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What's Up in Regional Parks?

There’s something for every member of your family in the new Summer-Fall edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’.

From the popular ‘Summer Nature Camps’ to ‘Park Fun Zones in Lake Country’ to ‘Going Wild at the EECO’…the guide contains everything you need to know about activities, events and programs in our Regional Parks for the rest of the year.

It’s 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 at any local government office, recreation centre or tourist and information office in the Central Okanagan.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “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 31 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.”

He says “Starting June 23rd we’re introducing a new weekly program through late July called ‘Roll and Stroll’.   It’s a free walking club for moms and caregivers with babies or little ones so that they can meet others and spend some time outdoors in a family and baby-friendly environment.  And during July and August we also have our free, drop-in ‘Summer Story Time’ each week in Mission Creek and Gellatly Nut Farm regional parks.”

Smith adds, “Parents of youngsters age three to 10 may want to check out the dates, times and registration information for this year’s ‘Summer Nature Camp’ program which takes place mornings during July and August in Mission Creek and Bertram Creek regional parks.  Registration for the program begins June 1st and spaces fill up quickly!”

The guide also has the details for our guided ‘Take a Hike’ program with barrier-free access provided by our Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) partners.

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

(May 26, 2016)

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Deals at the Trunk Sale This Weekend

Expect to find a pile of bargains at the annual spring Trunk Sale at Okanagan College this weekend. Organized by the Regional Waste Reduction Office, the Trunk Sale promotes reuse and recycling in the parking lot of Okanagan College Saturday (May 28th) from 8am until noon.

Rae Stewart with the Waste Reduction Office says  it’s a big day for deals and reuse with over 150 vendors  signed up to sell their goods right from the back of their vehicles, or trunks.  “Picture one giant garage sale in one convenient location, good shopping, tons of bargains, just a great way to spend a Saturday morning.”

Stewart adds the premise beyond reuse and recycling is to keep any unnecessary material out of our one remaining landfill. “After the Sale is over a number of charities are on site to accept leftover donations, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Planet Earth Recycling,  SHARE, and the Canadian Diabetes Association. And as always, the Okanagan Mission Lions Club is also instrumental in the success of these events, as each year members volunteer their time with traffic control and selling pancake breakfasts.”

Stewart adds another Trunk Sale is also planned for the fall, Saturday September 24th at the same College location. ”These Trunk Sales have really caught on, every year there’s a wait list for those vying to get in on the limited number of spots available. In fact, for this sale on the weekend, it’s been full for some time now without even advertising for the event, so if you’re ever thinking of taking part, it’s a good idea to sign up early. “Stewart adds, “We initially designed these events for people in condos or apartments who don’t traditionally have the opportunity to host their own garage sales, but naturally we don’t limit it, anyone can take part.”

The Trunk Sale runs this Saturday May 28th from 8am until noon at Okanagan College, 1000 KLO Road. It’s free to attend, rain or shine.  The Trunk Sale will be held in parking lot 17 next to the student residence buildings.  

For further information on the Trunk Sale, visit regionaldistrict.com/trunksale, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

(May 25, 2016)

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Water Quality Advisory for Falcon Ridge Customers

The Regional District of Central Okanagan has issued a precautionary Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the Falcon Ridge Water System in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.

The advisory affects approximately 55 properties connected to the community water system off Highway 33.   Due to the weekend rain in the Mission Creek watershed, there is increased turbidity in the water system source which has resulted in water quality that might impact children, the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.  Roadside sign notices are in place to let residents know about the precautionary Water Quality Advisory.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “While the health risk is modest and no bacteria have been found in any of the water from the system tested, after consulting with Interior Health, Regional District staff recommends as a precaution that Falcon Ridge water customers follow Interior Health guidelines especially for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, children and those wishing additional precautions.   All water intended for drinking, washing fruit and vegetables, making beverages, ice or brushing teeth should be boiled for at least one minute or customers should use a safe alternative to water from the tap such as bottled or distilled water.”

