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Kokanee Exhibit at the EECO

The land locked Kokanee salmon are making their annual spawning run along the many tributaries of Okanagan Lake or along the lake shore itself. During the late summer and fall, local streams will be full of the red, fresh water cousins of the Sockeye.

Now through mid-October, you’re invited to learn more about this interesting and important fish to the Okanagan at the ‘Kokanee’ exhibit in the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan or EECO.  It’s open Tuesday through Sunday in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.

For more information on this and other EECO programs, check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’, visit the Regional District website (regionaldistrict.com/parksevents) or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

(August 26, 2016)

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Kokanee Interpretive Programs

You’re invited to witness an annual rite of nature while learning more about the life of the Kokanee salmon.  Check out the Regional Parks Kokanee Spawning Interpretive Program’ weekends in Mission Creek Regional Park off Springfield Road and Hardy Falls Regional Park in Peachland. 

Each weekend until Sunday, September 11th a Parks Interpreter is at Hardy Falls Regional Park (off Highway 97 south at Hardy Street in Peachland).  The interpretation program also runs each Saturday and Sunday until October 2nd at Mission Creek Regional Park.  Interpreters will be on site at each location from 12 noon to 4:00 pm.  

Weekday school tours and special presentations for community groups start September 8th and may be booked by donation through the EECO (Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan).

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

(August 26, 2016)

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Former Director Passes

Condolences from the Regional Board and staff at the Regional District to the family of former Director Geoff Paynter.

He passed away earlier this week after a short illness at the age of 69.  

Mr. Paynter served as Westbank Area 'H' Director on the Regional Board on two occasions, from 1975-1981 and again from 1991-1993.

A Celebration of his life will be held Saturday, September 3rd at 3:00 pm at Emmanuel Church, 2600 Hebert Road in West Kelowna. http://www.springfieldfuneralhome.com/obituaries/paynter-geoffrey/

(August 26, 2016)

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Water Quality Advisory Ends for Killiney Beach and Westshore Estates Water Customers

A precautionary Water Quality Advisory has been removed for customers served by the Killiney Beach and Westshore water systems in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.

The lifting of the precautionary advisory this morning by the Regional District of Central Okangan was made in consultation with Interior Health. 

The advisory affected more than 530 properties connected to the two separate community water systems servicing subdivisions off Westside Road. The advisory was recommended on Monday, August 22nd as a result of the power outages and reservoir drawdown affecting the two water utilities.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “With the restoration of regular electrical service, the Water Quality Advisory has been removed.  We thank all our customers for their patience and understanding during this period.  The health risk for certain people including the elderly, children and those with weakened immune systems was modest which is why the precautionary advisory was brought in.”

For 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.

(August 25, 2016)

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Information for Residents Returning Home after Bear Creek Fire

The Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Operations Centre has prepared some helpful information for those people returning to their homes following the lifting of the Evacuation Order for the Bear Creek wildfire.  

Thanks to everyone for their patience and support during the evacuation and to the frontline first responders, ESS volunteers and those from CDART who assisted residents during this recent emergency.

Information Sheet

(August 24, 2016)

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January - June 2016 Video Highlights

From a new mobile-friendly Crime Stoppers website, to Parks activities and events and successful events organized by the Regional Waste Reduction Office.   We've created a short video of Regional District highlights during the first half of 2016 to show you some of the RDCO programs and services at work!

The video was presented to the Regional Board at its meeting August 22nd.

View Video

(August 24, 2016)

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BBQ'ing Big Bucks

It may have been the barbeque burgers, smokies and good food.   Or perhaps it was the great music and camaraderie.  Quite possibly it was the wide variety of charity auction items.   Whatever the reason, people from the North Westside communities have again shown their great support for their non-profit Fire Rescue Society and its members!

Last Saturday’s annual Community BBQ Fund Raiser held in the amenities area of La Casa Lakeside Cottage Resort set a new record, raising more than $16,200 for the North Westside Firefighters Society.  That’s about $5,000 more than was raised at the event in 2015.  The Society will also be raising funds during the upcoming Friends of Fintry - Fall Fair on Sunday, September 18th at Fintry Provincial Park.

