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Kokanee Salmon Festival this Sunday

Check out the displays and watch the Kokanee salmon spawning in Mission Creek during the ‘Kokanee Salmon Festival’.   The activities are being held Sunday, September 21st at Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads).  This free, family event runs between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm and promises to provide lots of fun for children and adults alike.  View Poster for More Information

The festival opens with a traditional Okanagan First Nations welcome followed by a lively performance by the North Okanagan Pipes and Drums band, ‘fishy’ displays and activities and musical entertainment from Incanto Wold Music, magician Leif David, and family fun from Kiki the Eco-Elf. The hugely popular Nylon Zoo’s, inflatable Salmon Story Telling Tent is returning this year where children are encouraged to dress in colourful costumes and swim, crawl or stroll into the interactive tent and listen as story tellers narrate Native legends about the salmon.  Take a gander through the Royal Astronomical Society solar telescopes and get a fishy-view in the creek with the Central Okanagan Search and Rescue Society underwater camera.  Also back this year is Wentworth Music’s Musical Petting Zoo and savor cupcakes from CupCasions and Sandrine and bannock from Kekuli Cafe.

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

(September 17, 2014)

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Final Comment Opportunity for Draft Regional Park Management Plan

September 22nd is the deadline for final comments from the public on a draft long-term Management Plan for the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park.

The draft Plan is the result of a thorough public process that began earlier this year and can be viewed at:  www.regionaldistrict.com/parksmanagementplans.  Email comments may also be provided on the Park Management Plan webpage until September 22nd. 

It’s anticipated the final Draft Management Plan will be presented for consideration by the Central Okanagan Land Trust (COLT) and Regional Board this fall.  The Plan sets out clear direction for wildlife and habitat conservation, passive recreational and educational activities, as well as guiding future actions and investments for the protection of the park.

Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park encompasses over 400 hectares along the south slopes within the Regional District and includes land from the former Cedar Mountain Regional Park.  It was created in 2013 through a partnership between the Central Okanagan Land Trust and the Regional District, after COLT was bequeathed 300-hectares of land from the estates of Nancy and Alf Johns.

(September 12, 2014)

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Swimming Advisory Lifted at two Wood Lake Parks

Swimming Advisory signs posted last month at two park beaches on Wood Lake have been taken down.

The precautionary advisory affecting the Regional District’s Reiswig Regional Park and the neighbouring District of Lake Country Beasley Park took effect August 13th as a result of samples that indicated poor water quality due to increased levels of bacteria.

Regional District Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Interior Health has now indicated that recent test samples show water quality has again returned to acceptable, safe levels under the Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality.  That means the advisory has been lifted and people can once again swim at these beaches.”

For more information please visit Interior Health’s Recreational Water program webpage:

https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourEnvironment/RecreationalWater/Pages/default.aspx

(September 12, 2014)

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Fall Flushing Underway on RDCO Water Systems

The Regional District is about to begin its fall water main flushing program.  This ensures continued optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time throughout the six RDCO water systems.

The work starts the week of September 15th and is expected to be finished by October 31st.  Over the seven week period, Environmental Services staff will be going from system to system 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. 

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 water systems service approximately 900 properties in the following areas: Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Star Place/Trepanier, 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.

(September 12, 2014)

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Regional Park Protects Significant Area of Goat's Peak 

The protection of a sizable portion of environmentally important Okanagan Lake waterfront is ensured with creation of Goat’s Peak Regional Park.  

The Regional District of Central Okanagan purchased a 52-hectare (128-acre) property along the West Kelowna shoreline to establish the new regional Park.  The property includes almost 900-meters (2,955-feet) of waterfront, which has extremely high spawning habitat value for Okanagan Lake kokanee salmon.

The $5-million purchase comes from contributions of local governments to the Regional Parks Legacy and Park Land Reserve Funds.