This precautionary water quality advisory affecting the Falcon Ridge Water System will continue until further notice.

For more detail and information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (regionaldistrict.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

(May 24, 2016)

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Climate Action Annual Reports

Through its participation in the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) the Regional District publicly shares the accompanying CARIP reports each year.

The report details actions taken during 2015 and proposed actions for 2016 related to the Regional District effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(May 20, 2016)

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Flushing Underway on Two RDCO Water Systems

The Regional District has started its spring water main flushing program affecting two of its water systems. 

Until the end of June, RDCO Environmental Services staff will be going throughout the Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates systems flushing mains Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. 

Roadside notice boards will be put up in advance of crews working in a particular system area. 

Flushing ensures continued optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time throughout the systems.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith adds, “When flushing is taking place, water pressure can vary slightly and there may be some slight discoloration in the water.   Please check your water prior to use. We recommend that you avoid doing laundry when flushing is taking place on your system. If you experience discoloration, run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.”

Customers will find more information and answers to questions they might have about the Regional District Water Main Flushing Program on the Water Systems webpage www.regionaldistrict.com/water.

The Regional District provides water to just over 900 properties in the following areas: Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Star Place/Dietrich, Westshore and Upper Fintry - Shalal Road - Valley of the Sun.

For information visit regionaldistrict.com/water or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@cord.bc.ca or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit regionaldistrict.com/water.

(May 20, 2016)

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Mission Creek Greenway Underpasses Open

Two underpasses along the Mission Creek Greenway are once again open for use.

With creek levels and flows stabilizing over the past week, the trails under the Casorso Road Bridge and on the south side the Gordon Drive Bridge are open for people using the Greenway.

Regional Parks staff continues to monitor creek levels along the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway recreational corridor.  During the spring runoff, trail users are reminded that water levels along any creek or stream in the Central Okanagan may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion.

Heading into the Victoria Day long weekend boaters and those using Okanagan Lake boat launches and docks are advised to keep their speed and wakes down close to the shoreline to prevent wave erosion in light of the high lake water level.  They should also continue to watch for floating debris that may be in area lakes as a result of the spring runoff.

(May 18, 2016)

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Drop-off Your Drugs Safely and Help Combat the Epidemic of Opiod Abuse

Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to safely dispose of their medications to ensure they don’t get into the wrong hands or pollute the environment.

Given the recent news that BC will likely have a record number of drug overdoses this year, the safe disposal of medication is especially critical. Prescription drugs can be effective in helping people to manage pain and other conditions, but if used inappropriately they can have deadly consequences.

Central Okanagan residents can return unused or expired medications to community pharmacies at any time of the year at no charge. This Saturday, May 21st also marks National Prescription Drug Drop-Off Day, a Canada-wide initiative led by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

The BC Medications Return Program ensures medications aren’t thrown in the garbage, where they could be found by young people or pets, or flushed down the toilet, where they can harm the marine environment.

In 2015, Central Okanagan residents returned more than 4,600 kilograms of expired or unused medications to community pharmacies for safe disposal. This is a 163 per cent increase in the number of medications returned in 2009, in the early days of the awareness campaign.

“There are 49 community pharmacies in Central Okanagan that will accept medication returns at any time,” says Geraldine Vance, CEO of the BC Pharmacy Association. “Your pharmacist is the best person to help you dispose of unwanted drugs.”

To encourage the public to heed this message, the BCPhA and Health Products Stewardship Association have produced a new video on the theme of Fish Can’t Say No to Drugs, which can be viewed at https://youtu.be/QakaycaIh1U.

Medication should be stored out of reach of children or in a locked cabinet. According to the 2010–11 Youth Smoking Survey, 8.2% of Canadian youth in grades 6–12 reported using prescription and over-the-counter drugs in a 12-month period to get high.

“We strongly encourage you to return your medications to your local pharmacy,” said Rae Stewart, waste reduction facilitator with the Regional District of Central Okanagan. “By taking care of them properly, it prevents you or someone in your home from inadvertently using expired medications. Keeping these items out of the hands of our kids or people who might use them inappropriately is just as important as keeping them out of our local landfill, sewer systems and water supplies.”