Fire Chief Jason Satterthwaite says “On behalf of all the men and women of the department, we thank everyone from the area who came out to have a good time with their friends and neighbours while contributing to the Society’s largest fundraiser of the year.  We also want to thank our many sponsors and those businesses and individuals who donated items for the auction, including a generous donation from the Shelter Cove Strata owners in recognition of the work done by the department during last year’s threatening wildfire.   And it’s of course it’s great to have the ongoing support of the strata owners and management of La Casa Resort, which is the perfect venue.”

Satterthwaite adds, “Firefighters Shawn Barnes, Val Zimmer and their enthusiastic team deserve a huge vote of thanks for their outstanding work in organizing every aspect of this fun and profitable event.    Activities like this and our weekly driver training, get our firefighters out into the community, often handing out stickers to youngsters and giving them tours of our trucks.”

Firefighter Shawn Barnes is the President of the independent, non-profit Society, which is made up of all active firefighters.  They determine where the funds raised will be spent in order to benefit the North Westside communities through the purchase of additional, often specialized pieces of equipment that are outside the regular fire department equipment budget.  As well, the Society has provided a $1,000 scholarship for members of the department who are considering a professional emergency services career and wish to further their education.   Last year funds raised by the Society were used to purchase and donate to the department equipment inventory a large bore high volume monitor nozzle, four CPR training dolls and ten pairs of forestry boots.   Past Society donations were used to help provide equipment for the boathouse boat lift and generator.

(August 19, 2016)

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Biofilter Replacement

From Monday, August 22nd to Wednesday, August 24th, there may be periods when more odours than normal are noticeable in the area around the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

That’s because during this time, new filtering materials will be installed in the Biofilter at the facility off Gellatly Road in West Kelowna.  The open bed Biofilter is commonly used at wastewater treatment plants to biologically treat odourous gases that are collected throughout the wastewater treatment process reducing emissions of foul air.  Following the installation, there may be periods of additional odour as it takes a few days to get the Biofilter up to 100% performance.

In order to ensure optimum efficiency, the Biofilter material must be periodically replaced.   This was last done in the spring of 2014.

Residents and other stakeholders in the area have been advised of this work.

The Regional District apologizes for any short-term inconvenience this important work may cause and will work as quickly as possible to minimize any potential impact. 

The facility receives and treats just over 10,000 cubic meters of wastewater each day from businesses and households in West Kelowna, Peachland and the Westbank First Nation Reserves #9 and #10.

(August 19, 2016)

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Campfire Ban across Central Okanagan Regional District

With the Extreme Fire Hazard, starting this Friday, all campfires will be prohibited throughout all Central Okanagan municipalities and electoral area Fire Service Areas. 

The ban takes effect at noon Friday, August 19th and will remain in effect until further notice.

As a result of the extremely dry conditions and extended period of hot, dry weather that has boosted the fire danger rating to extreme, local fire chiefs have decided to implement the total ban on campfires within all local government fire jurisdictions in the Regional District of Central Okanagan including the City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Westbank First Nation and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas.  Campfires are not permitted at any time within the City of Kelowna. 

Violators could receive a fine and be charged the cost of the fire department response to a burning complaint.  Residents are encouraged to report anyone who is illegally burning by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Centre at 250-469-8577.

Fire departments throughout the Central Okanagan remind residents and visitors that all smoking materials should be carefully snuffed out and motorists are reminded not to toss cigarettes or other smoking materials from their vehicle. 

Please remember that smoking is not allowed in any RDCO regional park or municipal park in Kelowna and West Kelowna.  Smoking is also prohibited in children’s play areas, sports fields, undeveloped parks and wilderness trails in the District of Peachland.

Open burning has not been allowed within any jurisdiction of the Regional District and member municipalities since April 30th.  As well, local bylaws prohibit the use of any fireworks at any time throughout most areas of the Central Okanagan.   Use of fireworks in the District of Lake Country and City of West Kelowna must be approved in writing by the Fire Chief.

Residents are reminded that anytime you see smoke, call 9-1-1 and report it.

(August 18, 2016)

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Busy Bruins on Berry Hunt

The early bears get the best berries!

And with Kokanee salmon expected to return soon to Mission Creek, there will likely be more bear activity in and around Mission Creek Regional Park and the spawning channel.

Signs and information has been posted in the park advising visitors to be ‘Bear Aware’ as there’s been evidence that some bruins have already been loading up on berries in parts of Mission Creek Regional Park and along the Mission Creek Greenway in Scenic Canyon Regional Park.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “With ripening fruit in valley orchards and the annual salmon spawning, it’s not unusual for visitors to many of our Central Okanagan Regional Parks to come across animals in their natural home especially those parks with corridor connections to the higher elevations.”

