Parks News

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'Winter Magic' Celebration Returns to Gellatly Nut Farm

Once again, the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park orchard will be illuminated to celebrate ‘Winter Magic’.

After dark Saturday, December 15th and Sunday the 16th from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, the grove will be lit-up for you to walk through with your family, viewing ornaments, enjoying hot chocolate and listening to seasonal entertainment under the warming tent. This is a Bring your own Mug event! In an attempt to reduce our waste, Hot Chocolate will be provided, but visitors are asked to bring their own mug to enjoy a cup of cocoa.

Gellatly Nut Farm Society volunteers will be providing tours of the Farm House both nights. They will also have nuts and wooden bowls available for cash sales only. All proceeds from these sales supported heritage efforts by the GNF Society right in the park.

This event is free and you don’t have to register. On Saturday the Kelowna Regional Transit Santa Bus will stop by Winter Magic between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. The Santa Bus will be accepting donations for the Salvation Army Christmas Campaign.

There is limited parking available in the Nut Farm parking lot, so carpooling is definitely encouraged with friends, family and neighbours.   We ask that people attending please obey our on-site traffic control people, watch for them and pedestrians so that everyone is safe.

There's also limited on-street parking in the area, so please be aware of and follow any parking/traffic control attendants and parking restrictions/signage and please don't block our neighbours driveways.

For more information please email eeco@cord.bc.ca or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

The Cove Lakeside Resort is also hosting a ‘Selfies with Santa’ event (bring your own camera) on Saturday, December 15th from 12:00 – 5:00 pm in the resort lobby with proceeds (cash only donations) to assist The Cove Lakeside Resort  with sponsoring families through the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank of West Kelowna. Parking for 'Selfies with Santa' is available at The Cove Lakeside Resort.

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Damage Repairs in Kalamoir Regional Park

Regional District Parks Services staff is acting on two recent incidents resulting in some damage in Kalamoir Regional Park.

Over the weekend, a water main break outside the park saw debris, rocks and soil flow down into the park from nearby King Road.  Debris was deposited from the King Road access damaging and eroding a portion of the Upper Rim Trail and grassland areas.

The contractor involved is working with the Regional District to repair and restore damaged areas.

As well, even though preventative measures have been taken to protect many trees along the Water Front trail in the park, a couple of lakeside trees have been targeted by beavers.  For the safety of trail users, Parks Services staff is taking down affected trees and leaving them along the shoreline as a distraction for the animals to harvest.  They’ll continue to watch for any further damage.

For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email parks@cord.bc.ca.

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Wild Walks

Join in on ‘Wild Walks’ and learn some secrets and natural features of various Regional Parks.   Our Park interpreter will turn an ordinary walk in the park into something extraordinary! 

Each ‘Wild Walks’ lasts approximately 90 minutes, is suitable for all ages and range from easy to moderate.  Participants should dress for the conditions, wear appropriate sturdy footwear and don’t forget the sunscreen!  There’s no cost to take part but please pre-register for ‘Wild Walks’ on the following dates and locations:

  • Saturday, December 8th at 10:00 am and Wednesday, December 12th at 1:00 pm learn about some of the secrets and natural wonders as we take a trip through Scenic Canyon Regional Park.  Meet at the parking lot off McCulloch Road in Kelowna. Poles and traction devices may be helpful.

To save a spot for your family on these free ‘Wild Walks’ outings, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6140.

These free events are held in conjunction with the Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) to provide barrier free access to our regional parks.  To request the services of CRIS volunteers visit www.adaptiveadventures.ca.   For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Killiney Beach Flood Recovery and Upgrade Work

The first phase of flood recovery and upgrading work is set to begin in Killiney Beach Community Park.

Starting Thursday (Nov. 1st) and continuing for two weeks, crews will be making repairs to the upland area of the 5.1-hectare park at the end of Hodges Road along Okanagan Lake that was damaged by the spring 2017 flooding.  During this initial construction, the park access road and parking area will be upgraded with asphalt paving.

Park visitors should expect temporary closures while this work is underway.  Please stay out of any closed areas and follow the direction of the construction crew on site.

The total cost of this flood recovery and upgrade work is estimated at $218,000.   The BC Disaster Financial Assistance program is funding 80% of the flood recovery repairs while the Canada-BC Community Works Gas Tax program is funding the $136,000 cost of the park improvements.

It’s anticipated that before next summer, repairs will be made to the park boat launch and adjacent dock.  Both sustained significant damage from last year’s record high Okanagan Lake levels.

Residents can find the latest information and status of all RDCO park flood recovery projects by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery and on the RDCO website Major Projects Map.

For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email parks@cord.bc.ca.

