Teacher-Guided Field Studies
All teachers bringing students on a teacher-guided field study must
- Complete the school group use form and fax it back to the park office
- Review our park rules and visit guidelines (inlcuded with the form) with your group.
- Please check Advisories before your visit for trail conditions, facility closures or other information that may impact your planned visit.
For additional info on selecting activities or park sites, phone Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre at 403-297-7827.
Suggestions for Areas to Visit
We recommend that teachers NOT conduct field studies in the Bow Valley Ranch and Shannon Terrace areas. These are usually very busy with groups booked in school programs.
Fish Creek Provincial Park Pathway Map
- The east end of the park is primarily grasslands with some riverine forest along the creek. This area extends from Macleod Trail to the Bow River.
- The west end of the park is a mixture of poplar and white spruce forests with some grasslands. This area is between Macleod Trail and 37 Street S.W.
Unless the season is very dry, temporary marshes can be found at Votier's Flats Day Use Area, close to the lower washrooms. These are suitable for a wetlands study.
Orienteering courses are located at Bow Valley Ranch Day Use Area and Shannon Terrace Day Use Area. Phone 403-297-7827 or 403-297-7927 for further info and resources.
Suggestions for On-site Activities
Provincial parks are set aside for preservation, heritage appreciation, outdoor recreation and heritage tourism. Lots of groups visit Fish Creek Provincial Park each year. The cumulative effect of groups doing intrusive activities can have a negative impact on a park's ecosystems. Please select activities that show respect for the environment and a commitment to its care.
Our suggested activities fit both Alberta Education's science curricula and the mandate of Alberta's parks. The table below shows which curricula each activity
- Fits directly as presented
- Fits if modified
You may also want to consider the suggestions provided for youth group activities.
- Choose on-site activities that fit your lesson plans and students' skills levels. Check the activity suggestions above.
- Gather activity equipment. Photocopy any worksheets the students need.
- Arrange transportation. Provide drivers with route maps. Advise that
- The speed limit in the park is 30 km/hr.
- Nothing of value should be left in parked vehicles due to break-ins.
- Check student forms looking for allergies to bee/wasp stings.
- Collect parental permission forms.
- Conduct preparatory activities with the students. Each of the on-site activity options above includes preparatory suggestions.
- Arrange for and prepare adult volunteers. Have an in-service after school for volunteers to
- Explain their role.
- Orient them to the activities and any specific health or student concerns.
- Review park rules and appropriate dress for the day.
- If an in-service is not possible, prepare the above information in written form. Provide it to parents several days prior to the park visit. This gives them time to become familiar with the information and to ask any questions.
- Arrange to have at least one cell phone with you during your visit. Ensure the battery is fully charged.
- Conduct a class discussion (as suggested below) reviewing
- The role of provincial parks
- Park rules
- Clothing needs and behaviour expectations
- On the field trip day
- Phone the park office at 403-297-5293 for up-to-date information including trail conditions and washroom facilities.
- Check that all students have lunches/snacks and proper clothing.
Seasonal Safety Concerns
- Wasps seek shelter from cool temperatures under fallen leaves. Reaching into piles of dead leaves may result in a painful sting.
- Most wasp stings occur in the fall. Wasps are lethargic then and less likely to use flight as a defense.
- Anyone who is allergic to wasp or bee stings must have their kit with them at all times while in the park.
- Trails may be extremely icy.
- Use caution, especially when walking downhill.
- Spring runoff may flood some trails.
- Fish Creek may be flowing high and fast. Keep back from the banks which can be slippery or eroded.
- Mosquito repellent will be necessary.
- Everyone must have a hat, sunscreen and plenty of fluids to avoid heat exhaustion or heatstroke
Class Discussion About Protecting Natural Areas
Parks and protected areas are lands set aside to preserve the biodiversity of natural environments. Alberta's parks system includes a spectrum of sites ranging from intensively developed recreation areas to pristine wilderness.
Discuss how students should behave on the visit to show respect for the natural environment and a commitment to its care. All park rules reflect this need to respect, preserve and protect the environment.
Class Discussion About Field Study Safety
To help ensure everyone's safety during the park visit
- Stay with at least one other person. Fish Creek Provincial Park is very large. It is easy for a child to become disoriented and lost.
- Elementary age students must always remain within sight of an adult.
- Junior high school students must always be with at least one other student.
- Walking is safer than running. There are many things in a natural environment to trip over. If you fall when running, your injuries are likely to be more severe.
- All park pathways are multiple use. Use caution to avoid potential collisions with cyclists and other users coming from the opposite direction.
- Dress appropriately for an outing in a natural area. This may include: sturdy, waterproof footwear; a water repellent jacket; and a change of socks and pants.
- Also refer to the seasonal safety concerns outlined above.