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The role of green space, leisure activities and recreational facilities has grown in keeping with the population and demographics of the Central Okanagan. Hiking, biking, swimming, dog walking, bird watching, and even composting are all part of the experience in today's parks. 

The Regional District of Central Okanagan Parks Services is responsible for 29 Regional Parks and more than one dozen community and neighbourhood parks making up over 1,100 hectares of parkland. We also plan for future recreational opportunities through parkland acquisition and development.

View our Regional Parks and Program Guide

The parks and recreation website experience is presented to you in three different areas:

Regional Parks Wildfire Plan - detailed analysis of fire hazard and fuel mitigation has been completed for the Regional Park system.  View more information about the Operational Wildfire Protection Plan developed for the Regional Parks on our Planning Initiatives page.

Crown Land Acquisition and Management Plans - View more information on these plans for the protection and preservation of ecologically significant ecosystems on Crown land parcels in the areas of Black Mountain, Hydraulic/McCulloch Lake, Spion Kop and Trepanier Creek on our Planning Initiatives page

Living Greener in the Central Okanagan (Television Commercials)
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Parks Services News:

Get Outside BC Youth Leadership Program

Central Okanagan high school students with an interest and passion for the outdoors are invited to apply for the Get Outside BC outdoor leadership program.

The deadline for getting your application in is Friday, May 2nd and you can apply online at www.getoutsidebc.ca.

Successful applicants from the Central Okanagan will take part in the Youth Leadership Summit, July 6th to 11th in Squamish.  As a natural leader you’ll build outdoor leadership skills, event planning skills and learn about cool green jobs while networking with 30 other young people from across the province.  Then you’ll take the experiences learned from the summit and host an outdoor event or community project here in the Central Okanagan.

If you have a passion for the outdoors and a desire to get more youth participating in outdoor activities and events, this program is for you!

For more information about the program visit the BC Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society website:  http://cpawsbc.org/campaigns/get-outside-bc or contact the Central Okanagan Regional Coordinator Leslie Finley with Regional Parks Services at 250-469-6263.

Come Out and Move For Health

You’re invited to join the Regional District of Central Okanagan with an event to celebrate Move for Health Week.

On Wednesday, May 7th, Parks Services is holding a special ‘Move for Health Tracks Walk’ in Mission Creek Regional Park and along the scenic Mission Creek Greenway.   This event is in conjunction with our ongoing ‘Tracks’ beginner walking program.

Participants should meet near the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan at 10:00am.  Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll set out for a 40 minute walk looping along the popular greenway recreational trail.

There are prizes and following the walk participants will gather for healthy snacks, warm beverages and special cupcakes to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Regional Parks service.

Please remember to use the Leckie Road and Springfield entrance to Mission Creek Regional Park and please obey any flag-people involved with the Springfield Road reconstruction project.

Move for Health Week is a program of the BC Recreation and Parks Association which has provided funds to help coordinate this event.

For more information about this or other Regional Parks programs visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6139, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the centre at 2363A Springfield Road in Mission Creek Regional Park.

Springfield-Durnin Road Access Closed

Starting Monday, April 14th for approximately three weeks, there won't be any access to Mission Creek Regional Park from the Springfield and Durnin Road intersection.   Park visitors are asked to enter and exit the park via the Leckie and Springfield Road access.

The City of Kelowna advises that the Springfield Road intersection at Durnin Road will be undergoing safety and operational improvements which include:

  • new concrete islands to prohibit unsafe left turn exit and through movements from the park access directly opposite Durnin Road
  • New sidewalk, curb/gutter and corner ramps on both sides of the park access opposite Durnin Rd.
  • Median work on Springfield Rd near Benvoulin Road to increase the storage capacity of westbound left turn lane.
  • Three catch basins will be installed along Springfield, this work will be performed at night to minimize traffic impacts

Lane closures will be in effect for east and westbound traffic with pattern changes throughout construction. Detour routes will be posted.

Motorists can expect delays and are encouraged to plan their commute.  For the purpose of public safety and quality control, traffic control personnel will be directing motorists and pedestrians through the construction site. The public’s cooperation and patience will be appreciated.

For more information about road closures and work, visit kelowna.ca/roadreport.

Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park 

You’re invited to join the Regional District of Central Okanagan as it begins creating a management plan for the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park.  This Regional Park is over 400 hectares and is located on the doorstep of the Kettle Valley Highlands within the South Slopes of the Regional District of the Central Okanagan.   

Learn about Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park and the Management Plan project.  Stop by to hear about some of the unique opportunities and challenges that planners expect through the process and share your thoughts about what the plan will need to consider.  

Information about the Park Management Plan process for Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park can be found on the Regional District website:

www.regionaldistrict.com/parksmanagementplans

Story Time at the EECO

Here’s a weekly activity that will get three to five year old children moving, learning and playing.

Starting April 1st ‘Story Time at the EECO’ takes place each Tuesday morning at 10:00 in the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.  The program wraps up on June 24th.

It’s a free one-hour drop-in program for children aged three to five and their caregivers and features nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for younger children to play while learning more about the natural world. 

