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Half-Day Field Trips in High Park

Join the High Park Nature Centre for an engaging, outdoor experience and learn about different ecosystems, soils, animal shelters or history!
A blue notice pebble stating that registration for the fall, winter and spring seasons of school field trips in High Park is now open.
A blue notice pebble stating that registration for the fall, winter and spring seasons of school field trips in High Park is now open.

Have your students explore nature in High Park with our engaging school field trips!

Our school field trips allow students to participate in a variety of hands-on programs, including learning about animal shelters and their architects, the globally rare Black Oak Savannah, the importance of soil, the water bodies of High Park, the history of the land where the park is situated, and lots more!

Field trips will include a hike, lively discussion, fun activities, and games to get students thinking, caring, and learning about the natural world all around us that we are part of!

We believe the best place to learn about nature is in nature! Our programs take place almost exclusively outdoors.  We have indoor washrooms and cloakroom for students to store their belongings.

Please read through our program themes for the season and additional details provided below.

Book your field trips according to the seasons mentioned below:

  • Fall 2024: September – December 2024
  • Winter 2025: January – March 2025
  • Spring 2025: March – June 2025
 
Can’t find a spot available for your preferred date? Join our waitlist by filling out our waitlist form. We will get back to you if and when a spot opens up.

Keep on Trackin’: Preschool/Kindergarten

Availability: March – June

How well do we know our neighbors? Students will tune into their senses to learn about the “clues” our animal neighbors leave behind, from bird calls to animal nests to footprints on the ground!

Over and Under the Snow: Preschool/Kindergarten

Availability: January – March

Learn about the fascinating winter world taking place under the snow, look for animal tracks in the park and learn how animals and plants survive a Toronto winter through songs rhymes and an exploratory hike.

Sensing the Savannah: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Availability: September-December; March-June

High Park has a rare grassland ecosystem called the Black Oak Savannah. What is a savannah? How can we tell that we’re in one? What can we do to look after this cool amazing habitat? Students will use their senses to explore the Savannah, and depending on the time of year, they may plant seedballs to help it thrive!

Sensing the Savannah: Kindergarten – Grade 3

Availability: September-December; March-June

High Park has a rare grassland ecosystem called the Black Oak Savannah. What is a savannah? How can we tell that we’re in one? What can we do to look after this cool amazing habitat? Students will use their senses to explore the Savannah, and depending on the time of year, they may plant seedballs to help it thrive!

Keep on Trackin’: Grades 1-6

Availability: September – June

Living in a city can make it hard to see our animal neighbors – but they leave clues behind! Students will tune into their senses to learn about different kinds of animal “tracks”, from bird calls to animal nests to footprints on the ground! They will also learn about how animals’ adaptations allow them to survive and thrive in the big city!

Screech and Hoot: Grades 1-8

Availability: January – March

High Park is a great place to explore nature and to see animals or animal evidence. High Park is home to some amazing raptors, including some resident owls. In this program students will go on a hike to visit the habitats in High Park which support owls. Students will investigate how their adaptations allow owls to be successful predators!

Screech and Hoot: Grades 1-8

Availability: January – March

High Park is a great place to explore nature and to see animals or animal evidence. High Park is home to some amazing raptors, including some resident owls. In this program students will go on a hike to visit the habitats in High Park which support owls. Students will investigate how their adaptations allow owls to be successful predators!

Savannah Stewards: Grades 4-8

Availability: September – December; March – June

Students will learn about the history of stewardship in High Park. What was here first, the nature in the park or the city of Toronto? Who were the first people in this area? How has the park changed over its 140-year history? Students will learn about the globally rare black oak savannah and help restore it by planting native plants.

I Live in a Watershed: Grades 5-8

Availability: March – June

We all live in a watershed. Water is life and yet we often do not think about the importance or role humans play in water stewardship. Through investigating historical and current watershed maps, hiking to some of the nine bodies of water in High Park and learning about the diversity of life that live in High Parks wetland complex students will form a deeper understanding of the importance of protecting Toronto’s watershed systems.

How Does Place Hold Time: Grades 7-12

Availability: September – June

On this field trip, students will work together to build a two-dimensional timeline that captures the deep history of High Park including Indigenous presence, occupation, and stewardship. Afterwards, students will go on a hike across the park, and watch their timeline unfold!

How Does Place Hold Time: Grades 7-12

Availability: September – June

On this field trip, students will work together to build a two-dimensional timeline that captures the deep history of High Park including Indigenous presence, occupation, and stewardship. Afterwards, students will go on a hike across the park, and watch their timeline unfold!

