VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Shoots with Roots

Milner Gardens & Woodland offers place-based, curriculum-linked nature education to local elementary school students through our Shoots with Roots program. 

An elementary school class at Milner Gardens & Woodland

We believe that a connection to the natural world is an essential part of a healthy childhood, and that children should experience the joy of nature before learning of its loss.  We aim to cultivate children's relationships with nature, and hope to inspire children to understand and protect the natural world.  

We gratefully acknowledge the Qualicum First Nation, on whose traditional lands we teach, learn, play, and share knowledge.

Five Visit Program


One field trip is great, but the opportunity to visit the same place throughout the year is even better.  Your class will visit five times throughout the school year to experience seasonal changes, see plants through their entire life cycle, and build memories.
Participating classes each attend twice between September and December, and three times between February and June.  Each visit introduces the children to a seasonally and age appropriate nature topic such as adaptations of local plants and animals, plant growth, pollination, photosynthesis, etc.  Structured learning activities are balanced with guided inquiry-based exploration as well as time for unstructured nature play.  Each visit is concluded with a reflective talking stick circle, and teachers are also provided with a year-long journal project for assessment purposes. 

Each visit is 2.5 hrs long and includes a snack break.  Visits are available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings. 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Five Visit Program is offered to schools free of charge.   Registration is through a lottery process.

This program is full for the 2021/22 School Year. 

COVID-19 Safety: Shoots with Roots programs are offered in person.  We follow the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, as well as VIU's Communicable Disease Plan.  Should the two plans be in disagreement, we will take the more cautious approach of the two. 

Single Visit Field Trips 

Didn't make it into the lottery, but still want to bring your class to experience the Shoots with Roots program?  Single visit field trips are available in April, May, and June.  From plants to pollinators to ponds, we offer a variety of nature and gardening topics and can adapt our programming to the interests of your class. 

Field trips are $6/student with a minimum charge of $125 for the group.  Each visit is 2.5hrs long.  Availability is limited - contact to book. 

Virtual Programming

Looking for inspiration to connect with nature at home?  Our YouTube channel offers a series of short educational videos.  For teachers looking to build their own virtual field trips, or parents searching for resources for homeschooling, our videos all list curriculum links in the descriptions, and many include suggested activities to extend the learning. 

Zoom-based Field Trips 

When in person field trips aren't possible, we offer Zoom-based virtual field trips.  Due to limited staff capacity, these field trips are ONLY available when we aren't offering field trips in person. 

group on a forested trail


We want all children to be able to enjoy our programming safely and comfortably.  Check our accessibility page for more information, and please contact us to discuss any specific concerns.  

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