauna that call the swale their home. We invite students of all grades to explore the site through interpretive hikes and through stewardship by collecting valuable information through citizen science projects aimed at monitoring the health of the ecosystem. Students aid in collecting scientific information on the biodiversity of aquatic insects (pond dipping), larger animals (using binoculars), native plant abundance, or the water quality of the wetlands.

2) Saskatoon Natural Grasslands: The Saskatoon Natural Grasslands is not just grass, but an ecosystem – a complex association of grasses, flowering and non-flowering plants, birds, animals and insects representing 10,000 years of natural history since the glaciers receded. Join Meewasin interpreters on an experiential hike through the past, present and future of conserving natural areas within urban environments. Students will learn about why the grasslands are an important ecosystem, how humans effect the environments around them, and what sustainable practices we can implement in our daily life to aid in conserving these important habitats.

3) Beaver Creek Conservation Area: Located 13km south of Saskatoon, this important conservation area provides valuable refuge for numerous native species and habitats, including endangered grassland birds, colourful wildflowers, rare short-grass prairie and an abundance of mammals. The site offers many opportunities for your class to discover nature via the hands-on activities in the interpretive centre and the three nature trails. Join the interpreters on an educational hike along the creek and into the many valleys that are sure to inspire your students.

4) Visit to a Natural Area: Choose a natural area within the Meewasin River Valley and we will lead your class on an interpretive adventure looking at the flora and fauna that encompass it. Depending on the site and season, the interpretive staff will provide interactive activities, unique learning experiences, and site-relevant information pertaining to your current curriculum outcomes. Examples include visiting Chappell Marsh for a wetland fieldtrip or Cranberry Flats to learn about the South Saskatchewan River Watershed on the Meewasin Trail.

In-class programs

Meewasin offers numerous in-class programs that focus on a variety of topics surrounding conservation, sustainable practices, and the natural world around us. All programs include a one hour interactive presentation and then a series of hands-on learning experiences that dive further into the topics.

Please note that due to the pandemic we have had to minimize our current program offerings. We are currently offering full-day programming for Grade 5 students at the Beaver Creek Conservation Area (BCCA) on Thursday & Fridays only.

We are currently gauging interest in and demand for additional programming and we’d like your feedback!

If you are a group or educator interested in programming for other age groups and/or at other Meewasin sites, please help us better understand your needs by completing this survey.

Programs include:

  1. Connections in Ecosystems – The program focuses on the connections within ecosystems and how every living thing is connected to each other and the world around them. Join Meewasin interpreters as we discuss new discoveries in the natural sciences, sustainable practices, food web dynamics, how energy moves within ecosystems, animal behaviours, and how humans influence the environment around them. Activities include building solitary bee boxes (additional $50) to help local pollinators, building bird boxes (additional $50) creating a Web of Life, or a visit by a critter.
  2. Top Ten Environmental Issues – There are many challenges facing our environment today which can often leave us asking what we can do to help the natural world around us. In this presentation we talk about the current environmental threats facing our natural world (i.e., climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, etc.) and what individuals can do to help create a better balance with nature through sustainable practices. Activities include brainstorming solutions, building a vermicomposter (additional $50), building bird boxes (additional $50), or a visit by a critter.
  3. Dark Skies – The Importance of Our Night Sky – Join Meewasin interpreters as we illustrate how light pollution drastically effects nocturnal wildlife around the Saskatoon area and our natural world. The interpreter will cover why darkness is important for all life, how nocturnal animals have adapted to their surroundings (including bats, insects, owls, and many others), and how light pollution puts an unwanted spotlight on the need for more adaptive conservation practices. Activities include a visit from a nocturnal creature, identifying nocturnal biofacts, building bat houses (additional $50), and darkness/light activities.
  4. Our Wondrous Wetlands – Wetlands serve as a vital habitat for thousands of species and yet they are rapidly disappearing. This program focuses on what species make up a wetland, what makes this habitat unique, and why wetlands are disappearing. Activities include beak relay games, guess who identifying wetland creatures activity, predator/prey games, a visit from a wetland creature, and water experiments.
  5. Request a Program of Your Choice – Meewasin interpreters are able to develop or adapt our programs to your educational needs surrounding the topics of: our environment, biodiversity, ecosystems, sustainability and conservation.

Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin

Founded in 1993 by Meewasin, Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin (PFSRB) promotes stewardship and sustainability of the Saskatchewan River Basin, an international watershed stretching over the three Prairie Provinces and a portion of Montana. More than 3 million people live within the basin which includes the North Saskatchewan, Red Deer, Oldman, Bow, Highwood, South Saskatchewan, Battle, Saskatchewan, St. Mary, and Carrot Rivers.

Their focus is the Basin itself, however programs are most often delivered to all areas of the Prairie Provinces. To date, PFSRB has delivered over 20 major educational and informational projects. Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin continues to strive for excellence, maintaining that their primary client is the River.

