VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Shoots with Roots Frequently Asked Questions

How many students can I bring on a field trip?

Visits are limited to one class at a time.  Maximum class size for a school visit is the same as maximum class sizes for each grade as set by the provincial government, with a maximum of 30 students for any group.

How many adult helpers should I bring?

Each class is permitted to bring a maximum of three adults including the classroom teacher.  If a particular student requires an additional adult to attend to directly support them that is of course permitted. 

Do your programs link to curriculum?

All of our programming supports student learning across the curriculum, including science, language arts, and physical education. Time spent in nature has also been shown to increase attention and reduce anxiety in children. If you require a list of specific curriculum links, just ask - there are too many to list here.

Who leads the program?

The Shoots with Roots Coordinator, Pam Murray, plans, prepares, and leads all of the school visits and also manages the Shoots with Roots program.  Pam began her career as an interpretive naturalist in 1997, and has planned and delivered place-based nature education for Parks Canada, Metro Vancouver Parks, Capital Regional District Parks and in BC Parks for over 20 years. She is also a certified teacher and uses this background to work with attending teachers to ensure that the programs are curriculum-linked, age-appropriate, and consistent with current best practices in elementary education.  Most groups will also be accompanied by a volunteer mentor, many of whom are retired teachers.

Where does the funding come from?

Each year we offer a number of spaces in our Five Visit Program free of charge to local schools. This is made possible through the support of individual donors as well as local community groups and businesses. Staff and volunteers also undertake various fundraising efforts throughout the year. We do not receive funding from government or local school districts. Additional programs are offered on a cost-recovery basis.

What if it rains?

Our programs run rain or shine. Please discuss appropriate clothing and footwear with your students. We may cancel a program on the rare occasion that extreme weather such as high winds or heavy snow presents a safety risk. 

Are your programs accessible for all students? 

We want all students to be able to participate in our programs safely and joyfully.  Please check out Accessibility for more information.  

What is your communicable disease safety plan?

We follow the Provincial Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings, as well as VIU's Communicable Disease Plan.  Should the two plans be in disagreement, we take the more cautious approach of the two.