April 12, 2022

Adopt-a-Patch Summer 2022

Do you visit Elk Island National Park often? Do you want to contribute to the conservation of the park? Here is your chance to enjoy the great outdoors and help protect the park from invasive plants (weeds) that threaten the ecosystem.

Elk Island National Park is seeking volunteers who are willing to visit several times throughout the summer. Parks Canada specialists will work with you to provide training so that you are confident while volunteering. Once trained, you will work independently at your adopted patch/trail throughout the summer as your time permits. 

Email benevoleselkisland-elkislandvolunteers@pc.gc.ca to learn more and if you would like to participate.

March 30, 2022

Join Our Team: Summer Student - Indigenous Focus

We are seeking a qualified individual to support the Indigenous engagement coordinator in their work. The Biosphere’s Indigenous engagement plan focuses on building relationships between Nations and Individuals who have ancestral connections to the Beaver Hills and the lands within the Biosphere. This position will also gain a breadth of experience working with Biosphere staff and partners on various projects related to conservation, education, restoration and climate change resilience.

Help support Indigenous engagement and connection to land in the Beaver Hills Biosphere.

Check out the job description for complete details and how to apply.

March 7, 2022

Join Our Sikwân (spring) 2022 Indigenous Book Club

Our fourth Indigenous book club represents a full year of collectively learning about new perspectives. This time we zoom out to a larger vision and reforming our conservation practices to align with Indigenous worldviews described in Fresh Banana Leaves: Healing Indigenous Landscapes Through Indigenous Science by Dr. Jessica Hernandez. We jump right into the book at the first meeting. All meetings run from 12pm to 1pm.

March 21: Introduction
April 5: Chapter 1 and 2
April 19: Chapter 3
May 3: Chapter 4 and 5
May 17: Chapter 6
May 31: Chapter 7
June 14: Chapter 8

Register here.

February 17, 2022

Tyrrell and Papaschase, Part 2: He Who Sees Beyond the Hills

Perhaps the most powerful story told in the vignette series to date, in this second installment, the great-great grandchildren of Chief Papaschase and his brother Bateau reflect on their ancestors' role in Joseph Tyrrell's 1886 survey of the Beaver Hills. Featuring George Quinn and Chief Darlene Misik.

Watch it now

February 23, 2022

Next Steps in the Coexisting With Wildlife Project

Over the past year, we have been working to better understand community values, issues and priorities from people who live, work and recreate in the Beaver Hills as they relate to wildlife through our Human Wildlife Coexistence project.

This important project continues and, as part of phase 3, we are hosting a collaborative, online workshop to determine how best to promote human-wildlife coexistence in the area. During this session, we will share the suggestions and strategies we have heard to date and ask you for feedback about what we should prioritize over the coming years.

Join us:

Thursday, March 10, 2022
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Register here

Rather not attend a workshop? You can also fill out our online survey.

January 12, 2022

Tyrrell and Papaschase, Part 1: Of Maps and Men

Canadian Geological Surveyor Joseph B. Tyrrell, famous for his discovery of dinosaur bones in the Badlands, embarks on a little-known adventure into the Beaver Hills. Chief Papaschase helps him on his way! Our latest video vignette in the history of the Beaver Hills is now available on the website.

Check it out

January 18, 2022

Join Our Pipon (Winter) 2022 Indigenous Book Club

Learn more about Indigenous ways of knowing and traditional ecological knowledge. Join our latest virtual book club where we will explore Indigenous knowledges and how they can inform and expand our understanding of conservation, biodiversity, natural sciences and wellness.

For our third book, in casual online conversations, we will be reading and discussing The Seed Keeper by Dakota author Diane Wilson.

January 18: Initial meeting and chat
February 1: Chapters 1-9
February 15: chapters 10-18
March 1: Chapters 19-27
March 15: Chapters 28-36

Register today.

December 21, 2021

Spruce Lodge

Edmonton's first Sheriff built the first recreational cabin on the shore of Cooking Lake in the 1890s. This cabin is about to take centre stage in a new story for the 21st century. Now live on the website, episode 7 of our video vignette series continues to recount the rich history of the Beaver Hills and features the story of Spruce Lodge.