The Medications Return Program covers all prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, including topical antibiotic and antifungal creams, and natural health products that are orally ingested such as vitamins, minerals, traditional Chinese medicines, herbal products, probiotics, and homeopathic medicines. More than 95 per cent of community pharmacies in BC participate in the program, which is free for all British Columbians. 

Any liquid or cream medications should be kept in their original container with any personal information removed or blacked out, and solid medications like pills should be combined into a small bag. For more information, visit www.healthsteward.ca.

(May 17, 2016)

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All Alarm Systems Must Be Registered

Since late last year, a new Security Alarm Systems Bylaw has been in place across the Central Okanagan.

It replaces the bylaw that was created just over ten years ago for the False Alarm Reduction program

The new bylaw (No. 1382) is more user-friendly and readable and simplifies definitions in order to improve compliance and registration of business and residential alarm systems.  

Annual fees for renewing or registering a new alarm system remain $10 for residential systems and $15 for commercial alarms although some penalties are increasing for unregistered alarm systems.  

All alarm systems in the Central Okanagan including non-monitored, must be registered.

The False Alarm Reduction Program works with all alarm system owners, including alarm companies, and has been successful in significantly reducing the number of false alarms that result in a police response.   By being a part of the solution, alarm owners help police deploy their resources where they are really needed for the benefit of all residents in the Central Okanagan.

If you have an alarm system, whether home, business or monitored by an alarm company, you'll find some great information pamphlets to help you get the most from your system.   Visit www.regionaldistrict.com/alarms for details and information on how to register your alarm system.

(May 17, 2016)

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Labour Market Softens While Business is Steady or Growing

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) conducted its first Business Walk of 2016 with manufacturing and aerospace companies April 18-22.   Of the 40 companies interviewed, 35% of the businesses rated their current environment as fair or steady and 55% as positive or growing, representing 90% of the businesses.

In contrast to the COEDC’s Business Walk Survey in 2015, where the majority of employers said they were having difficulty filling positions, only 35% of manufacturers interviewed indicated difficulties finding employees with the skill sets they required in 2016.

The April Business Walk saw industry stakeholders connect with businesses ranging in size from two to hundreds of employees representing a broad range of manufacturing and aerospace specialties and capabilities. 

Other highlights from the Manufacturing/Aerospace Business Walk:

  • An increase of 17.4% in employee numbers was projected by the businesses over the next 3 years – from 1,618 to 1,900 full time, part time and contract/temporary employees.
  • 48% of the manufacturers expected their total number of full time employees, specifically, to increase.   Companies engaged in the manufacture of boats, products for the aviation industry, home construction and metal fabricating projected the greatest increase in full time employees over the next 3 years. 
  • 65% of the manufacturers said they were not having difficulty finding employees with the skill sets they required.  Of the 35% of businesses that were experiencing difficulty, hard to fill positions included plumbers, electricians, electronic engineers, upholsterers, mechanical draftsmen, hydraulic technicians and engine mechanics.
  • The large majority – 97% - said they did not plan to exit their businesses in the next 5 years, for example by selling or closing.

Information from the Manufacturing/Aerospace Business Walk is communicated to multiple stakeholder groups for consideration in the development of programs and services that can assist manufacturers throughout the region.

The COEDC will conduct two additional sector-specific Business Walks in 2016 to businesses in the Professional Services, and Health Care sectors. 

Read the full report

(May 16, 2016)

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I Hear I Need A License - Help Return Dogs to their Owners

With two simple steps Central Okanagan dog owners can make it easier to reunite stray dogs. 

The first step is to ensure their dog is licensed and that it’s wearing its license tag.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Three quarters of the dogs that are reported lost to Dog Control, or are turned into the pound come in with a license and as a result, can be speedily returned to their owners.  While that’s great news, what’s concerning is the 25% of dogs that come in without a license tag.   That slows down or in some cases prohibits the return of the dog to the owner.”

