Making Trails

Turtles and ducks take turns resting on this small wooden raft on Redlich Pond in Kelowna. Redlich Pond Park is located between Pinehurst Crescent and Gillard Drive in Kelowna's Glenmore neighbourhood.

If you wonder what goes on in Central Okanagan regional parks after the sun goes down, there’s a program for that.

Creatures of the Night is a guided nature walk 7-9 p.m. on Fridays on the following dates and locations:

— Tonight, Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Regional Park

— Aug. 2, Mill Creek Regional Park

— Aug. 9, Mission Creek Regional Park (gazebo near the Environmental Education Centre of the Okanagan)

— Aug. 16, Shannon Lake Regional Park.

You can learn about the importance of dark skies and which Okanagan creatures wake up once the sun sets.

Bring a flashlight or headlamp; a red cellophane wrapper will be provided to preserve your night vision. Registration is required. All ages are welcome and it is stroller-friendly.

Register at the Regional District of Central Okanagan website (regionaldistrict.com/parksevents) or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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You can delve into a bit of local history, then let your artistic juices flow at Gibson Heritage House in Kopje Regional Park on Carrs Landing Road in Lake Country.

During July and August, Gibson House is open for tours each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Regional parks staff and volunteers will guide you through the 1912 heritage house which has been restored and refurnished through community donations.

And each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Aug. 18, Gibson House is also celebrating Art in the Park. You can create your own watercolour masterpieces as staff provide all the materials you’ll need in this family-friendly program.

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

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The Shuswap Trail Alliance has been retained by the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Corridor Governance Advisory Committee to administer the day-to-day operations as the project moves into the design and planning stages.

“The Shuswap Trail Alliance has proven time and time again that they are well prepared and knowledgeable. They are tried, tested and true in the Shuswap region,” noted Columbia Shuswap regional district board chair Rhona Martin.

Fundraising for the trail project will also be a focus of the project with the non-profit trail alliance having the ability to accept donations, issue charitable tax receipts and collect donated funds in a special reserve account for the project.

The CSRD, the Splatsin First Nation and Regional District of North Okanagan have committed to work together to develop the 50-kilometre recreational greenway, which would run along the west side of Mara Lake, through portions of the rail corridor previously purchased by Splatsin, and span the communities of Sicamous, Grindrod, Enderby, Spallumcheen and Armstrong.

All three partners note the economic and social benefits of the trail project, but also made a commitment towards being good stewards of the land.

To advance the planning stage of proposed project, funds were obtained through a $500,000 grant from the BC Rural Dividend Fund, with a $168,000 commitment from the CSRD’s Sicamous and Area E Economic Opportunity Fund and $168,000 from the District of Sicamous.

Grant applications of approximately $13 million have been made to federal government funding programs for trail construction.

The undeveloped rail trail corridor remains closed to public use at this time.

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Watch the stars of Perseid Meteor Shower from the open sky above Kopje Regional Park on Carrs Landing Road in Lake Country.

Bring a blanket and spread out on the park lawn Saturday, Aug. 10 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

There will also be guided tours of Gibson Heritage House as well as family friendly activities.This is a free, drop-in program and does not require registration.

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Before the invention of cameras, Japanese anglers recorded large or unusual specimens by making ink block reproductions of their catch, a practice called Gyotaku.

Join regional parks interpreters to learn about Okanagan species of fish, then make your own Gyotaku work of art 11 a.m.-noon on Wednesday morning at the amphitheatre behind the composting garden by the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan in Mission Creek Regional Park (or inside the EECO if it rains). It’s suitable for all ages with all equipment provided. Registration is not required, but you must arrive on time.

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You are invited to become a “citizen scientist” this summer, and work alongside park interpreters to track and record butterfly biodiversity.

Plus, organizers say, Summer 2019 BioBlitzes are a ton of fun.

Regional parks staff will provide butterfly nets so you can catch the flying insects. Staff will help identify what’s in your net before these crucial pollinators are released, perhaps after a nature selfie. The dates, times and parks are: The next event is Aug. 3, 10 a.m.-noon, at the Johns Family Nature Conservancy Regional Park. It’s only go ahead if it’s good weather.

For more information, check out Your Guide to Regional Parks, visit the Regional District of Central Okanagan website: regionaldistrict.com/parksevents, or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.

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Find out how well you know nature facts by registering for a special Nature Trivia Night in Bertram Creek Regional Park in Kelowna. It goes rain or shine 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday in the park amphitheatre at 5680 Lakeshore Rd.

A limited number of tickets are available for $20 per table with a maximum of six players per table. You can purchase them at the EECO in Mission Creek Regional Park, 2363 Springfield Rd. (at Durnin Road).

Regional parks staff are teaming up with Tremendous Trivia to create six rounds of nature-themed trivia questions. There will also be song rounds, visual rounds and general rounds to test your nature knowledge. Prizes will be awarded to the Nature Trivia Champs.

For more information, contact the EECO at 250-469-6140, email eeco@cord.bc.ca or drop into the centre.

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Put on your favourite safari hat and join regional parks staff on a bug-catching adventure this summer. They provide the equipment; you bring your sense of adventure. It is drop-in; no registration is required.Bug Safari is 2-3:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the amphitheatre behind the composting garden beside the EECO in Mission Creek park.

J.P. Squire, aka the Hiking, Biking, Kayaking and Horseback Riding Sheriff, is a retired reporter. Email: jp.squire@telus.net