The grade 1-2 class visited the park each month through-out the school year. Each time we visited the park we had different stations for the students to explore a different aspect of being in the park.
Here are some examples of students reflections:
First, I went to the savour the moment station. My favourite thing was Ms. Katzko reading the story to us. It made me feel relaxed
Second, I went to the plant station. I discovered golden beans, they smell like green tea.
Third, I went to the photography station. I took pictures and looked at the plants. It made me feel happy.
Last, I went to the insect station. I caught a plant bug with the entomologist. It has a boring name but is the most beautiful bug in the world!
First, I went to the plant station. I found a golden bean and it smelt like regular flowers. It made me feel like I was at home.
Second, I went to the photography station. I discovered that most of the lady bugs were up on the hill, and I took lots of pictures of them.
Third, I went to the insect station. With the help of the entomologist, I caught a seven spotted lady bug!
Last, I went to the savour the moment station. I sketched.
First, I went to the savour the moment station. I felt relaxed because I could hear the crickets calling and the wind blowing.
Second, I went to the plant station. I found what I thought was a golden rod, but Mrs. Lynch told me that it was a golden bean. I also found some wild Alberta roses.
Third, I went to the photography station. I took some pictures of dandelions and other flowers
Last, I went to insect station. I caught a seven spotted lady bug. Before, I thought that the lady bug’s only had six spots, but I discovered that they have seven! The insect station was my favourite part of the day.
First, I went to the photography station. I took pictures of a fallen tree and it was held in place by another tree. I also took a picture of a stranger’s dog that was walking by. I took a picture of a dog because it is my favourite thing.
Second, I went to the insect station. It was my favourite station because I like different kinds of bugs. I saw the pupa of a tiger beetle and sketched it in my field journal. I didn’t think that I would see a spider, but I did! I was lucky because it had all of its eight legs when I saw it, because it usually looses its legs!
Third, I went to the savour the moment station. I savoured the moment by looking at flowers and insects. It made me feel good.
Last, I went to the plant station. I put a string in the shape of the circle around an area on the hill and it had lots of different kinds of plants. I saw a rose hip and a snake root.
Here is An Example of Planning Developed by our teaching team Partway through the year:
The students learned about the:
Sensitive vegetation, terrain, and archeological sites exist within the park. It contains a significant native rough fescue grassland ecosystem and over 66 native vascular plant species have been found on the hill including parry oat grass, prairie crocus, golden bean, bedstraw, and sage.
Grasslands of this nature are considered endangered in North America because more than 95% have been lost to cultivation, tree encroachment, pollution, and development.
The grassland is one of 7 major native habitat types on the hill which together provide an excellent habitat for a variety of animals. Over 198 wildlife species have been identified on the hill.
For millennia, Nose Hill stood silent vigil as Glacial Lake Calgary receded and a river surging out from the mountains carved its way through the old lake bottom. Over the centuries that followed, the hill witnessed a succession of people sculpting a unique history within and around the Bow River Valley.
The origin of the hill's name is unclear.
In December 1779 a well-known Hudson's Bay Company trader, Peter Fidler, recorded an excursion to the hill he went on with Peigan guides. HBC trader David Thompson wintered at a Peigan encampment on the Bow River in 1787–1788, and in 1800 returned to the area as a North West Company employee. In his journal for the year, Thompson made specific note of Nose Hill.
The details of Fidler's journal entry illustrate well how dramatically the region's warm Chinook winds can affect the cold temperatures that characterize winters in southern Alberta. The temperature on the December day of Fidler's visit to Nose Hill was a balmy 14 degrees Celsius (58 degrees Fahrenheit).
Exposed to the drying and warming effects of the recurrent Chinook winds, Nose Hill long provided favorable wintering grounds for bison herds which, in turn, attracted people to the hill's grassy slopes. The park today contains numerous tipi rings. Also within the perimeters of today's park are ancient tool-making stations, a stone cairn, and evidence of bison kills conducted long ago.
In 1900, one Euro-Canadian settler in the Nose Hill area described the archaeological residue below the cliffs of the coulee by McPherson Creek as a bone bed nine feet thick and an acre in extent. Establishing the tribal identities of all the people who left archaeological evidence on and around Nose Hill is virtually impossible. Most of the more recent sites, however, probably belonged to the Peigan, who dominated the territory in the vicinity of the Bow Valley when the Europeans first appeared.