One of the benefits of having a license is that if your dog does get away and is reported, the license provides a one-time free ticket home without any additional charges.  Smith says, “If someone finds a dog and reports it to Dog Control, we may be able to facilitate a return to the owner without a stay in the pound.”

Smith adds “The second thing that dog owners can do to help speed the return of their lost pet is to report it to our Dog Control staff as soon as possible after the dog disappears.  The number is 250-469-6284 or email info-dogcontrol@cord.bc.ca.  Since the start of the year, we’ve had a number of dogs at the pound without any identification and no report from their owner until a week or more after the dog was impounded.  The Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw requires the Regional District to keep a dog for 72 hours then it becomes the property of the Regional District transferred for adoption.”

“It’s unfortunate” Smith says, “because our goal is to get dogs back to their owners as soon as possible.   That’s why we’re asking dog owners to help by ensuring their dog is wearing its license tag and that they quickly report it when it is lost.”

Dog licenses may be purchased online at www.regionaldistrict.com/doglicense or in person at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road), the Regional Dog Pound (890 Weddell Place), any local government office or the Kelowna branch of the SPCA.

There’s plenty of information available about dog licensing and Responsible Dog Ownership in the Central Okanagan.  Check out regionaldistrict.com/dogs for information about the Regional Dog service and what to do if you lose or find a dog.

(May 10, 2016)

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'Explore Your Parks'

Here’s a great opportunity to get outside and active and ‘Explore Your Parks’.

Join an interpreter as we learn about the special features of various regional parks.  Please wear appropriate clothing and sun protection and bring along some water and a snack.  These free outings are held in conjunction with the Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) to provide barrier free access to our regional parks.  To request the services of CRIS volunteers visit www.adaptiveadventures.ca

Each event require pre-registration and takes place on the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, June 11th at 10:00 am and Thursday, June 16th at 1:00 pm we’ll learn about the fish habitat at the Hall Rd ponds. ‘Fishing Fun will be had by all as we explore the Hall Road area trails through Mission Creek Regional Park.  Fishing rods will be available for you to try your luck.

To register your family for these free events, or other ‘Explore Your Parks’ events, please stop by the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.  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.

(updated May 9, 2016)

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'Families in Parks'

Get the whole family active and celebrating the season outdoors in one of your Regional Parks!

Join Regional Parks staff as they provide some free activities for the entire family at our ‘Families in Parks’ events.  Activities take place between 10:00 am and 11:30 am and require pre-registration.

  • Sunday, June 19th celebrate Father’s day and ‘Go Fishin’ at Shannon Lake Regional Park, just off Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna.  It’s a final opportunity for youngsters age 15 and under to try catching a small rainbow trout stocked in the special fishing area in Shannon Lake, stocked by our friends at the Summerland Trout Hatchery and Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC!

To register your family for these free events, or other ‘Families in Parks’ events, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.

(updated May 9, 2016)

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Emergency Preparedness Week - Is Your Family Ready?

What are you doing this Sunday, May 1st?  That’s the first day of Emergency Preparedness Week across the country.  It would be a good opportunity for your family to update or make a plan for how you’d deal with a large scale emergency.

Experience has shown it’s only a matter of time until you or someone you know will be impacted by an emergency.   Last year, wildfires forced several hundred property owners from their homes in the Joe Rich and north Westside Road areas.   Some were prepared, while others were left to scramble when evacuation orders were issued. 

The Central Okanagan’s Regional Emergency Program Coordinator says preparing in advance, helps to reduce the inevitable stress that rises should you get a knock at the door advising to leave your home.

Deputy Kelowna Fire Chief Travis Whiting adds, “Know the Risks, Make a Plan and Get a Kit.  We continue to promote three steps to preparedness.  In our area, with the risk of interface fires, it’s important for you and your family to know what you would do if you have to evacuate your home.  The better you are prepared, the better we can support you and any resident that is impacted.”

