Woodhaven Nature Conservancy

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Features and Things To Do:

Woodhaven has four distinct zones that have different plant life because of its varied location and corresponding climates. To the north is the dry interior zone with its Ponderosa Pine ecosystem. In the west is the wet interior zone with a canopy covering the trails with Black Cottonwood and Western Red Cedar trees. In the south is the creek with thick undergrowth for wildlife seeking shelter.  There is also a zone featuring interior Douglas fir.   Link to Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park pamphlet.

General Information:

Woodhaven Nature Conservancy is 8.7 hectares and contains a beautiful trail system through four distinct natural ecosystems. It also includes a historical irrigation flume. 

The park is open during daylight hours April 1st to October 31st and may be temporarily closed when there are high winds.  The parking area is closed from approximately November 1st to March 31st, during winter months. 

There are washroom facilities and a parking lot.  Help protect park vegetation and wildlife by using only designated trails. Leave only footprints and take only pictures.

Dogs are not permitted within this conservation area.

Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trails.

Overnight camping, open fires and smoking are not permitted.

Regional Parks Interpretive Programs are available by donation for school and community groups who'd like to learn about our local environment and cultural history.

Bears and other wildlife may be active in this park.  Please be bear aware when in this park.  

Directions:

Raymer Road in the Mission area of Kelowna. Take Gordon Road south and turn left onto Raymer Road after DeHart. Woodhaven is at the end of the road. Click here for a Street Map to Park.

History:

Woodhaven was slated for development in the early 1970's and survived only through the determination of dedicated naturalists, Jim and Joan Burbridge. The Burbridge's convinced elected officials that the property should be preserved. With support from local residents, the province and conservation groups (Nature Trust of British Columbia and the Nature Conservancy of Canada) the decision was made to turn the area into a Regional Park. You will still see several stumps where the first few trees were cut down before the area was preserved.

The Burbridge's continued as resident caretakers and guardians of the park for almost thirty years. Joan Burbridge led interpretive tours through the park and wrote a great field guide called Wildflowers of the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Both Jim and Joan have since passed away but they leave behind a natural legacy for future generations.

In February 2007, the Regional Board decided to close the park after receiving a detailed Forest Health Assessment of its Regional Park system, which specifically mentioned safety issues that were identified relating to aging trees within Woodhaven.  Compounding the requirement for hazard tree assessments, naturalists pointed out to the Regional District that Woodhaven was home to at least one pair of Western Screech Owls, an endangered species.  Studies were conducted and work plans created to not only reduce the safety threat along trails in the park, but to ensure protection of the sensitive ecosystems and habitat for the owls and other wildlife.  The work was completed in the spring of 2009 with the park re-opening to the public on June 19th, 2009.

March 2013 - Two Properties Purchased for future Woodhaven Expansion - View News Release and Map.

Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park Management Plan:

In February 2017 after a year long public and stakeholder consultation process, the Regional Board has adopted a Management Plan for Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park.  The 20 year plan will help guide development of the 29.8-hectare Regional Park properties has four unique ecological areas, several species at risk including the Western Screech Owl and the Eco Culture Centre in partnership with the UBC Okanagan Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.  The plan is designed to respect and protect the cultural, conservation and heritage values of the original 8.7-hectare park with outdoor education opportunities and future recreational connections to the Bellevue Creek Greenway and Canyon Falls Park.  The management plan is consistent with the proposed 2017 – 2021 Financial Plan and any financial projects will be subject to Regional Board approval.


Regional District & UBCO Partnership

A unique Eco-Art partnership has been formed by the Regional District and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, creating the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre.

View a News Release to learn more about the partnership and centre.

Watch a Video from the Eco Culture Centre Ceremony.


Woodhaven Eco Art Project

From mid-April through October 2010, a unique Eco Art Project was held in Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park facilitated by UBC Okanagan Creative Writing Professor Nancy Holmes with faculty and students in collaboration with Lori Mairs and other local artists. (News Release and report to Governance and Services Committee)  All works of art had minimal impact on the park's natural environment.  Nothing was left in the park and nothing was removed from the park.  The Eco Art Project was supported by the Regional District of Central Okanagan and funded by the Hampton Fund at the University of British Columbia.  For information about the project:

 

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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)