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.

School Programs

We are currently offering in-person field trips with a strict COVID-19 safety plan in place. 

May/June - Nature Exploration - FULLY BOOKED

Exploring nature is good for you! It's also the best place to start if you want to learn to protect nature. 
Your class will wake up their senses through engaging nature games then head into the forest or over to our natural ponds to hunt for bugs, get up close with plants, observe animals and maybe even squish some mud between their toes.  Safe nature exploring etiquette will also be covered.  
Curriculum links:
K – Plants and animals have observable features
1  - Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
2 – Living things have life cycles adapted to their environment
3 – Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
K-3 – Demonstrate curiosity about the natural world, observe objects and events in familiar contexts, experience and interpret the local environment

Programs are 2.5hrs and include a snack break.  

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, our programs are offered free of charge. 

Five Visit Program
Returning for the 2021/22 School Year! 

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. 

Registration for the Five Visit Program is through a lottery process, and will open in early September 2021.

Book a School Program

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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