Regional Board Chair Robert Hobson says, “For many years, residents and various community groups have called on local governments to protect the important waterfront and upland ecosystem of the Goat’s Peak area.  Today through the two Regional Park funds, on behalf of all Central Okanagan residents, I’m pleased to announce that we’re delivering with the creation of Goat’s Peak Regional Park saving this land for the enjoyment of future generations.”   View RDCO Youtube Channel Video

Hobson adds, “The purchase of this property for the new regional park fills a significant gap in the Okanagan Trail 2000 vision for a continuous recreational trail between the Bennett Bridge and Peachland.  It, along with the existing Kalamoir and Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Parks remain in their natural state which helps to preserve accessible areas along the Okanagan Lake shoreline for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents.” 

He says, “The new Goat’s Peak Regional Park is close to existing and potential residential areas and is critical to preserving the long term sustainability and character of the Okanagan Valley.  It has high ecological conservation value and supports a low-impact recreational/interpretive potential in order to protect the natural landscape.”

The new park will remain closed until at least next summer as the Regional District prepares a management plan and develops trails and signage.

In 2008, the Regional Board unanimously agreed to establish a special tax requisition over five years to build the Parks Legacy Fund in order to leverage the purchase and protection of important properties for the Regional Park system.  Hobson adds, “With today’s announcement, $14.2-million in property purchases have been funded, adding more than 91-hectares (225-acres) to the Regional Park system.

2014 is the 40th anniversary of the Central Okanagan Regional Park system.  Since it began in the fall of 1974 and with the purchase of the almost four-hectare Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country in early 1975, it’s grown to protect more than 1,400-hectares of land in 30 Regional Parks.

(September 10, 2014)

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Mail Ballot Applications Available for Regional Director/School Trustee Elections 

Some Central Okanagan Electoral Area voters unable to cast a ballot during regular voting opportunities for the November election may still have their ballot counted!  

Mail-in balloting is available as an option for voters in the November 15th Local Government Election.

“There are a number of reasons that qualified voters may wish to vote by mail-in ballot” says Communications Officer Bruce Smith.   “Those expecting to be absent from the jurisdiction and unable to vote on either Advance voting days, November 5th and 12th, or on General Voting Day, Saturday, November 15th or electors who may not be able to vote due to physical challenges, illness or injury, are eligible to vote by mail ballot.  Those who are out of the area and are voting by the mail ballot must ensure they allow enough time to receive and return their ballot in order to be counted.”

In order to vote by mail, resident and non-resident electors must meet the same qualifications as any person voting at a polling location.  They must be a Canadian Citizen, 18 years of age as of the date they vote, have resided in BC for six months immediately before registering to vote and have lived in the Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West Electoral Area for 30 days immediately before registering to vote and they must not otherwise disqualified from voting. 

Smith adds, “Electors who wish to vote by mail must complete and return the application form before November 13th to the RDCO Elections Office at 1450 KLO Road; by email elections@cord.bc.ca; or by regular mail to the Regional District of Central Okanagan, 1450 KLO Road, Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4.  A non-resident property elector must complete and include two additional forms and they must provide an address they wish to have the mail ballot package mailed to.  If you are a qualified elector and your application has been completed correctly, once we receive the ballots in early November, we will send you a mail ballot package.  You must allow the appropriate amount of time to receive and return your ballot.  If time doesn’t permit mailing, you should arrange to pick up a package from the Chief Election Officer or have it couriered.”

In order to be counted, those using the mail-in ballot option must ensure the completed ballot package is received by the Chief Election Officer no later than the close of regular polling at 8:00 pm on General Voting Day, Saturday, November 15th.

The Regional District website has links for more information regarding mail ballots and the application form along with other details on Who Can Vote, Where To Vote and When To Vote.  Just visit regionaldistrict.com/elections.

(September 8, 2014)

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Check Out the Kokanee

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. 

