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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:

Shannon Lake Regional Park Open

Shannon Lake Regional Park in West Kelowna is open for use even though there’s still activity related to the Smith Creek fire.

Weather conditions have greatly assisted the ongoing firefighting effort.   As a result, the park just off Shannon Lake Road is once again accessible for visitors. 

The Regional District thanks everyone for their patience and understanding while the temporary park closure was in place. 

Visit www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark for links to all Regional Parks.

Gibson Heritage House Tours

Delve into a bit of local history at the Gibson Heritage House in Kopje Regional Park on Carrs Landing Road in Lake Country. 

Gibson House is open for tours from noon to 4:00 pm each Saturday and Sunday during July and August.  Regional Parks staff and volunteers will guide you through the 1912 heritage house which has been restored and refurnished through community donations. 

For more information please visit regionaldistrict.com/parks, check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’ or contact the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan at 250-469-6140.

Take A Hike!

You’re invited to take part a series of interpretive hikes in different Central Okanagan Regional Parks.

While there’s no cost to join in the guided ‘Take a Hike’ program, please pre-register at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan by emailing eeco@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6139.   All outings begin at 9:00 am.  Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing, footwear and bring their own water and snack for these two to three hour outings.

  • Saturday, July 12th – take part in ‘A Yoga Hike’ at 9:00 am in Mill Creek Regional Park, located on Spencer Road in Ellison, just off Old Vernon Road.   This two to three hour guided outing combines the strengthening benefits of Yoga along with the cardio benefit of a hike along the Creekside trail and its waterfall.  Along the way, our Regional Parks Interpreter will also point out the unique and interesting features within the park. 

Participants are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing, footwear and bring their own yoga mat and water.

  • Thursday, July 24th– join our Regional parks Interpreter for this moderately-rated ‘Introduction to the High Rim Trail’.  We’ll meet at the trailhead near the intersection of Phillpot Road and Highway 33 in Joe Rich and set out through the forest.  If you’ve never hiked this trail before, then this one’s for you as we’ll point out many features and sights along the way to help familiarize you with the trail.

For more information on our other hikes or any of our Regional Parks programs visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO staff at 250-469-6140 or email eeco@cord.bc.ca.

Summer Nature Camp Spaces Still Available

Our Summer Nature Camp program is underway and it's not too late to register your child for one of our summer morning sessions.  Registration is underway at the EECO (Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan) in Mission Creek Regional Park

This popular half-day morning summer program for youngsters is underway during July and August with camps for youth aged 5 - 7. There is also a special program for pre-school children age 3 and 4 years running mornings July 2nd to 4th and August 5th through 8th.

The camps use three Regional Parks (Mission CreekGellatly Nut Farm or Bertram Creek) as a backdrop for fun, active indoor and outdoor activities with a focus on environmental education to foster an appreciation for our natural environment. 

For more information on camp locations, dates and registration prices check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’, go online to regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact Regional Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Rose Valley Fuel Modification Continues

The third year of a staged fuel modification project is continuing in a section of Rose Valley Regional Park. 

During the past two years, as crews have been available, the BC Wildfire Management Branch has been working in a portion of the park north of Bowes and Pettman Roads.  Crews are brushing, thinning and removing fire hazard trees and ladder fuels as part of a multi-year fuel modification project on a ten hectare section in the north end of the park above Bear Creek Road.  View Map

While BC Wildfire Management Branch crews are working in this area of Rose Valley Regional Park, visitors should be aware that some trails may be temporarily closed.  For their safety and that of the workers, please stay out of any closed area.

Collected wood debris will be piled for disposal when open burning is allowed next fall and winter, on days when both air quality and venting conditions are favourable.   This work has received approval by West Kelowna Fire Rescue and will be conducted in accordance with Regional District Air Quality and Open Burning regulations.

Prior to any decision to proceed with burning on a particular day, local fire authorities and media will be advised.

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

Pick Up Your Summer-Fall Parks Guide

Everything you need to know about activities, events and programs in our Regional Parks is now available in the Summer-Fall edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “This is the 40th anniversary of the formation of our Regional Parks system, recognized as one of the best anywhere.  And this fall we’ll also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, or EECO.  Over the years, thousands of people have passed through the doors to take in the many special exhibits that have highlighted the significance of our environment, wildlife and natural spaces.”  The guide outlines all the anniversary year celebrations and they’re also listed online at regionaldistrict.com/parksevents.

The handy ‘Year at a Glance’ provides a month by month listing of programs and activities at the EECO located in Mission Creek Regional Park and in many of the Central Okanagan’s 29 other Regional Parks. There’s also a colour map showing Regional Park locations and some of the features and amenities that are available in each.

Smith adds, “With summer fast approaching, parents of youngsters age three to seven may want to check out the dates, times and registration information for this year’s ‘Summer Nature Camp’ program mornings during July and August in Mission Creek, Bertram Creek and Gellatly Nut Farm regional parks.”

The guide also has the details for our special guided ‘Take a Hike’ program and again this year our Community Recreational Initiatives Society or CRIS partners will be holding special Adaptive Adventure walks and hikes in our Regional Parks. 

Smith adds, “We’re continuing with our special ‘Families in Parks’ events that will engage every member of your family and you’re invited to join our ‘Parks Fun Zones in Lake Country’ program with games and activities on Friday’s during July and August.”

The new Regional Parks Guide is available anytime online by visiting regionaldistrict.com/parksguide.  Or you can pick up a copy at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road), the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads) and very soon at any local government office, recreation centre or tourist and information offices in the Central Okanagan.

For more information about any Regional Parks programming and our detailed section for Regional Parks, visit regionaldistrict.com/parks.

New Regional Parks Video

Our parks are great to visit at anytime of year.  Check out this new video that shows why!

Mission Creek Greenway Closure at Lakeshore Road

From Tuesday, May 20th to approximately November, you won’t be able to use the Mission Creek Greenway Regional Park access at Lakeshore Road.

That area will be completely closed while the City of Kelowna replaces the bridge over Mission Creek as part of the Lakeshore Road upgrade project. 

Signs will be posted at key access points along the Mission Creek Greenway multi-use trail, advising that trail users cannot access the Lakeshore Road trailhead area while the bridge construction is underway.  A turn-around will be in place on the north side of Mission Creek at the Lakeshore Road construction site.

A number of alternate trailhead and parking locations are available during the construction closure.  People can still access the Mission Creek Greenway and parking areas at the Mission Sportsfields, KLO Road, Casorso Road, Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads and at the end of Ziprick Road) and the Hollywood Road south entrance to Scenic Canyon Regional Park.

When the bridge replacement and road project is complete, an underpass will provide safe access to the popular regional Greenway recreational trail. 

For information regarding Mission Creek Greenway Regional Park visit regionaldistrict.com.  For information regarding road closures, project information and potential delays 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

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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