The Palisades Stewardship Education Centre
Canadian youth will share a passion and appreciation for Canada’s national parks and national historic sites; through personal connection, they will develop a sense of belonging. Youth will move beyond participation towards active ambassadorship.
The Palisades Stewardship Education Centre is surrounded by the awe-inspiring mountains of Jasper National Park. The modern facility and beautiful grounds create a special relational space for your youth group. The Parks Canada education team has the gear (canoes, kayaks, mountain bikes, snowshoes, skis and more), the training and the experience to keep youth safe and engaged in quality programs. We take advantage of the best local resources, including an indigenous knowledge keeper, to connect youth with the natural and cultural heritage of Jasper National Park. Our strength is experiential education, blending mountain recreation with environmental stewardship. Through multi-day, nature-immersion programs, youth create memories that last a lifetime.
- High School Aged Youth (Grades 10-12)
- Middle School Aged Youth (Grades 5-9)
Elementary School Day Programs (Kindergarten to Grade 4)
Schools and youth groups can participate in general multi-day programs that enrich their existing programs such as leadership, physical education, social studies or International Baccalaureate. These programs focus on various mountain recreation, stewardship and artistic pursuits in nature or can be tailored to meet specific academic, social and physical needs. Signature components include survival skills, photography, the night sky, wildlife, mountain recreation and ecology, service learning, land art, teambuilding, geocaching and orienteering.
Career and Technology Studies (CTS)
Spend four days at the Centre and earn 3 high school credits (Introduction to Stewardship, Outdoor Survival Skills and Environmental Stewardship Project A). Participate in a variety of structured mountain recreation learning activities, learn about park management issues, and investigate Green Sector careers. Plan and execute service learning projects (such as non-native species removal or trail clearing).
« Sur la trace des pionniers » - 4 days, 3 credits
Offered in French only, this course focused on outdoor activities and Francophone history and culture in Canada. Students will earn credits in the following CTS courses: WLD 1010 : Introduction aux études sur la faune et la flore, WLD 1060 : Orientation dans la nature, WLD 1130 : Habiletés de survie en plein air
Leadership Fundamentals - 2 days, 1 credit
Participate in various team-building and leadership challenges. Explore the park through mountain recreation and participate in a service learning project. Focus on communication skills, building trust and resiliency.
Outdoor Survival Skills – 2 days, 1 credit
Explore Jasper National Park and acquire the skills and knowledge that will help you have safe, enjoyable outdoor pursuits. Increase your ability to trip plan, navigate, travel and recreate safely in mountain environments. Learn about “leave no trace” principles and how to minimize environmental impact.
Parks Canada and Grande Yellowhead Public School Division work in partnership to provide schools or individual students with unique courses specific to Jasper National Park. School groups can access the courses through Grande Yellowhead Public School Division or students can register independently in GYPSD’s expanding Summer School and Winter School.
Water Experience - Locally Developed Course
Make a splash! Learn to canoe and kayak on beautiful mountain lakes. Gain knowledge and experience to safely discover the natural water resources available in your community. The objectives are to introduce you with a variety of water related experiences, develop an understanding of watershed ecosystems and enhance leadership skills within a context of critical thinking.
Winter Travel - Locally Developed Course
Get outside and play in the snow! Spend two days at Marmot Basin working with Parks Canada team members, Marmot ski patrol and instructors. Next, cross-country ski and snowshoe in the Athabasca Valley or Maligne Valley. Five major topics are centered on winter travel; Hazard Awareness and Mitigation, Ecological Integrity, Historical Importance, Skill Development with Specialized, Technology and Equipment, and Appreciation and Value for the Mountain Parks Environment.
Note – all credit courses involve pre and post immersion course work.
Schools and youth groups can participate in general multi-day programs that enrich their existing programs and focus on developing students’ cross curricular competencies. These courses focus on wellness, leadership, communication, problem solving, outdoor recreation, and stewardship. These programs can be tailored to meet students’ specific academic, social and physical needs. Signature components include survival skills, photography, the night sky, wildlife, mountain recreation and ecology, service learning, land art, teambuilding, geocaching and orienteering.
Curricular Linked Programs (2-3 days)
Career and Technology Foundations (CTF) –
Students investigate two occupational areas:
- - Human Services (Tourism)
- - Resources (Environmental Stewardship and Wildlife)
Pre-immersion work includes research based on the tourism industry and stewardship in Jasper National Park. Visit the Palisades Centre for two days where you learn about stewardship, animals and tourism in Jasper National Park. Solve a variety of problems. You will be faced with open ended tasks that let you design, cooperate, communicate, and reflect on your learning.
Post-immersion tasks let you reflect on your learning and design a project to share with your classmates.
Teachings of the Mountain People
Learn about the long history of the Athabasca Valley and the formation of Jasper National Park. Explore traditional teachings and view ecological integrity and stewardship through a new lens. Discover the history of the fur trade as it relates to Jasper House. Consider land-based practices and traditional ecological knowledge with local examples. A regional Elder or Knowledge Keeper joins the students for this program.
Grade 5 – Wetlands
Explore the flora and fauna of a local wetland. Learn about their life cycles and aquatic adaptations. Explore how human actions can threaten wetland ecosystems and how individuals and groups can preserve and enhance wetland habitats.
Grade 6 – Trees and Forests
Explore the forests of Jasper National Park and focus on four specific species. Learn about forest health, mountain pine beetle, fire management and tree adaptations.
Grade 6 – Forensic Science
Build your communication and teamwork skills as you try to catch a poacher! Work with Parks Canada educators to learn about the investigation skills required for enforcement of the National Parks Act. Work in teams to collect and catalogue evidence to solve a crime.
Grade 7 – Interactions and Ecosystems
Participate in active learning sessions focused on the intricate relationships and human interaction between flora and fauna, weather and landscape. Learn about key species in the park and park management issues. Discover the complex web of ecosystem components as you explore Jasper National Park. Hiking/biking or cross-country skiing/snowshoeing, GPS, and team building games strengthen physical, geographical and ecological literacies.
Grade 8 - Winter Water!
Participate in hands-on frozen water activities. Visit the Maligne Valley to learn how glaciers sculpt the land. See how water still impacts the landscape. Participate in a snow study, and learn about dynamic aquatic populations and human interaction. Snowshoe and cross-country ski along a frozen lake, investigate water quality management issues and learn to value Canada’s freshwater.
Grade 9 – Biodiversity
Engage in citizen science as you explore Jasper National Park. Focus on the challenges faced by local species at risk, including grizzly bears (Special Concern) and little brown bats (Endangered). Identify and remove non-native species in Jasper National Park. Engage in restoration projects such as non-native weed removal or riparian re-vegetation. Relate biodiversity to park issues and conservation efforts.
Nature is a powerful classroom. Spend your day outside investigating key questions from the Science or Social Studies Alberta Education Program of Studies.
Seasonal Changes, Senses and Animals (Science)
Discover how seasons affect animals in Jasper National Park. Learn how humans can safely live near these wild animals.
Small Crawling and Flying Animals (Science)
Explore the forest with your senses and experience the signs of changing seasons. Explore the forest for evidence of small animals. Play games exploring predator/prey relationships. Develop an appreciation of the small animals in Jasper National Park.
Bats!!! Life Cycles, Sound and Hearing (Science)
Focus on the life of a local but endangered bat. Discover how they live, feed and communicate. Learn the importance of bat habitat, threats they face and how to help.
The Fur Trade and Jasper House
Learn about the cultural importance of Jasper National Park and other national parks and national historic sites in Canada. Discover the long indigenous history of the Athabasca Valley and the effect of the establishment of Jasper National Park.