Springtime at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve is just one more thing to look forward to as the days get longer and the weather gets warmer. If getting up close and personal with wild animals in the great outdoors is your kind of thing, there are plenty of experiential, outdoor learning opportunities for people of all ages.
Plan to bring your family and friends to the annual Most Egg-cellent Easter Egg-stravaganza Scavenger Hunt, taking place at the preserve on April 21 and 22. One of the biggest annual events, the Easter Hare, leaves clues for visitors to solve an Easter riddle. Most importantly, there are chocolate eggs for all visitors. Regular admission applies to this can’t-miss family event.
Educators can contact the preserve to coordinate school program offerings, continuing into spring with Swan Haven. Running April 8 to 30, with spaces open for classes from grades two, three and five, students travel to M’Clintock Bay on Marsh Lake where they can enjoy great visibility and learn about migrating swans and waterbirds.
From May 10 to June 7, kindergarteners can take part in “Animal Explorations.” Through a combination of storytelling, animal observations and hands-on exploration, students discover how animals are affected by weather and climate. Grade one students will have the opportunity to explore the preserve on foot in an exciting adventure focused on animal and plant classification through “Plants and Animals.” Programming for grade four students has been updated to link directly to school curriculum. In “Wild Habitats,” students will investigate the dynamic relationships that define wildlife in the Yukon, including how living things sense and respond to their environments.
Parents and caregivers can book summer nature camps now for 6 to 8-year-olds and 9 to 12-year-olds. Running from June 17 to August 16, the week-long day camps are a terrific and convenient way to connect children with the outdoors and the preserve’s unique facilities. Daily transportation is included to and from downtown Whitehorse. This year’s themes include Animal Care School, Wilderness Skills, Hidden Worlds Uncovered and Wild Detectives. Visit www.YukonWildlife.ca/Education for more details and to see a full list of educational programming opportunities.
Don’t forget to keep your eyes and ears out for announcements of pending arrivals at the Preserve. That’s right, as in wild habitats, spring often means the arrival of baby animals! New additions also come in the form of wildlife in need of rescue and rehabilitation, so be sure to check in often for opportunities to see and learn about the new kids on the preserve block.
The Yukon Wildlife Preserve is a non-profit organization. You can help ensure they can continue to provide high-quality, hands-on (and fun!) learning opportunities for Yukoners and visitors of all ages by becoming a member and/or donating at www.Donate.YukonWildlife.ca.
The preserve is located on kilometer 8 of the Takhini Hot Springs Road, approximately 25 minutes north of Whitehorse.
Spring hours are Friday to Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with guided bus tours at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Extended March break hours mean the gates are open daily between March 8 and March 24.