Parks News

Subscribe to receive our monthly newsletter

 

 

 

Gibson House Tours

Delve into a bit of local history at the Gibson Heritage House in Kopje Regional Park on Carrs Landing Road in Lake Country.  

Gibson House is open for tours from noon to 4:00 pm each Saturday and Sunday during July and August. 

Regional Parks staff and volunteers will guide you through the 1912 heritage house which has been restored and refurnished through community donations. 

For more information please visit regionaldistrict.com/parks, check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’ or contact the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan at 250-469-6140.

Back to Top

'Roll and Stroll'

We’ve scheduled a summer edition of our popular free weekly walking club for moms and caregivers with babies and little ones.

‘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 starting July 6th until August 31st, 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 250-469-6139 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.

Back to Top

RDCO and WFN Sign cultural sites protection mOU

The Regional District and Westbank First Nation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the Protection and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Sites within Regional Parks.

The MOU is the result of an initiative last fall that brought the Regional Board and Westbank First Nation Council and staff from both organizations together for a Community to Community Forum.  It involved a facilitated field and site visit followed by presentations from experts in the field of cultural site conservation and protection.

The Memorandum recognizes that the land throughout the Central Okanagan has been used by the syilx Okanagan People since time immemorial, creating a history that’s synonymous with the land.  The Memorandum highlights the means to allow future development projects within regional parks, while safeguarding the shared goals of protection, conservation and education of First Nation cultural sites within the parks.

A number of historical First Nation archeological sites have been identified within Central Okanagan regional parks. This MOU has even more significance because the Regional District and Westbank First Nation are co-managing Black Mountain / sntsk‘il’ntən Regional Park and have been collaborating on several cultural initiatives:  a bi-lingual trail naming program and cultural interpretive signage in many regional parks.

“The cooperative efforts of the RDCO to preserve and educate about these culturally sensitive areas is important and valued,” says Chief Roxanne Lindley. “The history and culture of the syilx Okanagan people is strongly connected to the land, as it represents a link to our past.”

Regional District Chair Gail Given adds “It's fitting that during a week that celebrated National Aboriginal Day, we come together, committing all our efforts and resources to protect culturally significant sites in our regional parks.  These historical sites, some known and those yet to be discovered have deep meaning for the Westbank First Nation and syilx Okanagan people.  This agreement sets out the process and practice that will identify and protect them for all future generations in the Central Okanagan.”

The Regional District received almost $5,000 from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, UBCM and First Nations Summit Community to Community Forum program to host the Board-Council event last October.

IMG 3299Web

Back to Top

updated regional park closures

Effective immediately, the Regional District has closed Antlers Beach Regional Park near the south end of Peachland.

The waterfront park, beach, picnic and parking area sustained damage last week as a result of gusty winds whipping up waves on the historically high Okanagan Lake.

The park will be closed for up to three weeks as the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure installs armoring along the shoreline to protect the parking lot and access road from further erosion from high lake water levels.

The following Regional and Community Parks are closed until further notice:

When it’s safe, Regional Parks staff will be assessing the condition of bridges, trails and other infrastructure in these closed parks.  Please be aware that parks may be closed on short notice if conditions change.

The Regional District encourages residents and visitors to the Central Okanagan to explore the many regional parks that remain open and are completely accessible.  It’s a great opportunity for people to visit a new regional park and check out the unique features, geography and amenities.  You can find them at www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark.

Back to Top

summer nature camp registration

Spaces are filling up fast for the Regional Parks Summer Nature Camps

Register youngsters at the EECO (Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan) in Mission Creek Regional Park.  The popular half-day morning summer program for youngsters takes place during July and August with camps for youth aged 3 - 10. There is also a special program for pre-school children age 3 and 4 years mornings July 4th to 7th and August 8th through 11th.   The cost per child is $100 for a four morning camp and $125 for a five morning camp.

The camps use Mission Creek Regional Park as a backdrop for fun, active indoor and outdoor activities with a focus on environmental education to foster an appreciation for our natural environment.

For more information on camp dates and registration prices check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’; go online to regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Back to Top

New Summer fall 'your guide to regional parks'

Now through the end of the year, there’s something for every member of your family in the new ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’.

The full-colour 12 page foldout outlines all the activities, events and programs in our Regional Parks right through December.

It’s available anytime online by visiting regionaldistrict.com/parksguide.  Or you can pick up a copy at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road), the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads) and local government offices, recreation centres or tourist and information offices in the Central Okanagan.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Parents of youngsters age three to 10 may want to check out the dates, times and registration information for this year’s ‘Summer Nature Camp’ program which takes place mornings during July and August in Mission Creek Regional Park.  Registration for the program begins June 1st and spaces fill up quickly!”

