Walking Tours and Education Programs

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Fish Creek Provincial Park is a vast cultural, historical and ecological resource. The Friends’ walking tours and education programs offer tremendous opportunities for visitors to learn from experienced guides about a variety of topics including history, nature, engineered wetlands, astronomy and yes, even ghosts!

Interested in volunteering as a Tour Assistant?  We’re still looking for a few more people this year; you can find out more here!

For those who may have limited mobility or might just be interested in a fun ride through the park, check out our Minibus Tours.

ReWilding Through Restoration with Tobin Benedict – September 12, 6:00 – 8:00  pm and October 13, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Cookhouse at the Bow Valley Ranch

Many areas within Fish Creek Provincial Park suffer from the intensity of human use; this is particularly the case along the banks of Fish Creek where human activity can contribute significantly to an overall decline in ecosystem health. Join the Friends of Fish Creek to learn about how this happens and how we work to engage the community at large to “ReWild” the park through hands-on stewardship work.

$5 per person. Register through Eventbrite

Night Sky Wonders with Don Hladiuk – October 17, 6:30-8:30pm, Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Center

Do you ever look up at the night sky and wonder about what it is that you see?  Join the Friends of Fish Creek to learn about local fall and winter constellations, planets, meteor showers and other events.  Presenter Don Hladiuk will start the evening with an indoor presentation to provide some astronomy basics, then we’ll head outside (weather permitting) for a look at the night sky in all its wonder!  Complementary hot drinks will be available, so please bring a travel mug!

$15 per person, children 12 and under are free!  Register through Eventbrite

The Ghosts of Fish Creek  October 23, 24, 29 –  6:30-7:30pm

The fascinating history of Fish Creek Provincial Park lends itself to a myriad of mysterious happenings! Learn about it all on this fun and freaky walking tour of the Bow Valley Ranch area.

$7 per person, Register through Eventbrite

 No drop in’s please

A Look at Our Tour Guides and Instructors…..

Wayne Meikle worked for Provincial Parks in Alberta for 35 years until he retired as an Urban Park Planner. He worked mainly in the area of urban park management and has been involved in operations, construction and planning of urban parks. In Calgary, Wayne has been on numerous planning teams involving the planning and construction of major roadways, constructed wetlands and new subdivisions. He is a founding member of the Friends of Fish Creek and one of our most dedicated volunteers.

I sincerely appreciate the work and contributions that Wayne Meikle has made over many years of dedication to develop, preserve and protect natural areas of Alberta, and to continuously educate the public on these critically important ecosystems for all who live and play within them. I was touched to read the Calgary Herald article in September 2016 where he shared the experience of losing his wife Sheena earlier that year, and how the Memorial Forest has helped him to maintain perspective on life since then. Wayne’s time and effort to give back so much to the natural and human world in Alberta is impressive – to say the least. – Paul Klaasen

Drew McKibben has been in the communications business for nearly 25 years as a journalist, a broadcaster and author of periodical nature stories for children.  Before his communications career, Drew spent a decade in the backcountry as a fire lookout and lighthouse keeper, and as a foreman with federal and provincial parks building backcountry projects.  He has also worked as an interpreter of cultural history at Calgary’s Heritage Park and is currently a river guide on the Bow River for Calgary’s River Watch program.  Drew has been an avid volunteer with the Friends since 2014.

Val Shartau is native Calgarian.  She was a teacher of Social Studies and English for 20 years, then owned her own business for another 15 years. She has always had a strong interest in local history and the outdoors and enjoys regular walking, cycling, birding and  communing with nature. 

Don Hladiuk has been looking up at the stars since he was a little boy.  He is best know as the Starman on the CBC EyeOpener for the last 33 years and was also involved in developing the Alberta Parks “Star Night” event almost 20 years ago. For  his 40 years of community service, asteroid 73704 was named asteroid “Hladiuk”. You can follow Don on Twitter and Instagram at: astrogeo

Tobin Benedict has always had a very strong connection with nature. She grew up going camping, hiking, skiing and loved doing anything in the outdoors. In high school, she started to learn about the environmental degradation and exploitation facing the world, and this lead her to pursue her passion for nature through studying Environmental Science at the University of Calgary. She believes that conservation starts with learning how to respect and love yourself and then you will want to respect and love the planet you live on. This is Tobin’s first year as a Friends’ Tour Guide!

Past Programs This Season…..

Hull’s Wood Winter Walking Tour with Wayne Meikle – Feb 7, in celebration of Winter Walk Day

Bebo Grove Early Spring Walk with Wayne Meikle March 24, 1-2pm

Night Sky Wonders with Don Hladiuk –  April 11th, 7-9pm 

Summer Walk with Wayne Meikle – June 9, 1-3pm

Alien Invasion: Native and Invasive Plants in Fish Creek Provincial Park with Drew McKibben – June 27, July 11,  August 9

ReWilding Through Restoration with Drew McKibben – July 7, 10am-noon

Find out more about the Friends’ Riparian Stewardship Program and restoration projects

 *These programs take place outdoors or have an outdoor component and carry risks outside of the facilitator’s control. By attending these programs you are agreeing to do so at your own risk.*

**Cancellation policy: In the event of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, cancellations will be posted on this page within 4 hours prior to the tour time (or in the case of an early morning program, the evening before).**

If you have ideas for educational tour offerings, would be interested in volunteering as a tour guide or for more information on our walking tours and education programs, please contact Shana Barbour, Program Coordinator, at shana@friendsoffishcreek.org or 403- 238-3841.

Photo Credit: Julie Gordeau, Capture Nature Photo Contest (2017)