A Parks Interpreter will be on site each weekend until Sunday, September 28th at Hardy Falls Regional Park (off Highway 97 south at Hardy Street in Peachland).  The interpretation program runs each Saturday and Sunday until October 5th at Mission Creek Regional Park.  Interpreters will be on site from 12 noon to 4:00 pm at each location.   Weekday school tours and special presentations for community groups start September 2nd 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 29, 2014)

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Kokanee Exhibit

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 early-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 29, 2014)

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Lower Glen Canyon Regional park Closed for Upgrading Work 

The lower portion of Glen Canyon Regional Park off Gellatly Road in West Kelowna will be closed starting September 2nd for up to eight weeks for trail upgrades. (See map)

The trails between Gellatly Road and the new bridge span upstream will remain closed until approximately the end of October. Please obey any signage and barricades directing visitors around the closed area.  Other areas of the park will still be open and accessible, including the loop trail that links with the District of West Kelowna’s Westbank Centre Park, just off May Street.

Much of this work is being funded as part of a grant through the Provincial Government’s Community Recreation Program Trails to Health project.  In addition to trail improvements, information and signage, the work will see existing staircases and crib steps replaced and a new parking area established off Gellatly Road.  As a part of this project and a recent parkland management agreement with the District of West Kelowna, the Regional District will upgrade trails through a portion of West Kelowna municipal parkland that will be maintained as a part of Glen Canyon Regional Park trail system.

The Regional District thanks park users for their patience and understanding while this park access enhancement work is done.

(August 28, 2014)

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Yard Sale on Wheels at the 'Trunk Sale'

Do you have stuff that you would like to sell at a garage sale, but can’t host one of your own? Then you’ll want to take part in the latest Trunk Sale at Okanagan College, Saturday September 27th. Organized by the Regional Waste Reduction Office, the event promotes’ reuse and recycling, with one huge garage sale in the Okanagan College parking lot from 8am until noon.

“Think of this as a giant yard sale on wheels!” says Rae Stewart, Waste Reduction Facilitator with the Regional District. ”It’s a great opportunity to get your pre-loved stuff into the hands of someone else that could use it. Our Trunk Sales are all about reuse, bargains, and less ending up in the landfill.”

Stewart explains, “This is an opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally be able to host their own garage or yard sale, those that live in condos, apartments, or simply have no yard. But it’s not limited in that way, everyone’s welcome to take part.”

Stewart adds previous sales have been hugely popular, with spots for sellers filling up quickly, so you’re encouraged to pre-register early. “Just as the name suggests, you do the selling from the trunk of your car, van or back of your pickup. There’s no charge to be a vendor, but you need to pre-register beforehand.”

Deadline for registrations is Wednesday September 24th. To register as a vendor, please call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250. 

If you don’t want to sell stuff at the Trunk Sale, but love bargains, you’re encouraged to come out and shop on sale day. The Trunk Sale runs from 8am until 12 pm Saturday, September 27th in parking Lot #17 of Okanagan College, 1000 K.L.O. Road, right next to the Student Residence buildings.

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

(August 28, 2014)

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It's A Wild-life in Regional Parks!

Part of the attractiveness of our Central Okanagan Regional Parks is that visitors experience wild, untouched, natural settings.  That also means they may encounter wildlife at any time.   And as summer draws to a close, visiting our more natural Regional Parks requires more bear awareness.

Across the Okanagan Kokanee salmon are starting to spawn and orchard crops are ripening.   With that there’s increasing evidence of bear activity as they leave the higher elevations in search of food in the valley.

Evidence that bears are around is already occurring along the Mission Creek Greenway, in Mission Creek, Scenic Canyon and Hardy Falls Regional Parks.  Each year, evidence of their presence is also often found in other more natural regional parks like Bertram Creek, Glen Canyon, Johns Family Nature Conservancy, Kalamoir, Mill Creek, Rose Valley and Woodhaven Nature Conservancy.

“Usually around this time of year, our parks staff and visitors start seeing more signs of bears in some of our Regional Parks.  As sightings increase, we post signs advising that the animals may be active in the area” says Communications Officer Bruce Smith.