Each year, evidence of their presence is also often found in other more natural regional parks like Rose Valley, Hardy Falls, Bertram Creek, Glen Canyon, Johns Family Nature Conservancy, Kalamoir and Mill Creek.

Smith adds, “People should respect all bears and anticipate and avoid encounters with them.  Bears can be aggressive, especially when defending their food or their cubs.  They also have excellent senses of smell and hearing.  Dog owners are reminded unless otherwise designated their pets must be leashed and kept on trails at all times.  It’s not only the law, but will help avoid any potentially serious encounter with wildlife.”

Where possible, visitors should travel in a group, make noise or carry something that makes noise in order to make your presence known.  During the fall fish spawning season in local creeks and rivers visitors may encounter bears bulking up on this food source.  Bears fishing for food may not hear you over the noise of the creek water.   If you see a bear, give it plenty of space and stay well away from it.

Residents also have a role to play in preventing animal confrontations on their property by keeping any garbage securely stored and only wheeling their garbage cart out on the morning of their regular curbside collection.  That helps to reduce the potential temptation for bears or other wildlife.

Helpful Links:

(August 16, 2016)

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Professional Services Thriving

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) conducted its first Business Walk to the professional services sector from July 11-15, 2016.  Of the 57 companies interviewed, 16% of the businesses rated their environment as fair/steady and 84% rated their environment as positive and growing for a total of 100% of the businesses.

The 57 businesses interviewed represent 760 total employees (110 PT/contract, 650 FT).

The July Business Walk saw industry stakeholders connect with businesses ranging in size from 1 to 130 employees.  They represent a broad range of professional services from computer service providers, architects and financial institutions to legal, engineering, investment and insurance firms.

The Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (PST) sector is one of the region’s fastest growing sectors and a source of mainly full time, year-round positions.  Many of the professional services companies visited provided information not only on their own companies, but information on trends, opportunities and challenges affecting their diverse clients.

Other highlights from the Professional Services Business Walk:

  • An increase of 14% in the number of full-time, part-time and contract/temporary workers over the next 3 years was projected – from 760 to 863 full time, part time and contract/temporary employees.
  • 44% of professional services businesses expect their total number of full time employees to increase over the next 3 years, contributing 103 additional full time jobs to the Central Okanagan economy.
  • Challenges related to recruitment and retention of skilled professionals were the major barrier to growth cited by professional service businesses.  Of the 53% of that were experiencing difficulty, hard to fill positions included lawyers with specialized experience, legal assistants, conveyancers, certified insurance advisors, engineers with specialties and architects.
  • The large majority – 96% - said they did not plan to exit their businesses in the next 5 years, for example by selling or closing.

Information from the Professional Services Business Walk is communicated to multiple stakeholder groups for consideration in the development of programs and services that can assist professional services throughout the region.

Stakeholder groups throughout the region will conduct the annual Regional Business Walk on October 5, 2016.

Read the full report

(August 16, 2016)

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Cash In:  Woodstove Exchange Rebates Still Available

Here’s how you can save some money now and reduce harmful air pollution!

Thousands of dollars in rebates are still being offered for replacing your old wood burning appliance.  And you can save money every year from lower heating costs.

The Woodstove Exchange Program offers $250 rebates for residents of the Regional District of Central Okanagan. They’re eligible for the rebate when they recycle their non-EPA certified woodstove when purchasing a new cleaner technology electric, pellet, gas or wood stove or insert from seven participating retailers in the Central Okanagan.  These businesses will take care of recycling your old stove and provide all the necessary documents for the rebates.

Since 2001, the exchange program across has helped more than 680 Central Okanagan residents replace their old smoky wood stove for a cleaner technology product.  Based on BC Environment estimates, that’s kept about 44 tonnes of particulate matter from entering our airshed each year.

Since 1998, only wood burning appliances (included without limitation stoves, fireplaces inserts) that meet the CAN/CSA B415.1 or the EPA emission standards could be granted a permit to be installed within the Regional District of Central Okanagan. These devices use about one-third less wood and create 90% less smoke. That’s something that benefits everyone.

Smoke from residential wood burning produces particulate matter that affects the health of our residents and contributes to poor local air quality. Those particulates are small enough to get into our lungs leading to respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema and to various forms of heart disease.

