About Us

Information for Educators

Thank you for your interest in an education program at the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA). 

Our hands-on programs inspire awareness, appreciation, and action! The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area is a 4800 acre natural area, located southwest of Calgary on 160th St SW off Highway 22X. The ASCCA is a mix of aspen forest and grassland habitats and is home to over 400 species of plants and wildlife.

We would like your experience at the ASCCA to be educational, fun and memorable.  In order to achieve this, we need to cover the following areas of safety, inservices and program resources . Full-day programs led by ASCCA educators involve hiking and nature exploration.

Also check out some great education material in our helpful resources for teachers section.


Safety is a top priority for our organization and all of our programs.  Conservation Discovery Programs are led by our Conservation Educators, who are either an ASCCA staff member or a volunteer educator.  We have the following measures in place to ensure a safe program for you and your students:

  • All Conservation Educators are trained in first aid
  • Conservation Educators carry a radio and first aid kit
  • Check that all participants are prepared for the weather
  • Stay together as a big group
  • Pay attention to weather conditions and adjust programs accordingly
  • Students and parents are given an on-site orientation to the ASCCA and emergency procedures on the day of the program
  • Teachers are given program and safety information and an ASCCA orientation at the teacher inservice, held prior to the day of the program

Remember that safety is a shared responsibility between you and the Conservation Educators. Please contact us at (403) 931-2042 with any questions or concerns.

Download our Safety and Risk Management Plan for Teachers to help you fill out all those field trip forms.

For Conservation Discovery Organized Group programs, please review the ASCCA guidelines.



To help prepare you and your class for your education program, you are required to attend a teacher inservice.  There, you will be given important information about your program, including safety, the activities, and how to prepare.  It is important for you to attend an inservice for an onsite, conservation educator led program if you have not attended one in the last 2 years for that program.


Program Resources – Conservation Discovery

Resources are available for each program delivered at the ASCCA.  The program resources include the program guide, risk management plan, conservation discovery guide, parent information, adult helper information, school and outreach programs.

If you are a teacher who has attended one of our inservices, please click on the Portfolio pdf for the program you are attending. Enter the password when prompted.

Please call (403) 931-2042 if you are having technical difficulties.


Program Resources – Organized Group

Resources are available for each program delivered at the ASCCA.  The program resources include the program guide, risk management plan, preparation for the trip and badge components.

If you have received confirmation of your program, please click on the program description link below for the program you are attending.  Enter the password when prompted.


Take Action!

After your program, take action! Get involved and help keep conservation active in our communities. Check out our take action! pages for information on conservation issues, project ideas, and inspiration from others.


Helpful Resources for Teachers

Grassland Activities

Alberta Environment's Grassland Education Kit is available from the Cross Conservation Area.

This kit is designed to provide resource material aimed at increasing students' awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the native grassland ecosystem of Alberta.  It includes information on the history, biology, geography and economics of the grasslands. 

The kits include a poster with both illustrations and activity information, and a teacher's guide.  The teacher’s guide provides background information, discussion questions and additional activities.  The guide targets grades 7-9, but the information is easily adapted to younger students.

The five major areas of study related to grasslands are:

  • Features and Characteristics
  • Geological and Historical Connection
  • Biodiversity of Living Things
  • Human Impact
  • Management and Conservation

To order a copy of the Grassland Education Kit, or for more information, please contact:

Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area at:

t. 403.931.2042

e. info@crosssconservation.org


Alberta Environment Information Center at:

t. 780.427.2700

e. env.education@gov.ab.ca

The following websites have grassland information and activities for kids:

New Hampshire Public Television

This site has a teachers' guide for topics such as migration, invasive species, coloration etc.  It is a public television site, so you can also order videos.

Prairie Conservation Forum

The Prairie Conservation Forum is a large voluntary coalition of stakeholder groups whose members are interested in the conservation of native prairie and parkland environments in Alberta, Canada.

You can also visit our kids page for our grasslands animation, as well as a nature trivia game!

area wildlife + plants

Purple Milk-Vetch
Astragalus dasyglottis
The leaves are 4 to 10cm long, and have 15-21 narrow leaflets, and long white hairs.  Flowers grow in round clusters, with purple-blue petals (sometimes pink).
Click on Area Plants
to find out more.
Click on Area Wildlife
to find out more.

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