Off-Site Visits

The Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area

Cross Cons

Photo Credit: Cedric Stapleton

The Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area (ASCCA) is a beautiful 4,800 acre site nestled in the rolling foothills immediately southwest of Calgary. The ASSCA supports educational visits from over 5,000 Calgary-area students each year and provides habitat for critters such as beaver, cougar, deer, bear, bluebirds, frogs and salamanders, to name a few. In 2015, the ASCCA partnered with a Mount Royal University CSL class to investigate how mapping technology projects could assist the ASCCA in their land management decisions. Students completed projects relating to forest regrowth, archaeology, trail placement, and trail safety. Join us on a walk on the wild-side as we journey across the landscape and learn not only about how CSL projects were conducted here, but also the local geology, biology, and palegeography of this area, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.

Lynn Moorman, PhD, FRCGS
Associate Professor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Science and Technology

Research Development Officer
Office of Research, Scholarship, and Community Engagement
Mount Royal University
Calgary AB CANADA

Governor, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Post-secondary Representative, Canadian Geographic Education

Dorothy Hill
Associate Professor
Mount Royal University
Calgary AB CANADA

Slow Food Calgary

This field trip celebrates the effort by Alberta farmers to deliver good and fair food to diverse markets. These farms have been certified for organic, biodynamic, and grass-fed status. We will leave MRU by bus at 11:45 – be ready to load at 11:35. Pick up your bagged lunch in room RG 1040 at 11:30. We will be back to MRU around 5pm.

We will head to Chinook Honey Company and Chinook Arch Meadery in Okotoks for a tour, then go to the Saskatoon Farm in De Winton for a tour of their greenhouses, café, and general store, then to the edge of Calgary to visit Seeds to Greens. Christian Cook, an MRU professor and food sustainability enthusiast, will be the facilitator.

Chinook Honey Company www.chinookhoney.com

Chinook Honey Company started as a beekeeping hobby in 1995 with just two hives on a small acreage south of Calgary, Alberta. For Art Andrews the bees not only pollinated his garden but also provided stress relief from his full time job as an airline pilot.  Assisted by his wife Cherie, the tiny apiary quickly expanded. In 1999 they built a proper ‘Honey House’ in the midst of a nectar laden alfalfa field south of Okotoks, Alberta– a heaven for the bees, and room to store equipment and extract the honey crop. In June 2004 their enthusiasm for everything related to bees took another step when Cherie and Art opened a small retail store in their ‘Honey House’ after Cherie’s full time airline job was moved to Toronto.

The store has expanded a few times since those days and now also includes Chinook Arch Meadery. After personally working with the Alberta Gaming and Licensing Commission, commercial sales of Mead (honey wine) were approved in 2006. Art had already been perfecting his mead recipes for many years so the opening of the Meadery in 2007 was a natural progression. Since then their list of meads has grown; they include unique styles such as Iced Mead and Bochet and they have won numerous national and international medals.

Saskatoon Farm http://www.saskatoonfarm.com

Paul and Karne Hamer have a large nursery with green houses, buffalo herd on the range, and a café and general store. As well as growing seedlings in our greenhouse, Paul and Karen Hamer also operate their own U-pick orchard. With 50 acres of U-pick saskatoon orchard, each summer people from all over southern Alberta visit the Saskatoon Farm to pick fresh saskatoons and to enjoy saskatoon pie in our Cafe and Gift Shop or in the old fashioned General Store in our western town, located at the U-pick orchard during U-pick season.

The general store sells Saskatoon and Chokecherry syrup, Saskatoon jam, vinaigrette, bucking hot sauce, saskatoon honey, buffalo sausages and burgers, and farm fresh eggs gathered daily! The cafe seats up to 100 people inside and up to 40 on the beautiful shaded patio when weather permits.

Seeds to Greens www.seedstogreens.ca

Sue and Dick Pearson own Seeds to Greens which is located just outside the southeast corner of Calgary’s city limit. The existing farm was established when Dick’s grandfather came from Idaho in 1925 with his wife and six children. The productive, fertile soil and coulee landscape has been the mainstay for three generations to operate a diverse, mixed farm, including grain, hay and cattle.

Dick is an experienced, third generation farmer who uses sustainable farming methods to protect the soil resources. In 2011, Dick and Sue Pearson established Seeds to Greens. This season we expect to have over 250 CSA members, 3 Mini Markets at our delivery locations, a small strawberry U-Pick, and provides produce for YYC Growers and Distributors, a diverse group of SPIN farmers who are starting a new-gen co-op for food distribution in Calgary. Our growing standards reflect our commitment to the environment, healthy soil and quality food. The large variety of vegetable crops grown in our garden gives us the flexibility of crop rotation, to reduce any build-up of disease and pests.

Seeds to Greens operation provides local employment, educational opportunities, community involvement and produces a plentiful bounty of healthy fresh vegetables for many to enjoy! We enthusiastically support the growing local food movement in Calgary.

On campus visit to Iniskim Centre

Friday, May 27th from 9am to 11:30am

The Iniskim Centre offers programs and services to increase the engagement and success of Indigenous students while raising awareness of Indigenous peoples and cultures. Mount Royal University is located on the traditional lands of the Blackfoot people, the Niitsitapi. The centre recognizes and respects the diversity of all Indigenous peoples of Canada.

The Inskim Centre is here to encourage Indigenous students throughout their program of study and provides resources such as academic and cultural support, academic advising, writing and learning supports, and scholarship information. It also offers unique programs, such as an on-campus program for high school students from isolated communities to create a level of comfort and understanding of post-secondary education options. Programs include:

Aboriginal Science and Technology Education Program

This program is a comprehensive support system designed to support you as you work towards a career in science and technology.

Aboriginal Education Program

Prepare yourself to pursue a post-secondary education with three levels of study providing upgrading in Math, English, and Native Studies, and Science.

Aboriginal Student Housing

Join the supportive community of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous students while you live on campus. There are single units and family units at affordable rates and all students in the program gather for monthly social events for fun and meaningful activities

Medicine Trail (Naato’ohsokoy) Program

You can visit the coordinator and be a part of small and large group cultural teachings. You may also see the coordinator for support and guidance. The Iniskim Centre offers students a place and the resources to smudge each morning and hosts various ceremonies throughout the year. The coordinator also will support your professors by connecting them with wisdom keepers, elders, or resources.

Student Success Program

You may use many of the resources of the centre such as counseling services, library support, writing and learning supports, scholarship information, instructor office hours and tutorials. The Iniskim centre supports new students through a peer mentorship program. Peer mentors aim to help new students feel comfortable, be successful students and make connections with other students. New students are matched with experienced, trained students.

Nakoda Youth Council Field Trip

Friday, May 27th from 11:45am to 5pm

Up to twenty-five attendees will be provided a bagged lunch, and driven out to the Nakoda Nation, which is approximately 35 minutes West of Calgary. The field trip will arrive back in Calgary at 5pm.

Attendees will be hosted by the Nakoda Youth Council. This Council is made up of Nation members between the ages of 14 and 30 years of age. The council operates as an ad hoc committee of volunteers and concerned citizens from the youth and young adult population of the three Nations to discuss issues pertaining to the Nation, its operation, its business/finances and its political affairs. Part of their work and mandate includes actively supporting the Youth Engagement Strategy, which began in response to the rise in gang activity within the Nation.

Youth Council members will provide a brief history and overview of the Nakoda Nation (what makes it unique from other Nations in Alberta, etc.). They will also provide a brief history and overview of the Nakoda Youth Council (why and how it began, activities, successes, and challenges). Entertainment, including traditional games and dances will also be a part of the field trip.