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Local Access Only to Mill Creek Regional Park

A large construction project along Spencer Road in the Ellison area means local access only into Mill Creek Regional Park.

With construction of the Mill Creek Drainage Improvement project slated to start Tuesday, February 19th (weather permitting) lasting until approximately mid-April, the 15.3-hectare park is accessible only to residents of two adjacent strata subdivisions.  The Spencer Road main park access will be closed and there is no on-street parking available on Spencer Road during construction.

The Regional District apologizes for any inconvenience and encourages residents to visit any of the 25 other regional parks that are open.  You can find information about regional parks by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark.

For more information about regional parks, activities and events contact the EECO at 250-469-6140, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the Centre at 2363A Springfield Road in Mission Creek Regional Park.

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Nature Detectives Spring Break Camps

Spring break is fast approaching and Regional Parks has some fun times lined up.

Our Nature Detectives Spring Break Camps go mornings March 19th to 21st and March 26th to 28th at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

Youngsters age five to seven take part in indoor and outdoor activities during the camps which run from 9:00 am to 12 noon.    

Our nature detectives have fun with nature play, crafts and games.  They’ll discover park trails and ponds, take part in crafty natural activities and listen to stories about animals and our environment.

Please register in advance at the EECO.  The cost is $75 per youngster for each Tuesday to Thursday morning camp.

Last year close to 100 youngsters took part in the Junior Naturalists spring and summer programs! 

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the Centre at 2363A Springfield Road in Mission Creek Regional Park.

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Family Fun Day in kaloya regional park

We’ve got a great way for your family to get outside and active over the BC Family Day long weekend.

Come out Saturday, February 16th from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and take part in our ‘Families In Parks’ event in Kaloya Regional Park at the end of Trask Road in Lake Country (16061 Trask Road).  View Event Poster

There’s no charge and no registration required, just roundup the family and join us for fun outdoor winter activities and a special scavenger hunt.  

Before you arrive, download the special ‘Agents of Discovery’ App designed just for this event on your mobile device from the App Store or Play Store.  Our staff will help you get started and will have paper scavenger hunt forms as well.

Complete your family outing around our fire pit by toasting some marshmallows and sipping some hot cocoa.  To help reduce the impact on the environment, please bring your own mugs!

Thanks to the Province of BC for its support of this Family Day weekend event.

Check out the Winter-Spring edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’ to see all the programs we have planned for you and your family right through May.

For more information contact the EECO at 250-469-6140, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the Centre at 2363A Springfield Road in Mission Creek Regional Park.

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What's Up, Where and When in Your Regional Parks

Everything you need to know about what’s happening in your Regional Parks is available in the new edition of ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks 2019’.

The full colour Winter-Spring edition is hot off the press and waiting for you to pick up a copy.

They’re available at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park and at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road) in Kelowna.  In the coming weeks copies will be available at other local government offices and visitor information centres.  It’s already available online.

The 12-page parks guide has everything you need to know about all the activities, events and programs in our Regional Parks between now and the end of May.  It’s all conveniently listed in the At a Glance program calendar.   

It outlines the dates, times and locations of weekly programs like ‘Roll and Stroll’, the ‘Nature Power Hour’ and ‘Story Time at the EECO’ and monthly programs like ‘Wild Walks’ and ‘Families in Parks’ activities.  Later this spring make strides with our ‘Tracks’ beginner walking clubs and learn about our spring break morning ‘Nature Detectives’ camps.

Even though most of our programs are offered for free, people are encouraged to pre-register by contacting staff at 250-469-6140 or email eeco@cord.bc.ca.   During the winter months, please make sure you’re properly prepared for the conditions with appropriate clothing (layers), sturdy shoes and traction or anti-slip devices. 

Regional Parks Visitor Services staff reached approximately 60,000 people during 2018 with interpretive programs, nature camps and special events.

For more information about any Regional Parks program and our detailed online section for Regional Parks visit regionaldistrict.com/parks or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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More Hours, More Access for Regional parks

Residents will be able to enjoy their regional parks in the Central Okanagan more this year.

That’s one of the benefits of the new Regional Parks Regulation Bylaw which provides additional hours of access and operation for regional parks.  Visitors will enjoy another hour of access each evening during the spring and fall months and two additional hours on summer nights.  Other updates see vaping added to the ban on all smoking within regional parks and a new opportunity to permit First Nations ceremonial, cultural and social purposes.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Regional Parks have become a popular destination for residents and visitors during the summer months. In order to ensure that park visitors continue to experience high quality services and park experiences, some new reservation regulations are in place designed to provide equal opportunities for everyone to enjoy the natural beauty and amenities in our Regional Parks.”

There are now three categories of reservations available:

  • Special Events a new application form ensures that parking and washroom facilities are provided for participants at events for up to 500 people.
  • Weddings permitted at Bertram Creek and Kopje Regional Parks during April, May, September and October for up to 75 guests over a 4-hour period.  With limited parking, wedding bookings are no longer available at Gellatly Nut Farm and Kaloya regional parks.
  • Picnic Shelter reservations are available at many of our Regional Parks for up to 25 guests over a two-hour period.

Along with these changes to Regional Parks reservations is a new table of fees including a new booking fee for school programs.  

Anyone considering a park/facility booking should contact Visitor Services at 250-469-6140 for specific details or visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parkbooking.

The Regional District has 30 Regional Parks and 20 community parks protecting over 2,100 hectares of land across the Central Okanagan.

For more information please visit our website at www.regionaldistrict.com/parks or email parks@cord.bc.ca or call Regional Parks Services at 250-469-6232.

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Nature Power Hour Great For Families

If you’re interested in local wildlife around the Okanagan then the ‘Nature Power Hour at the EECO’ is for you!

Delve deep into the world of local wildlife with this interactive drop-in session at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads).

Topics vary from week to week and sessions run every Saturday during January and February at 11:00 am.

For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parksevents, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Story Time at the EECO Is Back

Tuesday mornings are ‘Story Time at the EECO’.  The free, weekly one-hour drop-in program for children aged three to five and their care-givers returns for the winter months.

The younger ones love the nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for preschoolers to interact with others while learning more about the natural world. 

‘Story Time at the EECO’ runs each Tuesday morning at 10:30 through March 12th.  It resumes April 2nd and continues until May 14th.  

The EECO or Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads. For more information please visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parks, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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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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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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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)