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Local residents and visitors from around the world come here looking for natural areas, trails, heritage features, beaches and other outdoor experiences. Luckily, we've got all that and more in the Regional Parks of the Central Okanagan.

Regional Parks can be found from Peachland in the south to Lake Country in the north. These parks provide experiences through an environmental education centre, heritage museums, beaches, pristine hiking trails, 2 campgrounds and park programs like nature photography.  There really is something for everyone.

Quick facts about the Regional Parks system:

  • There are 29 Regional Parks with more than 1,100 hectares in the Central Okanagan. ( Pick A Park Map)

  • Regional Parks are generally larger parks with natural areas that demonstrate important landscapes from our region. Link to Wheelchair Accessible Parks listing

  • They provide opportunities for outdoor activities that will attract people from throughout the Central Okanagan.

  • There are free interpretive programs for schools and community groups offered in most Regional Parks.  View the Parks Newsletter for information!

  • Several parks have heritage buildings or artifacts.

 

Popular Parks Information Links:

Living Greener in the Central Okanagan
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Regional Parks Services News:

Mussel Monitor at Boat Launch

A Regional District of Central Okanagan boat launch is part of a valley-wide network of monitoring stations for invasive mussels. 

The monitor device is installed in Okanagan Lake at the Okanagan Centre Safe Harbour Regional Park boat launch that is maintained by the Regional District.  The Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society (OASISS) installed the monitoring station and checks it monthly through the fall along with taking a plankton tow sample of the water for any signs of Zebra and Quagga Mussels.

The monitoring station is made of a rope with a weight at one end and a series of small sections of PVC pipe and mesh.  If the invasive mollusk species (which range in size from a grain of sand to thumbnail size) is present, it will attach to this artificial, solid surface.  The monitor is intended to act as a warning device as this would be a likely location that any mussels would show up, being transported on or in boats and trailers.

The Society and the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s Okanagan WaterWise program are encouraging all owners of personal watercraft and boats to ‘Don’t Move a Mussel’ and check their vessels for signs of the invasive mussels, especially if they have been out of the province.  By adopting the ‘Clean, Drain, Dry’ protocol residents and visiting boat owners can help protect BC lakes from these species, which have caused havoc and created a major economic cost in other jurisdictions because they rapidly colonize on hard surfaces, impacting tourism, recreation and infrastructure. 

To learn more about OASISS visit www.oasiss.ca.

For information on the Okanagan Basin Water Board’s ‘Don’t Move a Mussel’ initiative and how you can help, visit www.dontmoveamussel.ca.

'Share the Trail'

It’s a 16.5-kilometer multi-use recreational corridor that certainly sees its share of people each day. 

It’s estimated that more than a thousand people take to the Mission Creek Greenway Regional Park each day.   A few may be on horseback, many more are on foot either running or walking and an increasing number of cyclists use the trail for both recreation and as an off-road commuting corridor.

“We see people using the Greenway in a variety of ways,” says Communications Officer Bruce Smith.   “They may be getting their daily exercise, out for a relaxing stroll along the creek or simply getting from point A to B.  Dog owners will have their pets on leash, while others are pushing strollers with infants.  During the spring, summer and fall months there’s a huge increase in the number of people using the Greenway each day.  As a result of all these various visitors and uses, sometimes there can be near-misses and periodic conflicts.”

Smith adds, “Our goal is to ensure everyone using the Greenway is aware that they have to ‘Share the Trail’ and should be aware of other users around them when they are on the recreational corridor.”

Parks Services Bylaw Enforcement Officer Blaise Laveay adds, “We’re out each day of the year patrolling sections of the Greenway and from May to September we have added staff making more frequent daily spot checks, watching for people who may not be aware of they are responsible for proper trail etiquette, in order to keep everyone safe.”

He says, “Along the Greenway, cyclists shouldn’t go faster than ten kilometers an hour and should keep to the right side of the trail, unless they are passing someone on foot.  They should also give an indication that they are approaching from behind by ringing a bell, honking a horn or simply vocally acknowledging their passing to the left.  So that everyone can share the Greenway, cyclists and pedestrians should yield to horse riders while cyclists should yield to pedestrians.  Generally speaking, for their safety, everyone on the trail should be aware of those around them. 

Under the Regional Parks Bylaw all dogs must be kept on leash and must stay on designated trails.   Animal owners are reminded to pick up waste deposited along the trail.  All residents should remember that unauthorized motorized vehicles are not allowed along the Greenway.

Tour Gibson Heritage House

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.

Families in Parks

This summer help celebrate the 40th anniversary of our fantastic Central Okanagan regional park system by joining our ‘Families in Parks’ activities.

These outings with our park interpretation staff are designed so that every member of your family can take part!  Please pre-register by either dropping in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.

  • Saturday, August 9th from 10:00 am to 11:30 am, bring the whole family and enjoy ‘A Forest Tea Party’ at Trepanier Creek Greenway Regional Park.  It’s located on Trepanier Road, on the south side of the Okanagan Connector – Highway 97-C.  Forests are filled with plants that make delicious teas.  Our interpreter will take you on a guide walk and interpretive tea tasting of local edible plants.
  • Sunday, August 24th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, we kick off our annual celebration of the land-locked Sockeye cousin with the ‘Welcome the Kokanee Salmon Festival’ at Hardy Falls Regional Park.  There’s a parking area located on Hardy Street, off Highway 97 along the south end of Peachland. Join our park interpreters to welcome the first Kokanee salmon as they begin their journey from Okanagan Lake swimming upstream in Deep Creek to spawn.  Learn more about this annual spawning phenomenon.

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

 

Park Fun Zones in Lake Country

Our Regional Parks staff wants to have some fun with you this summer.  That’s why they’re gearing up for the Park Fun Zones program. 

Here’s where you can catch up with them between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm for games and activities in two of our Regional Parks in the District of Lake Country!

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.

 

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.

Summer Story Time in the Park

Mission Creek Regional Park offers a fun and free interactive weekly program for pre-schoolers this summer. 

‘Summer Story Time in the Park’ takes place each Tuesday morning (rain or shine) during July and August for three to five year old children and their caregivers.  Meet at 10:00 am on the lawn near the playground in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. 

During the hour, you’ll be treated to nature stories, songs, a mini nature walk and exploration to engage participants.  It’s a fun and active way to learn more about our Regional Parks and the animals of the Okanagan. 

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO staff at 250-469-6140.

Story Time at the Nut Farm

What could be better than a playground, fantastic beach and a nut orchard for the setting of ‘Summer Story Time at the Nut Farm’?

Join Regional Parks staff each Thursday morning at 10:00 during July and August for the Westside edition of this popular program for youngsters age three to five and their caregivers.  Participants will be treated to nature stories, songs, a mini nature walk and engaging exploration. 

Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park is located at 2375 Whitworth Road, just off Gellatly Road in West Kelowna.  After Story Time, you might want to stick around and tour the working nut orchard or cool off with a refreshing swim in Okanagan Lake.

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO staff at 250-469-6140.

Fuel Modification Project Continues in Rose Valley

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.

New Parks Guide Available

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.

 

Parks for All Seasons

Here's a new short video that shows some of our regional parks at every time of year!

Greenway Closed at Lakeshore

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

 

 

























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