Guided Nature Sessions

Register for a Guided Nature Session Here

Did you know that fish make nests? Did you know that worms make lids for their tunnels? Join the City’s Guided Nature Sessions to learn about plants, wildlife, and unique natural processes around us in over 400 hectares of Chilliwack’s green space.

Guided Nature Sessions are outings for residents hosted by a City of Chilliwack naturalist and range from uncovering interesting features of your neighbourhood urban park to hiking along the trails of Hillkeep Park in search of tasty and elusive wild-strawberries. Whether you prefer a fast-paced experience in more challenging terrain or a relaxed reflection on our surroundings, Chilliwack has over 135km of trails throughout urban and hillside areas to accommodate. Our changing seasons also provide opportunities to connect more closely with familiar locations. Outings in the spring can showcase plants blooming, being pollenated, and bearing fruit while sessions in the fall can center on wild salmon spawning in nearby creeks.

Guided Nature Sessions focus on getting to know the natural areas right in front of us. Many of nature’s intracacies and shy wildlife often go unnoticed. By slowing down and appreciating nature's nuances, we aim to create a greater connection to, and stewardship of, our shared wild spaces.

Youth viewing a baby Barn Owl before placing an ID anklet on it for research.

Register for a Guided Nature Session

All of our outings are posted on Eventbrite where you can browse the current Sessions. Please register through Eventbrite rather than connecting with the City directly. Each session has a waitlist, so if a spot on a full session becomes open, Eventbrite will notify you.

While some Guided Nature Sessions are scheduled well in advance, some can pop up quickly when opportunities arise like banding baby Barn Owls to aid in Species At Risk research. Check back frequently for newly added sessions that match your interests and abilities.

We are always working towards providing more accessibility within our offerings. If you have any access needs or questions please contact the Environmental Services Department (information below) and we are happy to provide additional support. 

Environmental Services Department

  • Office: 604.793.2907
  • Address: City of Chilliwack, 8550 Young Road, Chilliwack, BC
Searching for edible Miners Lettuce among the tall fir trees of Elk Mountain.

What you need to know

Cost: All programs run rain or shine and are free unless specifically stated.

Ages: The age indicated for each outing is a recommendation based on terrain and program content.

When to meet: Try to arrive 10 minutes early so the outing can depart on time.

What to bring: Carry a daypack with drinking water, a hat, extra clothes, and a snack (or lunch for longer outings).

How to dress: Please wear sturdy footwear and dress for the weather. Some sessions encourage you to kneel down to look closely at the forest floor or walk through overhanging vegetation; please wear clothes you are ok with getting wet and muddy. Depending on the weather, leaving a change of clothes in your car is advised.

Pets: We like pets, too. However, their presence can be disruptive to other participants and the wildlife we hope to see. If you plant to attend one of our outings, please leave your animal friends at home. 

Students learn about the self-defense methods of a Northwestern Salamander found along the side of the trail.

Resources for getting outside on your own

Natural Plants and Trees: Learn to identify our local trees, shrubs, and plants with helpful resources from the Native Plant Society of BC.

Get Acquainted with Amphibians: The Province of BC provides identifications guides to help you distinguish between local frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders.

Get Salmon Savvy: The Pacific Salmon Foundation offers Salmon School to learn about out local species, their lifecycle, and habitat needs.

Bolster your Bird Knowledge: The BC Field Ornithologists provide resources to help learn about the various birds you may encounter around Chilliwack.

Wildlife Awareness: BCWildSafe provides information on our local wildlife and how to avoid negative encounters.

Outdoor Safety: Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. You can leave a trip plan though app or web-based programs.

Prepare for the Possible: Always carry essential supplies in case the unexpected happens. Please visit your local outdoor stores for expert advice tailored to your personal needs.

Don’t Hesitate: If your outing doesn’t go as planned and you need assistance, don’t hesitate to dial 911 for help. Operators can dispatch the services you need right to you. Remember, Search and Rescue is free in BC and teams are available 24/7 to help.

School District 33 teachers touring Hooge Wetland to learn about the overwintering needs of Coho salmon.