Environmental Education

CPAWS Southern Alberta provides award-winning environmental education programs for adults and youth in Calgary and the surrounding areas. Students learn environmental stewardship through our interactive programs. Since 1997, we have engaged over 100,000 students with environmental programs that link to the Alberta curriculum. We offer classroom programs and guided interpretive hikes for grades 2 to 12, as well as adult education for teachers and community groups.

CPAWS Environmental Education Programs from Tracy Jacobson on Vimeo.

Details: Environmental Education Programs

School Programs

CPAWS is an approved Calgary Board of Education (CBE),  Calgary Catholic School District (CSSD) and Rocky View School District (RVSD) service provider. Every education program listed below provides hands-on learning and links to your classroom curriculum. You can choose in-class learning, an outdoor guided hike, or both! The programs complement one another.

  1. In the classroom. We come to your classroom with all the tools we need to provide your students with a hands-on learning experience. We offer two classroom sessions (one hour each) for $100-$140 plus GST (cost depends on the number of classes that book with us). Elementary (grades 2-6) and Secondary (grades 7-12). Classroom sessions include a bonus action project planning session: by the end of the session, the class will have chosen an environmental issue and have a plan of action to tackle it.
  2. Outdoors. A certified hiking guide will take your class outdoors for the day on a guided hike. We explore wetlands, forests, grizzly bear habitat, park ecosystems and species at risk, depending on the program. Hikes are available from September – October and from May – June. We offer snowshoeing programs in February and March. Outdoor programs cost $250-$275 plus GST per class (cost depends on the number of classes that book with us). Outdoor programs include a bonus action project planning session via conference call (phone or video): by the end of the session, the class will have chosen an environmental issue and have a plan of action to tackle it. Learn More.

Support us

Help support the next generation of environmental stewards and make a donation to the  environmental education program. Visit our donation page, and under Notes say "for education in southern Alberta". DONATE HERE.

Book a program 

Our elementary, secondary and adult programs are listed below. Once you choose the program you are interested in, fill out the booking form HERE

Environmental Education For All Ages


For grades 2 to 6: in-class and outdoor education programs Learn More


For grades 7 to 12: in-class and outdoor education programs Learn More


For adult education programs including teachers, corporate groups, community groups and new immigrants, Learn More

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We are grateful for support to our Education Department from






The Chawkers Foundation              



Action Challenge

The CPAWS Action Challenge Contest is a chief component of our environmental education programs. We work with thousands of students each year, providing them with knowledge pertaining to the issues surrounding Alberta’s species at risk and their habitats. Our goal is for this learning to be taken beyond the classroom and used by students to create a positive impact on the environment. We want students to care about the environmental issues in our province and demonstrate that by taking on an Action Challenge project that shows their commitment to environmental stewardship.

All booked programs include a bonus action project planning session via conference call (phone or video): by the end of the session, the class will have chosen an environmental issue and have a plan of action to tackle it.

Download our Action Project guide for examples and ideas for Action Challenge projects.

We encourage teachers to guide their class in completing such a project, but also permit individual students to take on projects by themselves. Pairs or groups of teachers are welcome to join their classes together to complete a single, multi-class project.

Classes and individual students who have taken on Action Challenge projects may enter our Action Challenge Contest.

Entries are due May 1st.  We select several winners and reward students and classes for their great work with the following:

• prizes for each individual student
• a framed award for display in the classroom and
• a class celebration party organized by CPAWS staff
• the chance to present at the Mayor's Environmental Expo in June

The following award categories are available:

Awesome Action Award: for the elementary class (grade 2-6) that takes on the most exceptional action project.

Gareth Thompson Award: for the Junior or Senior High class (grade 7-12) that takes on the most inspiring Action Challenge project. It is named after Gareth Thompson, the founder of the CPAWS Education Department.

Hazel Gillespie Water Ranger Award: for the best Action Challenge project taken on by a class of any grade that is focused on water conservation and stewardship. This award is named after Hazel Gillespie, who, through her work with Petro Canada, invested in the initial development of our Water Rangers program that inspires students to become good water stewards.

Individual Action Award: given to the student (of any grade) that completes the most exceptional Action Challenge project on their own. The winning student will receive a prize and a framed award for display.

For questions regarding the CPAWS Action Challenge Contest or to submit your project, please contact us at or 403-232-6686.


Free Resources for Educators

CPAWS believes in helping educators bring nature and environmental stewardship to life. Download free education resources here.

Year end Report

Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact our Environmental Education Department at, or call 403-232-6686.

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