For more information about this or other Regional Parks programs or events please visit regionaldistrict.com/parks, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Make Some Tracks - Register for 'Tracks'

It’s time to sign up for the free ‘Tracks Walking Club’ that gets you outside and active this spring. View Poster

The beginner walking program starts April 7th and runs Monday and Wednesday mornings at 9:00 (no walk Victoria Day May 19th).  Club members and our walking leader will start with a 15-minute walk along the Mission Creek Greenway and in Mission Creek Regional Park gradually increasing the duration of their walks to 90 minutes by the end of the 12 week program.

Members also receive a walking journal, walking tips, seminars and motivational tips to keep them moving.

‘Tracks’ is a registered Hearts in Motion Walking Club with the BC Heart and Stroke Foundation

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Breakwater Construction in Lake Country

Demolition and construction of a large portion of the north breakwater is expected to begin next week in Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park.  View Project Map

To prepare, the contractor (Burton Marine Pile Driving Inc.) will begin moving a barge and other equipment into place early next week.

It’s anticipated the breakwater construction will be substantially complete by April 20th and some minor clean-up of the park will take place during the following week.  The park and its main boat launch are located on Okanagan Centre Road West in Lake Country.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We don’t anticipate any lengthy closure of the park and its main boat launch during the construction.  However, a portion of the parking area south of the main launch will be cordoned off during construction for storage of equipment and materials and staging.”

He adds, “At this time of year there isn’t a huge demand for the facility’s boat launch.  However, there are boaters that still do use the launch and may find some temporary, intermittent closures during construction while equipment is being repositioned or adjusted and while construction materials are being delivered or off-loaded.  We expect any closures will be minimal and we ask for the patience and cooperation of park users, boaters and other visitors to ensure their safety and that of construction workers.  Boaters should also be aware there may be floating materials stored temporarily inside the harbour area during construction.”

The new steel pile supported concrete waffle panel breakwater will replace about 40-meters (131 feet or 70 per cent) of the aging 56-meter un-treated wood pile structure that has been in place since it was replaced in the mid-90’s by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans before transferring the assets to the Regional District.  The Federal Government Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is providing $150,000 toward this project.  In addition, last fall the Regional Board approved reallocating slightly more than $123,000 for the north breakwater demolition and reconstruction as another previously approved project was not able to be completed during 2013 due to circumstances beyond the Regional District’s control.  The Regional Board will be asked to consider approving funds to complete the remaining 16-meters of the breakwater in this year’s Financial Plan.

During the early summer of 2012, Burton Marine successfully replaced the south breakwater with steel pilings and concrete waffle panels.

Fuel Modification Projects Underway 

From now until the end of April, some large fuel modification projects will be completed in several different Regional Parks.

Crews are removing dead and hazard trees, ladder fuels and brushing just over 21-hectares in Scenic Canyon Regional Park.

Please be aware that trails through these various work areas may be temporarily closed.  For their safety park users are asked to watch for signs advising that trails are closed and that they stay out of any closed areas of the park.  Where it is accessible for equipment, collected fire hazard wood debris will be chipped.  

However, in areas where equipment is not able to reach, debris pile burning will be conducted in accordance with Air Quality and Open Burning regulations when either open burning is allowed in the region or venting and air quality are favourable with a custom site venting forecast from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Once a decision is made to proceed with burning on a particular day, local fire authorities, media and neighbourhood organizations will be advised.  

When open burning is allowed in the Regional District, Parks Services staff also plans to burn small piles of pine beetle infested and trail cleanup wood debris in Glen Canyon Regional Park.

Fuel modification projects are now complete on 20.1-hectares in Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park and almost nine hectares in Coldham Regional Park.

For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email parks@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6232.

Treatment Area Maps

Celebrations for Regional Parks

There will be plenty of special events and activities this year as 2014 marks two milestones for Regional Parks in the Central Okanagan. 

This is the 40th anniversary of the Regional Parks service and 20 years since the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan opened its doors.

Regional District Chair Robert Hobson says, “Our Regional Parks system began back in the fall of 1974 and the following January we acquired Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country.  This 3.7-hectare waterfront property with beaches and swim areas, playground and covered picnic shelter was our first official Regional Park.  In the years since, we’ve grown and protected over 13 hundred hectares of significant lands, encompassing 29 Regional Parks.   Last year alone, we acquired four additional properties, including the 700 plus hectare donation and creation of the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park.” 

Hobson adds, “Our Regional Board had the foresight to create our Parks Legacy and Acquisition funds several years ago.  As a result, we’ve been able to proactively save significant tracts of land as Regional Parks for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future residents.   These more natural, protected environments are significant features in providing a good quality of life right across the Central Okanagan.   With the ongoing support of the Board, we hope to continue the growth of our regional parks system in the years ahead.” 

2014 also marks the 20th anniversary of the EECO or Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, a log building located at the entrance to Mission Creek Regional Park, just off Springfield and Durnin Roads.  The facility has hosted dozens of exhibits designed to raise awareness of and appreciation for our Regional Parks and natural environment.  It remains an extremely popular destination.   Last year more than 25,000 people passed through the EECO, taking in its exhibits and participating in numerous parks programs.

Throughout 2014, special anniversary programs and activities will be held to celebrate our Regional Parks and the EECO.   Information will be available by visiting regionaldistrict.com/parks or in the 2014 Summer-Fall edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’. 

For more information visit the Regional District Parks Services webpage regionaldistrict.com/parks, email parks@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6232.

 

 

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