Watch now

December 7, 2021

Cree Star Stories With George Desjarlais

Learning the Star Stories of Indigenous Peoples

Have you ever wondered why the common names of constellations come from Greek mythology? Surely there must be other stories of the stars?

Join us December 20 from 6:00 - 8:30 PM and explore a Cree perspective on the night sky at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre. George Desjarlais from Frog Lake First Nation will guide us through a presentation before we go outside and hear star stories of the Nêhiyawâk (Cree) and Métis peoples.

Proof of vaccination is required and masks are mandatory at the Strathcona Wilderness Centre. As portions of this event are outdoors, remember to dress for the weather.

Registration is limited to 15 people.

Register today.

Brought to you by the Beaver Hills Biosphere in partnership with Strathcona County.

December 2, 2021

Koney Island

Now live on the website, episode 6 of our video vignette series unfolds the story of how, in 1894, a group of ten Edmonton professionals founded the Koney Island Sporting Company with a dream to turn Cooking Lake into a major recreational epicentre. Learn their story and discover how a little island in the heart of the Beaver Hills came to be the site of Alberta's oldest surviving Limited Corporation.

Watch the story

Episodes 7 and 8, that continue these narratives, are also coming soon.

November 9, 2021

Filling in the Blanks

Now live on the website, in episode 5 of our Beaver Hills video vignette series, Matt Hiltermann continues an exploration of early settlement in the Beaver Hills with visits to the Golden Ranches, St. Margaret's Church and Cemetery, and the 1890s Gladu Stopping House.

Check it out

Episodes 6 and 7, that continue these narratives, are also coming soon.

October 26, 2021

A Special Welcome to Our Inaugural Biosphere Laureates

The first Canadian biosphere to establish these positions, we are pleased to introduce you to our inaugural Historian Laureate, Keara Lightning and Visual Arts Laureate, Ariane Inman. These unique positions will further our efforts to capture and tell the rich and diverse natural and cultural stories of the Biosphere and will ensure that people from near and far are aware of and connected to this incredible place.

Meet our Laureates.


October 19, 2021

Upcoming Course: Blackfoot Phenology for Farmers

Young Agrarians is hosting a year-long course designed to help aspiring, new, and experienced farmers and food lovers to observe and learn from their local ecologies. Developed and taught by Beaver Bundle holder Ryan First Diver of the Kainai Nation, the course will provide you with foundational knowledge of Blackfoot understandings and ways of relating to diverse plants and animals throughout the seasons.

Learn more.

October 15, 2021

Fall Indigenous Book Club

Starting November 2, 2021, join us for our second Indigenous book club where, in an online ‘lunch and learn’ format, we will be reading and discussing Spirit Gifting: The concept of spiritual exchange. Join us to explore a new path through a traditional Métis worldview to holistic wellness through author Elmer Ghostkeeper’s first person narrative.

Learn more and register today.

September 28, 2021

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is September 30

This day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. Public commemoration of the tragic and painful history and ongoing impacts of residential schools is a vital component of the reconciliation process. Plan to observe, learn and take part in National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at various events and activities taking place throughout the Biosphere.

RMA Rural Municipalities of Alberta also offers municipalities Ideas for Recognizing September 30: The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.


September 20, 2021

We Welcome Our Newest Sibling in the Canadian UNESCO Biosphere Family

A five-year-long quest has finally paid off. On September 15, 2021, the Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound region was at long last recognized as Canada’s 19th biosphere region by UNESCO. The community-managed Biosphere Region—home to ancient glass sponge reefs and two million-year-old volcanoes—champions local solutions to global environmental challenges.

Read their news release and get to know the newest member of the family.

Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative


September 15, 2021

Are You One of Our First Biosphere Laureates?

We are very pleased to announce we are now seeking people interested in taking on the inaugural positions of Historian Laureate and Visual Arts Laureate for the Beaver Hills Biosphere. The first Canadian biosphere to do so, and with funding support from the Edmonton Heritage Council, we are now accepting applications for one (1) Historian Laureate and one (1) Visual Arts Laureate.

This unique approach will assist and further our efforts to capture share the rich and diverse history and culture associated with and the creativity inspired by the Beaver Hills. For more information read the:

Historian Laureate Position Description

Visual Arts Laureate Position Description


We have extended the deadline for applications to September 30. To apply, send a CV and cover letter to info@beaverhills.ca detailing why you are especially suited to one of these important new positions. 