This rebate program is made possible through a grant from the B.C. government in partnership with the BC Lung Association.

For more information on the rebate program through participating retailers and other Regional Air Quality initiatives in the Central Okanagan visit: regionaldistrict.com/airquality.

(July 27, 2016)

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Climate Adaptation Strategy Strengthens Future Resilience of Okanagan Agriculture

An increase in hotter and drier summers, insect and disease pressures, and extreme weather events are some of the impacts of climate change that are expected to affect agriculture in the Okanagan. A new adaptation plan outlines the priority impact areas and a series of strategies to strengthen the resilience of the Okanagan agriculture sector in a changing climate.

The BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI) brought agricultural producers together with local governments and provincial agencies to identify collaborative solutions and actions to adapt to the challenges facing the sector.

“Agricultural producers in the Okanagan need to be aware of the potential impacts of climate change and start planning for the future,” says Erin Carlson, who represents the BC Cherry Association on the Climate Adaptation Advisory Committee. “This strategy is an important starting point. It has brought focus to the discussion and resources necessary to start moving plans into action.”

The implementation of priority actions will be supported by a $300,000 investment from the federal and provincial governments through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.  Climate adaptation programming is part of the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s ongoing commitment to climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector, while enhancing sustainability, growth, and competitiveness. These investments help achieve the federal government's goal to encourage the agriculture and agri-food sector’s leadership in job creation and innovation.

Climate models show a strong warming trend for the Okanagan, particularly in the summer. Precipitation is expected to decrease in the summer, and increase in the winter, with a marked decrease in the amount falling as snow. Extreme weather events are also expected to become more frequent and more severe. Changes to temperature and precipitation patterns will impact river systems, resulting in less predictability and increased variability in the timing and volume of water flows. Warmer temperatures and higher rates of evapotranspiration will increase demand for irrigation and put pressure on water storage.

“For growers, these changes could have a significant impact on crop yields and quality, as well as increasing the cost of securing the water needed for production,” says Carlson. “We need to be prepared to manage the risks of shifting weather patterns and extreme weather events, as they have the potential to be devastating for the fruit crops that our region is known for.”

Regional District of Central Okanagan Chair Gail Given says “The collaboration on this important work shows how much can be accomplished by working together.  We’re very excited to be a part of this opportunity.   It will support and complement our Regional Growth Strategy while addressing related initiatives like water supply and management, wildfire preparedness and invasive pests and species.” 

The Okanagan Regional Adaptation Strategies report identifies four priority impact areas:

1.   Warmer and drier summer conditions – strategies and actions have been identified to support the sector to prepare for, and respond to drought conditions, as well as maximizing conservation and efficiency in agricultural water management.

2.   Changes to pest populations (insects, diseases, weeds and invasive species) – strategies and actions have been identified to support integrated and cross-sector approaches to pest monitoring and management, as well as enhancing informational resources about pests and climate change.

3.   Increase in extreme precipitation events - strategies and actions have been identified to improve knowledge transfer and resources to address runoff and erosion, and to enhance riparian areas.

4.   Increasing wildfire risk - strategies and actions have been identified to enhance tools and resources for wildfire preparedness and mitigation.

As the action plan is implemented, project results will be shared with the intent of bringing new information, resources, tools and practices into use across the province.

The BC Agriculture and Food Climate Action Initiative was established by the BC Agriculture Council in 2008, and is led by an advisory committee of agricultural producers, food processors and representatives from various government agencies. The Initiative has been supported by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC with funding provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial- territorial initiative.

(July 25, 2016)

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Discovery Backpacks

Stop by the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park and sign out a ‘Discovery Backpack’.  The EECO is open Tuesday through Sunday. 

Inside you’ll find everything you need to do your own pond study or nature walk in the regional park at Springfield and Durnin Roads.  The Discovery Backpacks’ are a great way to get every member of your family actively involved in learning about our natural surroundings.

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO staff at eeco@cord.bc.ca or call 250-469-6140.

(July 18, 2016)

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Visitors Share Regional Parks Experience

People visiting Regional Parks in the Central Okanagan are being asked to share information about their experience.