He says “to reduce your chance of an encounter, if possible travel in a group, make noise or carry something that makes noise.  During the fall fish spawning season local creeks and rivers can be teaming with spawning salmon.  As a result, visitors may encounter bears taking advantage of this plentiful 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.”

People should respect all bears and anticipate and avoid encounters with them whenever possible.  Bears can be aggressive, especially when defending their food or their cubs.  They also have excellent senses of smell and hearing, and better sight than you might believe.  Dog owners are reminded when in Regional Parks that 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 wildlife encounter.

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

 Useful Bear Links

British Columbia Conservation Foundation (WildSafe BC) Bear Aware program  - www.bearaware.bc.ca

Ministry of Environment Bear Smart program  - www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart/bearsmintro.html

(August 27, 2014)

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Join the Free, Tracks Walking Club

Register now for the free fall session of the popular ‘Tracks Walking Club’ at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park.  There’s no cost to sign up and members receive a walking journal, walking tips, seminars and motivational tips that keep you moving. View Poster

The popular graduated walking program runs for six weeks starting September 8th and wraps up October 15th.  Each Monday and Wednesday morning at 9:00 (no walk Thanksgiving Monday) club members will join our walking leader along the Mission Creek Greenway and in Mission Creek Regional Park.  People at a beginner fitness level are encouraged to take part gradually increasing their health, stamina and walking duration to 60 minutes.  The goal is for participants to join in on the Kokanee Run/Walk on Saturday, October 18th.

This program is recognized as a BC Heart and Stroke Foundation‘Hearts in Motion’ walking club.

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6149.

(August 27, 2014)

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Rose Valley Regional Park Upper Parking Lot Closure 

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, August 27th, the upper Westlake Road parking area at Rose Valley Regional Park will be closed until the end of September.  

The closure is needed as Regional Parks staff removes and upgrades fencing and other amenities along with adjoining trails around the information kiosk area. During this time, park visitors are asked to stay out of the closed parking area as it will be used for storing supplies and equipment.

While the upper parking lot is closed, visitors are encouraged to use the newly upgraded parking lot and washroom facility at Westlake Road and Starlight Crescent.

This work is being funded through a grant from the Community Recreation Program Trails to Health project.  Over the past year, this project has seen upgrading and development of approximately eight kilometers of trails in three large looped sections of Rose Valley Regional Park, the removal of hazard trees and the installation of six new lookouts and benches.  In addition way-finding trail maps and markers have been installed and a new information kiosk and washroom were built at the lower parking area off Westlake Road and Starlight Crescent.

For more information about Regional Parks and programs visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks.

(August 26, 2014)

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Regional District Director and School Trustee Candidate Nominations Open 

While this fall’s Local Government Elections are still a few months away, the nomination process for potential candidates is underway in the Regional District of Central Okanagan. 

Nomination papers are now available for the Regional District of Central Okanagan Director and School Trustee elections on November 15th.

Those people picking up nomination papers for the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West Electoral Area directors elections and the School District No. 23 Zone 1 (Central Okanagan East Electoral area and District of Lake Country) and Zone 2 (Central Okanagan West Electoral Area, District of Peachland and Westbank First Nation reserves #9 and #10) elections have between 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, September 30th and 4:00 pm Friday, October 10th to file their completed nomination papers.  Late nominations will not be accepted.

Two qualified electors from the jurisdiction for which a person is nominated must sign the nomination papers of any potential candidate.  As well, candidates must be a Canadian citizen at least 18 years of age on election day, have lived in BC for six months and not be disqualified from voting.  Candidates are not required to reside in the jurisdiction in which they are running.  Successful candidates will sit for a four-year term which expires in the fall of 2018.

