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Your Regional Parks Await

The invitation’s always open:  dress for the weather, get outside and experience your Central Okanagan regional parks.

Regional Parks staff has a great line up of activities, events and programs for every member of the family to enjoy.  See what’s planned in the new Winter-Spring edition of Your Guide to Regional Parks.

A new digital version is already available for downloading and printing online. If you’d rather a printed copy, pick one up at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park and at the Regional District office (1450 KLO Road) in Kelowna.  Copies are also on hand at other local government offices and visitor information centres. 

Join in our free Take a Hike sessions as we explore a new nature theme each month in a different regional park.  Or save a space for your family in our guided Wild Walks program and with the help of an interpreter see our regional parks through a new set of eyes!

Everything you need to know including our handy calendar of events and Pick a Park map can be found in the guide. While most of our programs are offered at no cost, people are encouraged to pre-register at 250-469-6140 or email eeco@rdco.com.

And it’s not too early for parents to start thinking about spring break for children age five to seven.  Registration is underway for this year’s five day, morning Nature Detectives Camps. Indoor and outdoor activities will run from 9:00 am to 12 noon, March 16 to 20 and March 23 through 27. 

During the winter months, please make sure you’re properly prepared for the conditions with appropriate clothing (layers), sturdy shoes, poles and traction or anti-slip devices.    So don a toque, gloves and boots and celebrate the winter season in our regional parks!

Learn more about the Regional District’s 30 regional and 20 community parks protecting over 2,100 hectares for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents by visiting rdco.com/pickapark.

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Celebrate Family Day Weekend

Get your family outside and active over the BC Family Day long weekend.

Come out Saturday, February 15 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm enjoy our special event in Kaloya Regional Park at the end of Trask Road in Lake Country (16061 Trask Road).

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

Build a snow fort, make a snow angel and slide the slopes!  Our parks staff will have toboggans and snowshoes to help you explore the park.  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!

For more information please visit rdco.com/parksevents or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Wild Walks for February

Join a Wild Walk and see your favourite Regional Park through new eyes.  During these free outings our Park Interpreter will share some secrets and point out special features of various Regional Parks.  

Each Wild Walks lasts approximately two hours, is suitable for all ages and ranges from easy to moderate.  Participants should dress for the conditions, wear appropriate sturdy footwear and consider poles and traction devices.

  • Wednesday, February 19 at 1:00 pm and Saturday, February 22 at 10:00 am set out from the parking area off Raymer Road in the south Mission area of Kelowna and take a trip through five climatic zones and view some special flying species in Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park.

To save a spot, please email eeco@rdco.com 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 rdco.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Spring Break Camps Registration

Registration begins February 3 for this year’s Nature Detectives Spring Break Camps at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

Indoor and outdoor activities for children age five to seven will run from 9:00 am to 12 noon, March 16 to 20 and again March 23 through 27.    

Each morning our camp friends will explore nature through play, crafts, games and stories and will discover park trails and ponds that will bring out their inner naturalist.

The cost is $125 per youngster for each five morning camp session. 

Learn more about the spring break camps at rdco.com/parksevents or register by contacting the EECO at 250-469-6140, email eeco@rdco.com or drop in at 2363A Springfield Road in Mission Creek Regional Park.

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Story Time at the eECO

Story Time at the EECO is back for a new season at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads).

Each Tuesday morning from 10:30 to 11:30 from January 7 until March 10, three to five year olds and their caregivers are treated to nature based stories, songs, and crafts! It’s an excellent way for preschoolers to interact while learning about the natural world. 

This program is free and no registration is required.

For more information please visit rdco.com/parksevents or call the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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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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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@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)