Regional Parks Services has launched a multi-year program to survey visitors.  Between now and mid-September visitors to Mission Creek, Kaloya and Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Parks may be approached by Parks Services staff asking them to participate in a short Visitor Use Survey.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “It shouldn’t take any more than 15 minutes to complete.  We want to gauge and document park users’ satisfaction while receiving useful information about how people feel about the various activities, events and programs offered throughout their Regional Parks.”

During the survey engagement, participants will have the opportunity to receive maps and additional information about Regional Park activities and events.

Each year, surveys will be done in approximately four parks, revisiting those same parks every four years.   Smith adds “In order to understand how people use and think about our natural area parks, we need to engage with those visiting their Regional Parks.  The surveys provide us with a personal connection to park customers and an understanding of why, how and when parks are used.   The more data visitors provide from future surveys, the more it’ll help us evaluate our service performance and the ability to deliver a better park system: one that reflects the needs and desires of those using the Regional Parks that belong to everyone in the Central Okanagan.”

The survey program was developed in a partnership with the Capital Regional District Regional Parks program.  The answers given by visitors to some standardized questions in the survey will help with comparisons between the two organizations and provide a deeper understanding toward service delivery and overall trends within the parks industry.

There are currently 30 Regional Parks encompassing almost 2,000 hectares in the Central Okanagan.  The two main goals of the Regional Parks Service include delivering quality passive recreational opportunities and conservation of natural areas for future generations.  More information is available by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parks; emailing parks@cord.bc.ca or calling 250-469-6232.

(July 14, 2016)

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Convenient Paperless Utility Billing Now Available

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is offering customers the option of having their utility bills delivered electronically.

Property owners in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Areas will be receiving a letter and authorization form with their next utility bill.  By completing the information and returning the form, they’ll receive future invoices directly to their email inbox, rather than through regular mail.  For those who wish to save paper and a stamp, they can fill out an online authorization form available at www.regionaldistrict.com/paperlessbill.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “This new paperless e-billing delivery is certainly more convenient for our customers and helps the environment by generating less paper.  And for those seasonal residents or snowbirds who may head out of the area for extended periods of time, electronic delivery will ensure they receive their billing notice so that they can pay by the due date and won’t be subject to any late payment penalties.”

Smith adds, “By offering a more convenient paperless invoice delivery, we’ll see cost savings through reduced mailing costs.”

If they wish, customers who choose not to take advantage of the email utility invoice option will continue to receive a paper invoice through the mail.

The Regional District invoices its utility customers four times a year.  This includes customers of the six water systems operated by the Regional District; customers of the sewer system that services the Sunset Ranch strata communities and those receiving garbage and recycling services from the RDCO.

Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Area property owners have an incentive to keep their utility billing account balance paid on time.   A four per cent late payment fee (compounded quarterly at 16.99% per year) is assessed on all outstanding balances not paid by the quarterly due date.   This helps reduce the number of customer utility accounts that are in arrears, requiring additional costs for mailing late payment reminder notices.

Payments can be made by direct withdrawal, by mail, in person at the RDCO office or any Financial Institution or they can be made securely and conveniently online at: www.regionaldstrict.com/payments.  Customers can also access their account information there.

Any utility accounts that aren’t paid by December 15th will be transferred for collection on the next year’s tax roll as arrears of taxes and will be charged interest at the rate authorized by the Local Government Act.  Payments must be received by December 15th to ensure adequate processing prior to the end of the calendar year.

For more information or to have questions answered please contact the RDCO Finance Services staff at 250-469-6239 or email utilities@cord.bc.ca.

(July 7, 2016)

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Summer Story Time

Rain or shine, children age three to five and their caregivers are welcome to join us for a twice weekly edition of ‘Summer Story Time’.

It’s a free, drop-in program during July and August starting at 10:00 am with an hour of fun, interactive stories and activities and a mini-nature walk to explore nearby flora and fauna!

Each Tuesday morning we meet under the trees near the playground in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads in Kelowna.

On Thursday mornings, join us in the pastoral setting of the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park, 2375 Whitworth Road (off Gellatly Road) in West Kelowna.

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

(June 30, 2016)

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There's A Trail for Everyone!

The Regional District is making it easier for people to get out and enjoy trails through our Regional Parks.