Potential candidates in the Regional District elections should contact the Chief Election Officer or Deputy Election Officer in order to book an appointment prior to the deadline to ensure their nomination papers are complete.  Appointments can be booked by calling 250-763-4918 and asking for the Election officials.  Candidates for Zone 1 School Trustee may also pick up and file nomination papers at the District of Lake Country election office, while those in Zone 2 may do the same at the District of Peachland election office.  A nomination deposit of $100 is required for School Trustee candidates.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan website has a page of information and links for those people who may be considering running for local office (www.regionaldistrict.com/elections).  Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, ““Potential candidates may wish to consider the time commitment, remuneration, financial disclosure and reporting and other legal responsibilities that come with holding public office.  Our website Candidate Information page also has links to pertinent bylaws in the Regional District and to the detailed and informative ‘Candidates Guide for Local Elections in British Columbia’, ‘What Every Candidate Needs to Know’ and ‘The Guide to Supporting a Candidate’, all prepared by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.  You’ll also find links to the Local Government Act and Provincial webpages explaining the Regional District form of local government.”

(August 25, 2014)

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Mussel Monitoring at Regional Parks 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

(August 6, 2014)

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Pedestrians, Cyclists, Horse-riders - '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.

(August 1, 2014)

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Have You Prepared Yet for an Emergency

RCMP go door to door in the early morning hours Monday advising residents of a fire near Smith Creek.   Tuesday afternoon, another fire spreads up a west slope of Mount Boucherie.   What emergency might it be today, or tomorrow?

The Central Okanagan Regional Emergency Program asks if these events haven’t got you and your family talking and acting on an emergency plan, won’t it be too late when a knock comes at your door?

Where to start?  Visit www.cordemergency.ca and subscribe your email addresses to receive real-time information updates anytime the Emergency Operations Centre is activated.   You can enter as many different email addresses as you like, so that you and your family will be up-to-date with the latest information during any emergency response.

That site is also a great place to find links and information on preparing a family emergency plan, putting together a ‘grab and go kit’ containing important documents, items and personal effects to help you stay self-sufficient for at least the first 72 hours of an emergency, while first responders and rescue workers are focusing on helping those in urgent need.

The cordemergency.ca website also has links to the wealth of emergency planning information available through the provincial Emergency Management BC and federal GetPrepared.ca programs.

The Central Okanagan Emergency Operations Centre is also now providing social media updates.   Like us at www.facebook.com/CORDEmergency and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CO_Emerg.

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).

(July 17, 2014)

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Interior Regional Districts Moving 9-1-1 Call Answer to E-Comm

This fall, 9-1-1 call answer services for nine interior regional districts will move to a new service provider. 

Starting November 18th, 9-1-1 calls placed from the Regional District of Central Okanagan, North Okanagan, Okanagan-Similkameen, Thompson-Nicola, Columbia-Shuswap, Squamish-Lillooet (North), Central Kootenay, East Kootenay and Kootenay-Boundary Regional Districts will be answered through E-Comm, the emergency communication centre located in the Lower Mainland.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) provides initial 9-1-1 call response services to the nine regional districts throughout the B.C. Interior.  The RDCO currently has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for initial Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) service, which is provided out of the Southeast District Operational Communications Centre (OCC) in Kelowna.  That is where all 9-1-1 calls placed within the nine regional districts are answered by a Telecommunications Operator who determines the nature of the emergency call and quickly transfers the caller to the appropriate first responder agency (Police, Fire or BC Ambulance).

Regional District of Central Okanagan Chair Robert Hobson says, “For almost two years, we have been exploring various options for 9-1-1 call answer services on behalf of all nine interior regional districts.  In 2012 we were advised by the RCMP that we would be facing significant increases for provision of 9-1-1 services.   After an extensive review and negotiations, we’ve recently signed a five year contract with E-Comm in Vancouver.  The transition from the RCMP OCC to E-Comm will take place November 18th.”   View Frequently Asked Questions

Hobson adds, “By contracting our 9-1-1 service to E-Comm, over the five year agreement the regional districts will see a 25% reduction in overall program operating costs. That translates into total savings of more than $2.1-million for the program, proportionately shared by the regional district partners.  