September 9, 2021

Take the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot PRA Recreation Survey

This study is collecting valuable information to help us understand how hunters and non-hunters share the landscape in the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area (PRA). The University of Alberta, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation is collaborating with the Alberta Conservation Association and the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks to help them understand your outdoor recreation experiences and what you think might improve those experiences.

Learn more and take the survey.

August 28, 2021

Golden Ranches: A gem in the heart of the Beaver Hills Biosphere

Just east of Edmonton, and in the heart of the UNESCO-designated Beaver Hills Biosphere, lies Golden Ranches. CBC's Our Edmonton host and producer, Adrienne Lamb, recently visited this 550 hectare conservation area. Stewarded collaboratively by numerous organizations including the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Alberta Conservation Association, Edmonton and Area Land Trust, and Alberta Fish and Game Association, Golden Ranches is an important wildlife corridor and opportunity for people to experience nature first-hand. The video feature and the entire episode is now available.

Watch it now.

The last chance to catch the entire episode on CBC TV and the CBC GEM before it goes into the CBC archive vault is today at 11 a.m.

Read the article.

August 19, 2021

Indigenous Engagement in the Biosphere

This morning, our Indigenous Engagement Coordinator, Bob Montgomery, spoke with Edmonton AM host Mark Connolly from CBC Radio about the relationship building, engagement activities and efforts to reconnect people with the land that are underway in the Biosphere.

Listen to the interview

August 18, 2021

Bison in the Balance

Recently published in Beside magazine, this engaging and informative article explains the efforts underway in the Beaver Hills Biosphere to find a balance between the Biosphere’s protected areas and the humans who live nearby, as local ecologists strive to invite more participation in the parks while still respecting nature’s limits.

Read the article.

July 14, 2021

Join Us for an Introduction to Invasive Plants

Date: July 28, 2021
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Elk Island National Park
Meet in the Mud Lake parking lot at Elk Island National Park at 6 PM

The Beaver Hills Biosphere and Elk Island National Park invite you to this informative event to learn about invasive plants on grasslands.

At this free event you will learn about:

  • Invasive plant theory and classification
  • What makes a plant a weed
  • Issues faced by the park
  • Species of concern and how to identify them
  • Control methods used in the park

Space is limited to 20 people.

Register today

July 2, 2021

Become a Strathma Explorer!

Are you between the ages of 8 and 12 and curious about the world we live in?

The Beaver Hills Biosphere is thrilled to team up with the education team at the Strathcona County Museum and Archives (Strathma) to deliver this exciting new summer program series. In July and August, we will be popping up at various locations throughout Strathcona County and the Beaver Hills Biosphere. Join us as we play, discover, inquire, and connect.

  • July 15 - Beaver Hills Biodiversity Trail
  • July 29 - Sherwood Park Natural Area
  • August  12 - Strathma Garden (at Strathma)
  • August 26 - Beaver Hills Biodiversity Trail

All activities are from 9am - 12pm.

For more information and to register visit https://www.strathma.ca/programs.

June 22, 2021

Help Us Advance Nature-Based Education in the Biosphere

Public Survey

We are exploring meaningful learning in the Beaver Hills Biosphere and will be creating a plan for the future of education in the Biosphere, but we can’t do it alone. We invite you to share your experiences, ideas and hopes as inspiration for continued connection with nature through the Beaver Hills Biosphere. Your experiences are important to us and this survey helps us connect with you and your knowledge.

Take our public survey.

Teacher Survey

The Beaver Hills Biosphere is committed to offering meaningful learning opportunities for students and teachers. We are creating a plan for the future of education in the biosphere, but we can’t do it alone. The thoughts and ideas that you share through this survey will directly impact the way that young people engage with the incredible stories of Alberta’s newest Biosphere region, the Beaver Hills Biosphere. Thank you for participating and contributing to these efforts.

Take our teacher survey.

June 21, 2021

National Indigenous Peoples Day: It's more than just a day

Sarah Jacknife, a friend of Bob Montgomery, our Indigenous Engagement Coordinator, wrote a good piece on her reflections on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

We invite you to read Sarah's reflections and her suggestion for ten ways to stay engaged in reconciliation.

Read Sarah's post.