Parks News

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Winter Fun and EECO Reopening Celebration

Celebrate winter fun and the re-opening of the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads).

Saturday, January 25 from 12:00 to 3:00 pm, the whole family is invited to discover the new exhibit at the EECO, then bundle up and head outside in the park for tobogganing, snowman making, marshmallow roasting and sipping on hot chocolate (please bring your own mug to reduce waste!). 

At 1:30, join an Interpreter for a special, guided hike in the park.

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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Take a Hike

Our Regional Parks are home to a wide range of animals.  Learn more about these wild neighbours during our Take a Hike events

We’ll explore a new theme each month during these two to three hour outings in different regional parks.  Our Park Interpreter will help you discover the inhabitants of these natural ecosystems.

  • Animal Signs: Saturday, January 18 at 1:00 pm and Thursday, January 23 at 10:00 am learn how to read animal tracks and scat as we explore Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park starting from the north Glenmore Road parking lot.
  • Snow:  Thursday, February 6 at 10:00 am and Saturday, February 8 at 1:00 pm discover how snow provides a completely new world for critters during the winter months.  Meet at the Scenic Canyon Regional Park parking area off Hollywood Road south.

To save a spot or for more information email eeco@rdco.com or phone 250-469-6140.

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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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Roll and Stroll

Our popular free, weekly walking club for parents and caregivers with babies and little ones returns in January.  Starting January 9, they can get outdoors and active with Roll and Stroll.

It’s a great opportunity to meet other parents, casually exploring Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads). 

Each Thursday morning at 9:30 from January 9 until January 30, participants meet at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO). Then set out for 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 suitable for winter conditions and rough terrain.

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

For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website rdco.com/parksevents or contact 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)