“Public safety remains our top priority” says Hobson.  “E-Comm’s outstanding track record of high quality and reliable 9-1-1 answering services, means all residents in the affected regional districts can be assured there will be professionally handled, quick response to their initial emergency calls.”

In addition, by having E-Comm provide initial emergency call handling service, the regional districts believe they’ll be in a better position to take advantage of Next Generation 9-1-1 technology.

Until the change this fall to E-Comm, 9-1-1 PSAP calls will continue to be answered by staff in the Southeast District Operational Communications Centre.   Within the service area of the nine regional districts during 2013, a total of 226,796 9-1-1 calls were received and answered by the OCC based in Kelowna.   

“We are pleased to partner with the Regional District of Central Okanagan and are committed to ensuring residents of all nine regional districts continue to receive high-quality, responsive 9-1-1 public safety answer point service 24-hours a day,” says E-Comm President & CEO David Guscott.  “E-Comm is focused on helping to create safer communities in B.C. through excellence in public-safety communication, and we believe that an integrated approach is a key element in achieving that vision.” 

E-Comm’s integrated multi-jurisdictional call taking and dispatch centre provides economies of scale by providing 9-1-1 service for Metro Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast Regional District, Whistler, Squamish, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (South).  It recently agreed to begin providing 9-1-1 service this fall to the North Island 9-1-1 Corporation which is comprised of six regional districts in addition to the regional districts of Fraser Fort-George, Cariboo, Bulkley-Nechako and much of the Kitimat-Stikine RD.  E-Comm utilizes top tier technology in a Vancouver building that is secure and purposely designed and built to resist a major earthquake (7+) and be self-sufficient for 72 hours.   It has a number of backup provisions to ensure the continuity of 9-1-1 call answer services for a variety of scenarios.  In 2013, E-Comm received 861,694 emergency calls, answering 98% of them in five seconds or less. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) standard is to answer 90% of all calls within ten seconds.

(July 2, 2014)

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Fuel Modification Work Continues in Rose Valley Regional Park

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.

(June 16, 2014)

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Help Prevent the Nuisance of Mosquitoes

Warmer temperatures may result in an increase in hatching mosquitoes in the Central Okanagan.

While crews have been out since early April monitoring and treating almost 200 known breeding locations for mosquito larvae, residents can also play a part in reducing the likelihood of hatches in and around their properties.

The Regional District operates the Mosquito Control program in the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas, City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country and the West Kelowna Estates area in the District of West Kelowna.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “Property owners can help us fight the bite by minimizing potential breeding locations.  Remove standing water sources and any unused items that collect water such as old tires.  Cover rain barrels with a screen to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water.  Drain standing water from saucers under plant pots or garbage cans.  Mosquito larvae can also develop in birdbaths, wading pools or pet bowls, so water should be changed at least two times a week.  Remove water that gathers in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers and aerate water in ponds or add fish that will eat mosquito larvae.”

Residents in the participating areas of the program (City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the District of West Kelowna) can report mosquito concerns by calling 1-866-679-8473.”

BWP Consulting Inc. is contracted to conduct all larval mosquito control within these participating areas of the Regional District.  BWP’s Cheryl Phippen says, “Crews started work earlier than usual this spring treatming early snowmelt larval development sites and so far adult mosquito concentrations appear to be at tolerable levels throughout the service area.”  She adds, “People should protect themselves by wearing mosquito repellant containing DEET and light coloured clothing with long sleeves and long pants, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their worst.”

The Regional District Mosquito Control program attempts to minimize the impact of mosquitoes including the specific species that are capable of transmitting West Nile Virus as well as those that are known to be significant human nuisance.  This monitoring and treatment is being done in known surface water habitats as well as more than 10,000 roadside catch basins in the participating areas.

There are excellent resources available to help you and your family during the mosquito season.  Visit the Mosquito Control page on the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes for information about the program.

(June 2, 2014)

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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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