New Species on the Block: Grades 9-12

Availability: September – December; March – June

High Park is home to the rare Black Oak Savannah, mixed woodlands and wetland habitats. As one or the largest urban parks in Toronto, its habitats are at risk due to the introduction of new species or “invasive species”. Students will learn about the impacts of invasive species, how to identify common invasive species like European Buckthorn, Japanese Knotweed and Garlic Mustard as well as learn about what ecosystem management practices are being used to manage them. Depending on the time of year, students will engage in stewardship activities like replanting native species.

Keep on Trackin’: Grades 9-12

Availability: January –  March

Living in a city can make it hard to see our animal neighbors – but they leave clues behind! Students will tune into their senses to learn about different kinds of animal “tracks”, from bird calls to animal nests to footprints on the ground! They will also learn about how animals’ adaptations allow them to survive and thrive in the big city!

All in-person field trip programs will meet outside the High Park Nature Centre located at 375 Colborne Lodge Drive. We are located at the North Entrance to the park. It is a 5-minute walk from the High Park Subway Station.

School buses can enter the park via the Parkside Drive entrance, then drive up Colborne Lodge Drive to drop kids off outside the Nature Centre.

Program Length

  • All programs run for 2 hours

     

Weekly availability 

School programs are available Monday – Friday throughout the week. To see the list of available dates please refer to our booking page.

  • Morning field trips run 9:30 – 11:30AM or 10AM – 12PM
  • Afternoon field trips run 12:30 – 2:30PM or 1-3PM
  • $325/class (30 students): 2-hour field trip
  • For class sizes over 30 students an additional fee of $10/student will be added.


Note: Our
Registration Policies and associated cancellation policies apply to our school field trips. Please read carefully when booking your field trip.


School Field Trip Bursary Program
 

We believe everyone should experience nature. Through our School Field Trip Bursary Program, we strive to make our programs accessible for school groups while also balancing the costs for staffing, administration and the program. We provide meaningful nature-focused experiences in High Park’s natural habitats in small groups (15 students per facilitator). Keeping our ratios low allows our instructors to engage more closely with participants and minimizes the impact of our programs on the park’s natural environment.

To apply for a School Field Trip Bursary:

  1. Complete our Field Trip Bursary application form (We are currently accepting bursary applications for the fall season of our school field trips.)
  2. We will get back to you after your application has been reviewed to let you know if your bursary is confirmed.
  3. If your bursary is confirmed, we will send you details about how to register for a program. We reserve a certain number of spots for bursary programs.

     

We use the TDSB Learning Opportunities Index to help determine if a school qualifies for a bursary. Elementary schools ranked in the Top 300 or High Schools in the top 30 on TDSB’s LOI Index may qualify. We also use additional supporting information provided in the application that demonstrates the school’s need for a bursary-supported program. For non-TDSB schools we take your supporting information into account as well as your school location. when making our decision.

We can accommodate up to 30 students in a class (plus up to 6 adult teachers/volunteers). For more than 30 students, there will be an additional class fee, and we’ll need to assess if we have additional staff available to teach. If you indicate more than 30, please email us directly to confirm if this is possible.

It’s important to be prepared for all-weather outdoor activities. Here are items and clothing to bring to the High Park Nature Centre:

  • Reusable water bottle 
  • Weather-appropriate clothing (e.g. Waterproof pants and coats when rain is expected) 
  • Closed-toe, weather-appropriate shoes
    • Note: Closed-toe shoes protect from insect bites (red ants) and poison ivy.
  • Clean face mask (optional)
  • Nut-free, litterless snacks (optional)
    • Note: The High Park Nature Centre is a nut-free zone. 

Teachers are expected to take an active role in managing the behaviours of their students. Read more about our behaviour policy by visiting our registration policy page. 

The High Park Nature Centre promotes awareness and respect for nature through year-round, hands-on outdoor nature education and park stewardship activities. We strongly believe that an important part of connecting with nature involves responsible, active outdoor play. 

At Nature Centre programs, we engage in activities such as exploring in soil, hiking in the forest, and balancing on logs. These activities can often result in kids getting their hands, legs or clothes dirty! Our leaders prioritize safety by establishing clear guidelines with all participants and supervising activities. 

If you have questions or would like to learn more about active outdoor play, please talk with us. 

Book your field trips according to the seasons mentioned below:

  • Fall 2023: September – December 2024
  • Winter 2025: January – March 2025
  • Spring 2025: March – June 2025


Can’t find a spot available for your preferred date? Join our waitlist by filling out our waitlist form. We will get back to you if and when a spot opens up.

Please ensure you’ve read and understood our registration policies:

Thank You To Our Sponsors

Our School Field Trip Bursary Program is made possible thanks to funding from the Rotary Club of Parkdale, High Park and Humber. We are grateful for their support of our school programs in High Park.