Parks News

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Mission creek greenway regional park trail rerouting

Starting Monday, April 15th, some users of the Mission Creek Greenway may encounter short closures of a portion of the popular recreational trail.

Until approximately the first week of May, crews will be rerouting and realigning 150 metres of the trail between the Friends and Cedar bridges upstream from the Scenic Canyon Regional Park entrance at Hollywood Road south. 

The BC Disaster Financial Assistance program is providing 80% of the funding for this project, estimated at $45,000.  It will see the trail moved further away from the creek to reduce potential damage during the spring runoff.

While this work is underway, Greenway users are asked to obey all signage and directions from crew.

For information on any of the 30 regional parks in the Central Okanagan visit www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark.

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Helicopter Delivers New Bridges into regional park

An airlift has taken place in the Central Okanagan.

The cargo:  two new prefabricated bridges for Hardy Falls Regional Park, just off Highway 97 at the south end of Peachland.

The new structures were designed and built by a New Brunswick company (Advanced Research and Development Canada Limited / Timber Restoration Services) at its plant in Oregon.  They were taken apart and trucked to a vacant property near the park, where crews rebuilt them. This morning a West Kelowna helicopter company lifted and long line delivered the payload because the park is heavily forested and in a canyon.

The wooden bridges were specifically designed with a higher clearance above Deep Creek with the goal of minimizing any future spring freshet damage from high waters and debris.  They replace bridges two and eight, which along with the approaches and trail sustained significant damage during the spring runoff in 2017.

With the new bridges in place, it is anticipated repairs to the trails in the park can be made by early May and the regional park will be once again open for visitors.

The Provincial Disaster Assistance program provided $48,400 to repair damage to this park.

You can keep up to date with the status of several other Regional Parks recovery projects by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery and on the RDCO website Major Projects Map.

The Regional District protects over 2,100 hectares in 30 regional and 20 community parks for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents.

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Join Our Families in parks programs

Get the whole family active and celebrating the outdoors!

Join Regional Parks staff as they provide some free activities at our ‘Families in Parks’ events.  Activities take place on the following dates, times and locations.

  • Sunday, April 21st from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm drop in on our free Easter-themed Scavenger hunt (no pre-registration required for this event).  Gather outside the EECO (Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan) in Mission Creek Regional Park and our Parks Services crew will help you get started!   Bring along a mobile device so you can plug into the virtual treasure hunt with the free Agents of Discovery App which you can download in advance from the App Store or Play Store!  The App’s designed specifically for use within the park – with 15 designated locations for you to explore and discover.  It takes about an hour to complete and there are Regional Parks prizes for everyone completing the scavenger hunt!

For more information on these or any other parks events, check out ‘Your Guide to Regional Parks’ or  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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Damage Recovery Work in Two regional parks

Residents can expect to see a flurry of activity in the new few weeks to repair damage from the record 2017 spring freshet.

Starting Monday, April 1st, crews will be working on two pre-fabricated bridge structures to replace those that were damaged in Hardy Falls Regional Park just off Highway 97 at the south end of Peachland.  The park has been closed since Deep Creek overflowed its banks, severely damaging two bridges, bridge approaches and the trail.  When reconstructed on a nearby vacant property and when weather permits, the bridges will be airlifted into the park.  Following that, it’s hoped trail repairs can be made by early May and the park will be open again to visitors.  The Provincial Disaster Assistance program provided $48,400 to repair damage to this park.

As well, next week it’s anticipated that site preparation work will begin in Killiney Beach Community Park, at the end of Hodges Road in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.  Paving of the access road is slated to begin around Wednesday, April 10th.  Last fall, upland recovery work was completed and this month saw installation of a new replacement dock.  It’s anticipated in June, crews will return to the park to stabilize the concrete boat launch pads that were damaged by the 2017 record high Okanagan Lake water levels.  The BC Disaster Financial Assistance program provided $330,000 for damage repairs while the Community Works Gas Tax Fund provided $180,000 for other improvements to this popular North Westside waterfront park.

You can keep up to date with the status of several other Regional Parks recovery projects by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery and on the RDCO website Major Projects Map.

The Regional District protects over 2,100 hectares in 30 regional and 20 community parks for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents.

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Trail Sections Closed in Mission creek regional park

Short sections of three trails in Mission Creek Regional Park are closed after a slope slide.

For safety of visitors, Regional Parks staff has closed the area of the park at the Cottonwoods Bridge and three trails on the south side of the creek near the spawning channel up into the Sutherland Hills portion of the park. 

Brad Ackerman, Parks Services Operations Manager says “Until slope stability can be assessed, the Regional District urges park users to respect the barricades and trail closed signs.” 

The affected portion of the trails will remain closed until further notice.

No debris has made its way into either the spawning channel or Mission Creek.

Visitors are encouraged to use any of the open trails within the 92-hectare regional park or visit www.regionaldistrict.com/pickapark for information about our 29 other regional parks.

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Tracks Walking Clubs Underway

Our free spring ‘Tracks Walking Clubs’ are underway.  This 10-week beginner graduated walking program offers a 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. 

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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Birds of Prey Roost at the eECO

Sharpen your knowledge about Okanagan raptors with our ‘Birds of Prey’ exhibit.

It’s housed inside the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO) in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

The display celebrates eagles, falcons, hawks and owls of BC.  You’ll learn about these intelligent birds and understand more about their world and how we all benefit when they thrive and survive.

The EECO is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.

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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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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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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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 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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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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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)