Learning about grasslands at Glenbow Ranch

Glenbow Ranch, located between Cochrane and Calgary, became a provincial park after the Harvie family sold more than 3,200 acres to the province in 2006 for less than market value.
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Alberta Beef Producers has partnered with the Glenbow Ranch Park Foundation on a program that gives school kids a chance to learn about native grasslands and the role cattle play in these threatened ecosystems.

The Explore Grasslands Program is open to elementary and high school classes, and includes a half-day program for Grade 4 students that fits in with their social studies and science curriculum goals.

“It’s so wonderful to see a child’s eyes open wide as they learn that some of our native fescues are over 100 years old, or that cow patties actually play an important role in spreading plant seeds and creating healthy soils,” said Sarah Parker, the foundation’s executive director. “Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park is a working ranch, so a partnership with ABP makes total sense. Its involvement in this program will no doubt enrich the experience of each child who takes part.”

The program was relaunched last month when students from Airdrie’s R.J. Hawkey Elementary School heard John and Ty Copithorne from 3J farms speak about ranching activities at the park.

The program runs from September to June. Booking information can be found at the Alberta Parks website.

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