Seven of the parks now have designated trails marked with names and rating signs so that visitors can see a degree of difficulty on a particular trail.  There are also trail profiles provided giving a visual snapshot of elevation changes and other features over the length of these designated trails.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “In our Guide to Regional Parks, we’ve always provided a simple rating system for many of our outings in the ‘Take a Hike’ and ‘Explore Your Parks’ programs.   But with a grant from the BC Community Recreation Program dedicated to improving trail signage and the visitor experience in our parks, we’ve been gradually rolling out a uniform trail naming/rating system along with trail profile information.  So a visitor can determine before starting their hike, whether the trail experience will match or perhaps challenge their ability.”

Green circles suggest a very easy/easy outing.  Blue squares provide a more moderate experience, while black diamonds indicate a more difficult or very difficult trail over steep, variable terrain with more obstacles and little maintenance.

Smith adds “Designated trails in Glen Canyon, Kalamoir, Rose Valley, Trepanier Creek Greenway, Johns Family Nature Conservancy, the Mission Creek Greenway and Mission Creek Regional Park all have trail name and rating signage in place.  The ratings are based mainly on slope and distance and provide visitors with a consistency across our park system.  The experience on one trail in one park should be the same with a similarly rated trail in another.”

Trail ratings and profile information is available at information kiosks in these parks as well as for individual park webpages online www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark.  Smith says, “We’ve created some information pages to help explain our trail rating and profile system.  In addition, all our online park trail maps are GPS-enabled.  That means you can use your smartphone or tablet’s internal global positioning system to enhance your experience and navigate our parks and trails.”

Smith says “We’re also very excited about a unique relationship involving our Regional Parks staff and local First Nations.  Park visitors will notice recognition of the syilx/Okanagan culture with the new trail name signs.  We’ve been collaborating for some time now with cultural services staff at Westbank First Nation and Sncəwips Heritage Museum to develop and translate trail names in both English and the Okanagan nsyilxcǝn language.  We’re also starting to install interpretive panels in these areas to further explain the cultural and historical significance of the name in order to raise awareness and provide some context for this important aspect of life in the Central Okanagan.” 

For many years, the Regional District has promoted barrier-free access to its regional parks encouraging opportunities for everyone to get out and explore regional parks.  With the excellent volunteers of CRIS - the Community Recreational Initiatives Society – the Regional Parks system is open to people of all abilities. Contact CRIS www.adaptiveadventures.ca to join in on any Parks Services program.

(June 17, 2016)

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Stage 2 Outdoor Watering Restrictions Return

Stage 2 Water Restrictions begin this Thursday for customers of the six water systems operated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

Each year, from June 16th to September 15th (unless other restrictions are in place) Stage 2 water restrictions are in effect for customers of the Star Place, Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Westshore water systems.  Stage 2 means outdoor watering is restricted for residents on those six systems to two days each week. RDCO water customers with even number addresses may irrigate outdoors on Saturday and Tuesday while those with odd addresses may only water outside on Sunday and Wednesday.

Under the Regional District Water Systems Regulations Bylaw No. 1370, customers with an automated irrigation system may only water on their allotted day between midnight and 6:00 am, while those with manual outdoor irrigation must restrict their watering on their respective irrigation day to between 6:00 am and 11:00 am and 6:00 pm and midnight.  If you don’t need to water outdoors on your allotted day or time period, please do not waste water.

Between September 16th and June 15th – Stage 1 Restrictions are in place allowing customers to water outdoors on alternating days.    Those with even-numbered addresses may irrigate on even numbered calendar days and customers with odd-numbered addresses may water outdoors on odd number days. 

By following the outdoor water use restrictions that are in effect all year, residents help ensure reservoirs are replenished and there’s an adequate water supply.  They’re reminded that new metered consumption rates have been in effect since January 1st. 

The Regional District water systems provide service to almost 900 connections in the following areas: Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Falcon Ridge, Sunset Ranch, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Star Place.

For more tips on water conservation inside and outside your home, visit the Regional District Water System webpage at regionaldistrict.com/water. 

Customers may also sign up there to receive email notifications of any water advisories or special maintenance works affecting their water system.

(June 14, 2016)

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Applications Welcome for Advisory Commission Members

If you live within the Regional District of Central Okanagan Electoral Areas and are interested in future development in your community, the Regional District would like to hear from you.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “We’re currently looking for volunteer members to serve on the Agricultural Advisory Commission and Environmental Advisory Commission.”

He adds, “Each group works with our Planning staff to advise the Regional Board by reviewing appropriate development applications within the Electoral Areas for potential impacts on agriculture and environmental sustainability.”

