VIU Milner Gardens and Woodland

Shoots with Roots Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for the lottery for the Five Visit Program?

The lottery for the 2020/21 school year will be opened in September of 2020.
If you'd like to receive notice when the lottery opens, contact pamela.murray@viu.ca to be added to our email list.

What can I expect on a typical program?

Engaging learning activities are balanced with opportunities for independent exploration and discovery, all on a related theme. For instance, a primary grade may learn about pollinators by observing a demonstration using puppets, and then engage in dramatic play as they 'fly' through the garden visiting flowers with pollination tools. Visits are 2.5 hrs long in order to allow time for a snack break and some play time. Your students will be outdoors for the majority of the visit and will be kept quite active.

How do I book a program?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not taking bookings for in-person field trips at this time. 

How 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.

How many adult chaperones do I need to bring?

You may bring a maximum of three adults including yourself. These adults should be familiar with your group and have experience managing large groups of children.

Who leads the program?

All programs are led by the program co-ordinator, Pam Murray, who is a BC Certified teacher with 20 years of experience working with school groups in nature. Your group will also be accompanied by a volunteer mentor. All volunteers undergo criminal record checks, are familiar with the Milner Gardens & Woodland site, and have experience working with children.

Where does the funding come from?

The Five Visit Program is offered free of charge to local schools by Milner Gardens & Woodland. 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, such as daycamps, 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.

What if I need to cancel?

We will always make every effort to reschedule your visit, but cannot guarantee that there will be space. School programs are currently fully refundable. Cancellations for daycamps require 24 hours notice. Please help us keep our cancellation policy generous by providing as much notice as possible.

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