School Tours

Elementary school children are able to learn in a hands-on way through exploration and activities in one or more of our 30 Demonstration Gardens including our First People’s Ethnobotany Trail, The Takata Japanese Garden, The Urban Backyard Garden, and many more. Register for a 90-minute class or use the Gardens to reinforce classroom teaching. This year the Gardens at HCP are also offering a number of new and exciting school programs to get your students involved in amazing learning opportunities.  With curriculum-based program delivery available in the classroom or on-site at the gardens, we want to work with you to create the best educational opportunities for your class.

Fall (September 24 – October 25)   Tuesday/Thursday: 10:00-11:30 or 12:45-2:15

Programs offered:

  • Plant Identification
  • Native Plants and Indigenous Uses
  • Plant Life Cycles
  • Environmental Interconnectedness
  • My 5 Senses

Late Winter (March 5 – April 18)   Tuesday/Thursday: 10:00-11:30 or 12:45-2:15

Programs offered:

  • Plant Identification
  • Native Plants and Indigenous Uses
  • Local Flora and Fauna
  • Environmental Interconnectedness
  • Community and Environment
  • Microbiology

Spring (May 14 – June 20)   Tuesday/Thursday: 10:00-11:30 or 12:45-2:15

Programs offered:

  • Native Plants and Indigenous Uses
  • Food Growing and Production
  • Plant Life Cycles
  • Pollinators
  • Propagation and Garden Planning


Plant Identification:

With a garden full of so many different plants, how do we tell them apart? We will explore how the structural features of plants, including the stems, roots and leaves help give us clues, as well as discuss the common, Indigenous, and scientific names of our local plants and animals.

Native Plants and Indigenous Uses:

Walk through our native plant garden as we discover the berries, trees, and other native plants used by the Indigenous peoples of Vancouver Island. Discover what these plants were traditionally used for and some of the history behind them.

Food Growing and Production:

How does the food we eat reach the shelves of the grocery store and our kitchens at home? We start at the beginning of this journey and explore the many steps it takes for our meals to go from farm to table.

Plant Life Cycles:

Starting from planting a seed, we’ll discover how a plant grows, develops, and goes to seed to be replanted and to regrow. We will also explore life cycles from an First People’s perspective and explore the important role that stewardship and sustainable gathering plays in their beliefs.


Pollinators are at the centre of the garden ecosystem and critical for plant survival. Together we will explore the important roles that bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and more amazing creatures play in keeping the garden healthy and thriving.

Local Flora and Fauna:

We will explore the basic needs of plants and animals, as well as their habitats. We will investigate the pond, gardens, and the neighbouring viaduct flats to look at the food, water, shelter and adaptations of local organisms to see how they survive.

Environmental Interconnectedness:

Using a traditional indigenous perspective we will explore how everything in the garden, and the world around us is connected. We will dive into the world of food webs, energy pyramids, and species interdependence, whilst discussing the role the gardens play in being a space for multiple species of plants and animals to cohabit.

My 5 Senses:

The gardens make the perfect environment to explore using all 5 of the senses. Using our surrounding ecosystem we will investigate ways to use our senses in the garden while learning about how some of our garden creatures use their senses to help them survive.

Community and Environment:

What role does a garden play in the local community? Students will learn about the types of jobs that are needed in a garden and how an urban or community garden benefits the surrounding area. We will explore how the garden is similar to a city and how multiple people are needed to make it run smoothly.

Microbiology in the Garden:

Explore the gardens and ponds through the lens of a microbiologist. We’ll investigate the tiniest members of the garden by taking an up-close look at the plants and insects that make up our ecosystem.

Propagation and Garden Planning:

Learn about the first steps in preparing a garden. We will investigate proper soils and planting tips while discussing what makes a healthy garden environment for the types of plants you are wanting to grow.



If you don’t see what you are looking for, please email us and we would be happy to discuss other possible programming options!

Booking a field trip is easy!

Email Paula at [email protected] or phone (250)-479-6162