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Regional parks Goes Quietly Green

There’s a new vehicle travelling around Central Okanagan regional parks.  What makes this news is that it is the first electric vehicle in the parks fleet.  Nicknamed ‘Casper’ for its ghost-like quietness don’t be surprised if it suddenly appears while you’re out enjoying nature in our regional parks.  The quietness and no exhaust features of the electric vehicle supports one of the goals of our Regional Parks Mission Statement to protect the environment.  The vehicle’s size was an important reason for purchasing it.  Its 53 inch narrow width means the truck is able to cross all our bridge structures along the Mission Creek Greenway and as well as in many of our other regional parks.

 

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Tracks Walking Clubs

Register for the free ‘Fall Tracks Walking Clubs’.  Our beginner graduated walking program offers your choice of location on either side of Okanagan Lake: 

There’s no cost to sign up and members receive a walking journal, walking tips, seminars and motivational tips that keep you moving.  People at a beginner fitness level are encouraged to take part gradually increasing their health, stamina and walking duration to 60 minutes. 

‘Tracks’ is in partnership with the Canadian Diabetes Association ‘Walk and Talk’ program.

To register, please drop in to the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park  at Springfield and Durnin Roads or email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6140.

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Roll and Stroll

This fall, moms and caregivers with babies and little ones are welcome to join our popular free weekly walking club.

‘Roll and Stroll’ is a great opportunity to meet other parents and spend time casually exploring Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

Each Thursday morning at 9:30 until November 29th, participants meet at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO). Enjoy a leisurely 45 minute walk through the park, before returning to the EECO for refreshments and some baby basics.   Participants are encouraged to use strollers and baby carriers that are suitable for rough terrain.

The program is free, but registration is required by calling the EECO at 250-469-6140 or email eeco@cord.bc.ca.

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

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Bears Returning to 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 and vineyard 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.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “As expected at this time of year, our parks staff and visitors usually see more signs of bears in some of our regional parks including Mission Creek, the Greenway, Scenic Canyon, Bertram Creek, Johns Family Nature Conservancy, Kalamoir, Glen Canyon and Rose Valley.  As sightings increase, we post signs advising that the animals may be active in the area.”

He adds “To reduce your chance of coming upon a bruin, travel in a group if possible and 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, you may find 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 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 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.

WildSafe BC program

Ministry of Environment Bear Smart program

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Discovery Backpacks

Grab a backpack filled with equipment to discover the secrets of Mission Creek Regional Park.

For a suggested $2 donation, sign out a Discovery Backpack at the EECO. Choose your adventure from the themes Pond Exploration, Forest Walk, Mini Beasts and Kokanee and explore the park!

Check it out at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.  The EECO is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

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.

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Washouts Close Section of the Mission creek Greenway

At least two washout slides have forced the closure of a section of the Mission Creek Greenway.  

The Pinnacle Trail loop past the KLO Creek Bridge, the Black Bear Trail along Mission Creek and the upper Greenway Trail leading to the Hydraulic Creek trail-end are closed until further notice while staff assesses damage, stability and possible repairs that will be required.  View Map

For safety reasons, the Regional District of Central Okanagan urges Greenway users to respect the barricades and trail closed signs posted at the KLO Creek Bridge (downstream from Field Road entrance).

Regional Parks staff is continuing to monitor creek levels along the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway recreational corridor. With creeks expected to continue rising due to the recent weather and with spring runoff, people are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.

Boaters and those using Okanagan Lake boat launches are advised to watch for floating debris that may enter the lake as a result of the runoff.

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Parks Flood Recovery Projects

It’s anticipated that more than two million dollars in flood recovery projects will take place this year in several affected Regional District parks.

Parks services staff continues working with the Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) Program to secure funding and approval for recovery projects.  Given the volume of requests to DFA for flood recovery, approvals are taking longer than expected.

Hardy Falls and Mill Creek regional parks remain closed as they await substantial repair work, while portions of Glen CanyonOkanagan Centre Safe Harbour and Woodhaven Nature Conservancy regional parks are open, but have closed areas due to the damage from last year’s flooding.  As well, two community parks in the North Westside area, Fintry Access #1 and Killiney Beach are also closed while awaiting repairs.

Residents can find the latest information and status of these park flood recovery projects by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery.   We also have some photos and maps of these recovery works and other major infrastructure projects on the RDCO website Major Projects Map.

For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email parks@cord.bc.ca.

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Philpott Trail Closed

Effective immediately, the Regional District has closed the Philpott Trail, off Philpott Road in the Joe Rich area of the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area.

A detailed assessment has been done throughout the approximately two kilometre long trail right-of-way which was burned in July by the Philpott Road wildfire.  It found burned and hazard trees, compromised root systems and large ash pits and holes from burned tree stumps.

The trail will be closed until at least spring 2018, while salvage operations are conducted and hazards are mitigated.  Fire-related debris that can’t be salvaged or chipped will be collected and burned on site when open burning is allowed.

For their safety, until further notice residents are asked to obey trail closure signage and stay out of this area.

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks.

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New Regional Park Management Plan

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 was developed over the past year with extensive input from stakeholders and residents.  It’s 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.

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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.

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Regional Parks Video

Our parks are great to visit at anytime of year.  Check out this new video that shows why!

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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)