Smith adds, “We have our free, drop-in ‘Summer Story Time’ each week during July and August in Mission Creek and Gellatly Nut Farm regional parks and free summer and fall ‘Roll and Stroll’ walking program for moms and caregivers with babies or little ones.  It’s a great way for them to spend some time outdoors each week in a family and baby-friendly environment.”

The guide also has the details for the ‘Wild Walks’ program and summertime ‘Take a Hike’ outings, which with the support of Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS) volunteers, provide barrier-free access to a variety of regional parks.

Smith says, “The handy ‘At a Glance’ is a monthly listing of programs and activities at the EECO located in Mission Creek Regional Park and in many Regional Parks. There’s also a colour map showing Regional Park locations and some of the features and amenities that are available in each.”

For more information about any Regional Parks programming and our detailed section for Regional Parks, visit regionaldistrict.com/parks.

Back to Top

EECO After School

Students of all ages are welcome to join in at ‘EECO After School’.

This is a perfect activity for students to have fun after classes are done for the day.  Join us Thursday, May 25th, Tuesday, June 13th and Thursday, June 22nd for free, hands-on learning activities that explore the ‘wild’ in our parks.

The one hour program begins at 3:00 pm in the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan located in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.  Parents of school aged children can enjoy a child-free hour in the park by dropping of their child for the program. Registration is required for drop off.  Please pre-register by dropping into the EECO, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or phone 250-469-6139.

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.

Back to Top

EECO Hosts Alien Travelers Exhibit

The Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan welcomes the Royal BC Museum’s travelling exhibition ‘Aliens Among Us’.

The EECO located in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads) features this exhibition highlighting BC’s invasive species until July 22nd.

“There are more than 4,000 alien species in the province and that number grows each year” says Dr. Gavin Hanke, Curator of Vertebrate Zoology at the Royal BC Museum.  “Some of these aliens are invasive – they spread quickly, threaten native wildlife and are hard to control.”

American Bullfrogs, Burdock, Smallmouth Bass and Purple Loosestrife are just a few of the species featured in ‘Aliens Among Us’.  The exhibition tells the stories of how the invasive species arrived in the province, what individuals can do to protect their communities and how these aliens fit in – or don't fit in – with their environments.

This exhibit fits right in with the ‘Alien Invaders - Nasty or Nice?’ theme underway at the EECO since last fall.  The Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

For more information visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin Roads.

Back to Top

Spring's Sprung - Time to get 'active okanagan'

With the arrival of the spring season, everyone in the Central Okanagan is encouraged to get outside and explore our fantastic Regional Park system.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “We’ve got trails suitable for people of any age, fitness and mobility.   And in support of our region’s aging demographic, we’ve created a new booklet:  ‘Active Okanagan – Be outside; be involved; be engaged’.”

The 40-page, full colour publication fits easily into a backpack and highlights outdoor parks and trails for people of any age.

Smith says, “The user-friendly ‘Active Okanagan’ booklet showcases 15 regional parks in every area of the Central Okanagan.  Each offers easily accessible amenities, activities and opportunities for seniors and people with reduced mobility to get out and enjoy the outdoors.  It also has information about our Visitor Services program and the non-profit Community Recreational Initiatives Society or CRIS, whose volunteers provide inclusive, accessible recreational opportunities for many of our Regional Park programs.”

He adds, “This newly created age-friendly program compliments efforts undertaken in many Regional Parks over the past few years to improve accessibility and trail conditions; the addition of wayfinding trail signage and clearly marked trail elevation and difficulty ratings.”

The ‘Active Okanagan’ guide is available online at www.regionaldistrict.com/parks or you can pick up a copy at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO) in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads), the RDCO office (1450 KLO Road) and visitor information centres.

The publication was made possible by a $20,000 grant from the Union of BC Municipalities for an Age-friendly Community Planning and Projects program through the Seniors Housing and Supportive Initiative.  This assists local governments to prepare for an aging population and create age-friendly communities.

For more information about Regional Parks programs including our new park tour maps, visit regionaldistrict.com/parks or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Back to Top

'Story Time at the eECO'

Children aged three to five and their caregivers love ‘Story Time at the EECO’.  

The free weekly one-hour drop-in program features nature-themed stories and songs followed by an art or craft project. The program is an excellent way for younger children to interact with others while learning more about the natural world. 

‘Story Time’  is not being held during Spring Break but resumes each Tuesday morning at 10:00  from April 4th to June27th.

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.

 Back to Top

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.

Back to Top 

'Eco-art at the eECO'

Let your creative juices flow during ‘Eco-Art at the EECO’.  

Each Saturday morning at 11, every member of your family may create a work of art using recycled and natural materials.

There’s no need to pre-register for this free program.  Just drop into the EECO a few minutes early.   All ages are welcome to take part!

The 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/parksevents, drop-in or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

Back to Top 

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.

Back to Top

Regional Parks Video

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

Back to Top

 
 
 
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)