Says Whiting, “Emergency Preparedness Week is the perfect opportunity to sit down and talk about what you’ll do if you’re affected by an emergency.    Review your family emergency plan and think about how your family will communicate with each other if you are in different locations or are separated.” 

“You should” he says, “be prepared to cope on your own for at least 72 hours during an emergency, as emergency responders and rescue workers will be dealing with the immediate threats.  Update and refresh your family’s emergency ‘Grab and Go’ kit.  It should be easy to carry and contain important documents, medications, clothing and personal equipment to meet the basic needs for each member of your family.  And don’t forget to include your pets or family members requiring special considerations.”

Start by visiting the Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program website www.cordemergency.ca.  You can subscribe to receive email information updates whenever the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) is activated.  Whenever any new information is released including detailed maps showing areas under evacuation alerts and orders, subscribers receive real time notices.  You can also follow us on via Facebook (www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/CO_Emerg).

The cordemergency.ca website also has links to the wealth of emergency planning information available through the provincial Prepared BC and federal GetPrepared.ca programs.  A selection of emergency preparedness pamphlets is available at the Regional District of Central Okanagan office (1450 KLO Road in Kelowna) and the main Kelowna Fire Hall (2255 Enterprise Way).

(April 28, 2016)

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`Go Fish` Youth Urban Fishery Celebrates 10th Year

The Regional District’s ‘Go Fish’ program is celebrating its 10th anniversary each weekend until June 12th at Shannon Lake Regional Park, just off Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna and the Hall Road pond in Mission Creek Regional Park.

From 10:00 am to 3:00 pm each Saturday and Sunday, youngsters 15 years of age and under will be able to fish at each location for 25 - 30 centimeter long rainbow trout and are allowed to keep one each day, without a fishing license.   Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will be at the fishing locations each Saturday while on Sunday’s RDCO Parks Services staff will be on hand.  Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will be at the fishing locations each Saturday while on Sunday’s RDCO Parks Services staff will be on hand.  Volunteers from the two local outdoor recreation partners will also help, with equipment and expert fishing guidance for youngsters as they try their luck.

Again this year the ‘Families in Parks’ program offers a ‘Go Fishing with Dad’ event on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19th from 10:00 – 11:30 am at Shannon Lake Regional Park.  The same regulations apply as the ‘Go Fish’ program.

RDCO Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “The ‘Go Fish’ program may be the first opportunity many youngsters have to experience what can become a lifelong pastime.  This program is one of the best attended and garners incredible participation each and every year.  Thousands of youngsters from across the Central Okanagan have had the exhilaration of catching their first fish through ‘Go Fish’.  None of this would be possible without the tremendous support and dedication over the past decade from our partner volunteers with Peachland Sportsmen’s Association, the Kelowna and District Fish and Game ClubFreshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Summerland Trout Hatchery and the Ministry of Environment.   Thanks to them, a new generation has had the opportunity to experience this lifelong sport.”

“If you plan to join us during any of the ‘Go Fish’ or special fishing event weekends” Smith says, “please respect our park neighbours by parking only in the designated areas or where directed by staff. While participants age 15 and under are not required to have a fishing license for this program we ask that they bring their own fishing equipment if possible, as a limited number of rods and reels are available to borrow at each site.”

(Updated May 2, 2016)

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Document Download Problems? 

Recently the Regional District has become aware of periodic problems regarding the inability of some users of our website to open Adobe PDF documents that had been previously accessible.  They've received an error notice saying that the document they were trying to open is not available. 

We understand that the problem has been caused by a recent Microsoft Internet Explorer Security update.  This update on the user's computer has broken the ability of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to open and access previously downloadable PDF documents in Internet Explorer. 

Should this problem occur on your computer system, please download and install the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.  You can find this by following this link:  http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html or by clicking on the Adobe Reader icon on the bottom right corner on each page of our website. 

We thank you for your patience and appreciate your continued support of the Regional District of Central Okanagan website. 

For information or queries about our website please contact:  webmaster@cord.bc.ca 

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@cord.bc.ca
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)