Des Crossley Demonstration Forest

Red Deer & Rocky Mountain House Area


Our programs offer a unique field trip experience with curriculum-based activities that expose students to the multiple values of a working forest. Des Crossley is located 25 km southwest of Rocky Mountain House.  Historically a research site, the demonstration forest is a quarter-section of forested land with a 2.5km maintained trail system.

Program Themes
Forest ecosystems | natural resource development | tree and shrub identification | tree measurements | land use and multiple perspectives | careers | trees and their products | stewardship

  • This program is no-cost and runs onsite from 10 am-2 pm
  • Des Crossley field site operates May & June / September & October
  • A $100/day busing subsidy is also provided.

Available Programs 

Grade 4 

Explore the living cycle of the forest by studying plants, how they grow and the role of decomposition. Students will consider the forest as a natural resource and discover how people connect with local forests.  

Curriculum Connections:

  • Plant Growth and Changes
  • Waste in Our World
  • Alberta: A Sense of the Land

Grade 6 

Connect with the forest by examining the natural and human factors that shape the forest landscape. Students will identify our forest plants and use real forestry tools to explore a unique forestry career.

Curriculum Connections:

  •  Trees and Forests
  • Evidence and Investigations

Junior High 

Uncover the interactions in our forest ecosystems by exploring its symbiotic relationships, succession system, and soils along with traditional and modern human uses of our plants and natural resources.

Curriculum Connections:

  • Gr 7 Plants for Food and Fibre
  • Interactions and Ecosystems


this new program will utilize our on-site wildlife cameras to consider how species move and interact in the forest with an emphasis on species at risk and natural development. 

Curriculum Connections:

  • Environment & Outdoor Education
  • Gr. 7 |  Interactions and Ecosystems
  • Gr. 9 Biological Diversity

Senior High

Compare old growth and new growth forests through a comprehensive plot study and explore the opportunities and challenges of a multi-use forest area.

Curriculum Connections:

  • CTS – Natural Resources – Forestry/Wildlife
  • Environment & Outdoor Education
  • Biology 20/30 Changes in Living Systems
  • Ecosystems and Population Change

Please inquire if you would like more detail or have a special program request.

If you have any questions, please contact program coordinator Colin King by email  or phone: 403-263-7720.