Members of each Advisory Commission will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated interest and participation in community matters, academic and/or technical qualifications, availability, work experience, knowledge, professional expertise, and land use planning.

Information about each of these Advisory Commissions is available online by visiting regionaldistrict.com/advisorycommissions or by contacting the Regional District Community Services Planning Section by email at planning@cord.bc.ca or by calling 250-469-6227. 

There’s a convenient link to an online form that can be completed and submitted on the Regional District website.   Forms may also be downloaded, completed and dropped off in person or by mail.

(June 13, 2016)

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Regional Floodplain Management Plan Being Developed

Work is underway to develop a plan to better understand the risks and what can be done to reduce potential damage from flooding in the Central Okanagan.

The Regional Board has heard from the consultant who prepared the first phase report of the Regional Floodplain Management Plan which has identified and prioritized the criteria for further study of flood hazard areas.   Among the findings, the report identifies that only a few floodplain maps have been completed (Peachland to West Kelowna, Mission Creek and Mill Creek) and only five watercourses have permanent emergency flood protection infrastructure.  As well, based on available climate change research, the report says the magnitude of extreme peak flows is projected to increase which could cause an increase in flood and natural hazards within the region.

The Regional District hopes to begin the second phase of the Floodplain Management Plan later this year. This includes assessing the flood hazard and risk in identified high priority areas.  It’s proposed the third and final phase of the plan will further develop and expand upon existing flood risk mitigation strategies for the Central Okanagan.

Regional District Chair Gail Given says, “The overall goal of the project is to reduce the risk of flooding while improving emergency response and increasing various aspects of preparedness of potential flooding that may be due in part to climate change.  When complete, the plan will be extremely useful for planning staff in every local government and First Nation; will be an important component of our region’s excellent Emergency Response Flood Plan and may provide some suggestions that will help guide future flood protection infrastructure work projects.”

Funding for Phase one and Phase two of the plan has been provided through two grants from the Okanagan Basin Water Board Water Conservation and Quality Improvement Grant Program (Phase 1 - $20,000 / Phase 2 - $25,000), the Federal Gas Tax Fund and the Regional District.

Information on the project and plan can be viewed at /your-services/planning-section/projects.aspx

(June 10, 2016)

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Remove Mosquito Hang-outs

Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to help join the fight against the bite by removing potential places for mosquitoes to hang out around their properties.

Since mid-March, crews have been out monitoring and treating mosquito larvae in known breeding locations across the region.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “It’s easy for people to disrupt potential mosquito breeding sites around their property. Start by removing any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires.  It doesn’t take much water to provide the right environment for mosquitoes.  Rain barrels should be covered with a screen to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water.  As well, drain standing water from containers under plant pots or in garbage cans.  Change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls at least twice a week.  And remove any water that gathers in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers and aerate water in ponds or add fish that will feed on mosquito larvae.”

Under contract with the Regional District, D.G. Regan and Associates Ltd. conducts all larval mosquito control within these participating areas of the Regional District.  President Curtis Fediuk says, “Warm and unseasonable weather conditions this season resulted in an early onset to larval mosquito development again in 2016.    Field crews have been surveying, monitoring and treating developing larval mosquito populations since the third week of March.    Larval mosquitos are controlled using the biological control product VectoBac 200G which contains the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis.  Used safely since 1982 this product has no effect on non-target organisms including other insects, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.”

He adds ”Although the program provides for regular surveying and treatment of known mosquito habitats, the program will not eliminate the local mosquito population and residents and visitors should expect to encounter adult mosquitos at some time during the season and in some places.  Residents can contribute to their control program by reducing or eliminating standing water on their properties, installing bird or bat houses and they can protect themselves from annoyance by using approved repellants, window screens, wearing loose fitting light coloured clothing and by minimizing activities near treed and bush areas at dusk and dawn where adult mosquitos prefer to rest.”  This monitoring and treatment is being done in almost 200 known surface water habitats as well as over 9,000 roadside catch basins in the participating areas.

Residents in the participating areas of the program (City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Central Okanagan East and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna) can report mosquito concerns by calling D. G. Regan and Associates Ltd at 1-800-681-3472 or go to regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes and fill out an online form.

Learn how you and your family can fight back and protect against mosquitoes by checking out the resources available on the Mosquito Control page on the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes.

(June 2, 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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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)