John and George McDougall, Methodist missionaries, experienced more typical winter weather when they traveled to Nose Hill to hunt bison some four decades later. En route back to their hunting camp on the bitterly cold night of January 24, 1876, the elder McDougall, George, lost his way. A savage snowstorm delayed efforts to locate the missing man. On February 6, a search party finally discovered McDougall's frozen body on the east side of Nose Creek.
Names currently associated with topographical features in and near Nose Hill Park reflect the impact of the European newcomers and European trade goods on the Peigan. For example, Spy Hill, the westward extension of Nose Hill, derived its present name from the aboriginal practice of communicating with distant colleagues by flashing European trade mirrors from elevated locations. Other effects of the Europeans' arrival were more insidious. The six bison that the Methodist missionaries shot during their ill-fated hunting excursion were mere remnants of southern Alberta's once vast buffalo population. By 1879, the bison herds had vanished from Nose Hill. A new chapter of local history had begun. A fledgling Euro-Canadian community, Fort Calgary, had appeared in the valley beneath Nose Hill.
The area around Nose Hill itself played a significant economic role in Calgary's subsequent physical transformation from police fort to prairie city. Much of the sandstone used to construct the imposing public buildings that became Calgary's hallmark after 1886 came from quarries local entrepreneurs operated on Nose Creek. Stone from the J A Lewis quarry provided the entrance to the Imperial Bank and part of the new city hall erected in 1909. Masons used materials carted into the city from Nose Creek to build James Short School and Calgary's old courthouse as well.
During the construction "boom" years prior to World War I, Nose Creek also made a significant contribution to less reputable facets of the young city's economy. Bordellos built along the banks of the creek helped sustain the local prostitution trade, and further Calgary's growing notoriety as "... the booze, brothel and gambling capital of the far western plains." Business at the brothels flourished until World War I, when competing downtown facilities that operated near the city's saloons and new army barracks diverted attention away from the less accessible Nose Hill and Nose Creek district.
In the fall of 1896, a young Blackfoot man, Running Weasel, died south of the Bow River. His final request provides eloquent testimony to Nose Hill's enduring role as a sentinel presiding over the passage of time. At his death, Running Weasel asked that he be " ... put where he could see the great city [of Calgary] grow beneath his feet." His well-known friend Deerfoot placed his coffin beside Nose Creek.
As Calgary developed and grew, it began encroaching on the hill. Developers discussed constructing a neighbourhood along the hill as early as the late 1940s. Some maps began featuring roads as far northwest as 24th Street and 48 Avenue, though none of these roads were ever constructed north of John Laurie Boulevard or west of 14th Street.
Cattle grazing continued on the hill unabated until 1969, vehicle traffic was tolerated on parts of the hill until 1971, people picnicking or just sightseeing from their car were common sights in summer months. More than 35 years later, remnants of the damage the cars created on the narrow paths can still be seen immediately west of the Calgary Winter Club Parking lot. In 1974 a grassroots group began lobbying the city to protect the area. It was not until the 1980s that Nose Hill Park was officially designated a protected area by the city; it finally gave it this designation in response to plans by developers to build a residential community on the site of the park. Once considered the northern outskirts of Calgary, the park is today surrounded on all sides by residential development. Much has been done to preserve the park. Long abandoned hulks of cars were removed from the coulees in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Today, the park is used year-round by hikers, walkers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts.
Size and location
- 11.27 square kilometers (4.4 sq mi)
- 4.8 km (3 mi) from North to South
- 4.0 km (2 mi) from East to West
- 1,125 m (3,691 ft) to 1,230 m (4,035 ft) altitude
Downtown Calgary seen from Nose Hill
Nose Hill's relatively flat summit
View of Nose Hill Park summit looking northwest
View from Nose Hill Park looking north
We developed a plant guide with the students about the park:
- Pussytoes - Antennaria (pink) – sprouts
- Three-flowered Avens - Geum triflorum – sprouts
- Wild Blue Flax - Linum lewisii
- Prairie or Mtn. Goldenrod – Solidago
- Blazing star – Liatris
- Smooth Aster - Aster laevis
- Many flowered Aster - Aster pansus
- Gaillardia – Gaillardia
- Cut-leaved Anemone- Anemone Multifida
- Smooth or tufted Fleabane - erigeron glabellus or compositus
Watch these videos on YouTube put on by Parks Canada to help the kids understand what conservation really means and how it looks in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtF9QBQGMt4&index=5&list=PLOe6XX2wBaiagSX8eaB1rpjBoNF2Xmw6o This is on the return of bison to a National Park.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J69mKmFISUQ&index=11&list=PLOe6XX2wBaiagSX8eaB1rpjBoNF2Xmw6o This is the ecosystem restoration plan in a National Park.