PFSRB is governed by a Board of Directors with members from the three prairie provinces. For more information on PFSRB please visit their website.

Yellow Fish Road™

Since 1999, thousands of Canadian youth have participated in the Yellow Fish Road™ program, learning about their water supply. Painting the storm sewers with yellow fish and distributing the fish-shaped yellow brochures is a reminder of the importance of clean water and the proper disposal of hazardous waste. The program reinforces the concept that whatever goes into the storm sewer flows directly into the river.

Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin, Meewasin Valley Authority, and the City of Saskatoon would like to thank all past participants in the Yellow Fish Road™ program. This program reminds us that what goes down our storm drains directly impacts our river and wetlands.

Please join us to spread the word that “Rain Only” should be going down storm drains.

Contact sbouchard@saskriverbasin.ca for more information on how your class or group can get involved. There is no cost to participate.

Learn more about safe disposal of household hazardous waste: saskwastereduction.ca or saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste or call 306-975-2487.

You can paint a storm sewer with a yellow fish at your school OR in your community to remind people that what goes into your storm sewers goes directly into your river. Download the Yellow Fish Road™ poster information from this Yellow Fish Road™ poster information. Visit the Yellow Fish Road™ website (https://tucanada.org/yellow-fish-road/) and download the program guide. Distribute the Yellow Fish Road™ bookmark to homes in your community.  Learn more about how to protect your local waters. For more information contact Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin at 306-665-6887. Get involved today.

Caring for Our Watersheds

The CARING FOR OUR WATERSHEDS program is an environmental educational competition that encourages creativity and rewards students for the solutions they identify. CARING FOR OUR WATERSHEDS partners with communities to create focused solutions to local watershed issues.

Each year Nutrien invites students to submit proposals that answer the question:
“WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR WATERSHED?”

This program rewards the students and the schools who submit the most creative, thought-provoking, and innovative ideas. Implementation funding and community mentorship is available to turn the students’ ideas into realistic solutions! This program is open to all students in Grade 7-12 in Saskatchewan.

Partners FOR the Saskatchewan River Basin is the coordinator for this program in Saskatchewan. For more information on how you can get involved you can visit www.caringforourwatersheds.com or email Sue Bouchard at sbouchard@saskriverbasin.ca.

The Caring For Our Watersheds program is open to Grade 7-12 students in Saskatchewan. Now you can connect with the watershed group in your region to learn more about the Caring for our Watersheds program and access local resources!

2019 Caring for Our Watersheds

Thank you to all of the students, teachers, and volunteers who participated in the 2019 Caring for our Watersheds competition. In a verbal competition on May 4, 2019 at Prairieland Park, the Top Ten entries presented their project ideas on how to improve their local watershed.

Rafay Ahmed, Josh Bell, and Saabir Yousuf from Greystone Heights School took home first place with their plan to eliminate single-use plastics in their school. They are also organizing a riverbank cleanup for this spring. Each of the Top Ten contestants won a cash prize plus a matching cash prize for their school, with over $12,000 awarded in total. Along with the cash prizes, Nutrien Inc. has also provided $10,000 to help the students implement their ideas.

Turning ideas into realistic solutions is the key to improving our local watersheds. Thank you to Nutrien Inc. for their sponsorship of this valuable program.

Click here for more information.

Final Place Award Student Name (s) Proposal Name School
1 $1,000 Rafay Ahmed, Josh Bell, and Saabir Yousuf No Plastic Is Fantastic Greystone Heights School, Saskatoon
2 $900 Shaun Vorster The Soda Tap! Montgomery School, Saskatoon
3 $800 Lauren Wright Bees For Our Watersheds Tommy Douglas Collegiate, Saskatoon
4 $700 Renée Lichtenwald and Odessa Schlosser Robbie’s River Rescue St. George School, Saskatoon
5 $600 Dishita Emayan and Cindy Li Plan Bee Greystone Heights School, Saskatoon
6 $500 Sabri Bhargava and Gabrielle Corbett-Mills The Garbage Gobbler Brunskill School, Saskatoon
7 $450 Rachel Grasby and Peytin Johnson Community Recycling Venture Heights School, Martensville
8 $400 Mary Elegino, Abrianna Primavera, and Ella Rutera Tainted Paint St. Kateri Tekakwitha School, Regina
9 $350 Dilsher Braich, Alex Huang, and Huy Nguyen Locomotion Buddies Colette Bourgonje School, Saskatoon
10 $300 Crystal Lennox Vertical Hanging Gardens Lord Asquith School, Asquith

 

Donate Now

You can keep the Meewasin Valley healthy and vibrant!

Meewasin relies on donations to steward Saskatoon and area’s most treasured space, the Meewasin Valley. We could not provide the river experience we do without help from you, please consider supporting Meewasin through a one time, yearly or monthly donation.

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