Never too old for nature

Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary launches new programs specifically to reconnect seniors with their natural surroundings

Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary is hoping to help seniors get in touch with nature, no matter how creepy and crawly it can be.

A series of newly offered 45-minute nature programs are specifically designed for seniors and will offer avenues into the nature and beauty of Swan Lake.

“We’ve been with families forever but it’s been a while since we’ve done something with seniors,” program naturalist Coral Forbes said.

Two programs are being offered at the nature sanctuary (3873 Swan Lake Rd.), as well as a mobile version, where naturalists come to seniors residences for group participation.

Awaken Your Senses will see participants listen to bird songs, smell beehives, observe turtles and even touch a snake. Grand fir and honey tea will be served, giving participants a literal taste of nature.

A round of Super Snake bingo provides a fun and educational game involving snake-related items and live snakes for brave souls to touch and hold.

Swan Lake is home to two species of garter snakes, and the sanctuary has a collection of live exotic snakes it brings out for special events. Forbes said many people grew up in rural areas, catching snakes as children, and this is a unique way to re-establish that connection with nature.

The programs are designed for at least 20 participants, at a cost of $60 when presented at the sanctuary, with an additional cost of $20 for the mobile program.

A third program offered only at Swan Lake is History, Tea and Tour. Participants will explore the natural and human history, both aboriginal and European, of the lake.

Seniors can take an easy stroll through the wheelchair-accessible trails of the lake and will interact with artifacts from the area’s history, including pelts, nests and skulls.

Programs are held on demand. To register or for more information, call 250-479-0211 or email programs@swanlake.bc.ca.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com