Family, friends and admirers of the late Laurel Burnham came out today to The Leir House for a five-hour celebration of life.

A national park reserve in the South Okanagan-Similkameen is currently being explored through an online public consultation process.

The annual Seedy Saturday in Penticton will be held Feb. 24 at the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College, 583 Duncan Ave.

This past weekend, many people took a moment to contemplate what they are thankful for. So I’d like to take this opportunity to give thanks to everyone who has helped to make a difference to our regional program this year.

Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

In an earlier article I wrote about how the spring flooding will allow some invasive plants in our region to thrive.

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Life in the country teaches one that the really stimulating things are the quiet, natural things, and the really wearisome things are the noisy, unnatural things. It is more exciting to stand still than to dance. Silence is more eloquent than speech. Water is more stimulating than wine. Fres…

While it may seem repetitive to my regular readers, I would be seriously remiss if I didn’t write an article on the spiny annuals we love to hate.

For the second time this summer, local art will be showcased at the historic Summerland Ornamental Gardens. Artists from Summerland will gather on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to introduce you to their work — quilting, painting, photography and etchings to name just a few.

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The Penticton and District Garden Club recently held their Festival of Flowers awards night and summer social at the beautiful Linden Gardens in Kaleden hosted by owners Margaret and Ken Hayter, honorary members of the club.

Competitive. Aggressive. Tenacious. These are all words commonly associated with invasive species. In today’s article however, I am going to speak about opportunity.


An exciting new pilot project entitled Garden Artisans: Fresh food in the kitchen for children and youth began on Monday, July 17 at Shatford Centre involving vegetable growing and cooking with young people and elders.

As the floodwaters around the Okanagan are finally receding and the cool days of a long wet spring are seemingly behind us, it’s time to think about the next stage of the season.

To commemorate World Environment Day taking place today, Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship is proud to announce its first annual Wildlife Habitat Stewardship Awards. The wwards recognize landowners and volunteers who have made a significant contribution towards a collaborative stewardship pro…

The Okanagan Community Bat Program is seeking volunteers and bat colonies for the Annual Bat Count. This citizen-science initiative encourages residents to count bats at local roost sites. “Bat counts are a wonderful way for residents to get involved in collecting important scientific inform…

The Penticton and District Garden club is giving blooms – and residents – a chance to blossom. The Festival of Flowers, on Saturday, June 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., invites residents to enter their most bountiful blooms to be judged. There are cateogires for roses, border plants, flower ar…

Recently a landscape architect friend told me about a great gardening book entitled “Planting in the Post-Wild World” written by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West.

The Penticton and District Garden club is giving blooms – and residents – a chance to blossom. The Festival of Flowers, on Saturday, June 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., invites residents to enter their most bountiful blooms to be judged. There are cateogires for roses, border plants, flower…

When you work with invasive plants on a regular basis as I do, there is a fairly high expectation that your own property will be devoid of unwanted invaders.

BC Nature has announced the opening of a new public viewing facility (bird blind) at Vaseux Lake Wildlife Refuge. This three-storey, architect-designed structure, situated at the end of the trail and boardwalk leading from the parking lot, replaces one built in the 1990s.

The following is an excerpt from “Best Places to Bird in British Columbia” by Russell Cannings and Richard Cannings. Published by Greystone Books, April 2017. Condensed and reproduced with permission of the publisher.

If you can’t wait to go camping or be in the great outdoors, there are good reasons for it beyond the desire to get out of Dodge. Research proves what we have long intuited;

There was a special four-footed guest in Penticton last week. Hilo is a black lab cross golden retriever who works for the Alberta government as part of the Conservation K-9 Unit.

 Billed as the South Okanagan's largest outdoor market, the Downtown Penticton Community Market returns Saturday.

Happy spring! It’s great to be back writing about invasive issues in the Okanagan-Similkameen. These articles will run every second week and I am always open to hearing from readers about what topics you would like to learn more about.

Dear Tony: I live in a townhouse complex in the Okanagan, and each home has three steps leading up to the front door. My husband recently had a mild stroke and requires a walker so access has become a problem for us.


After a large renovation project this winter, the Kettle Valley Station Pub in Penticton celebrated their fresh, new look on Wednesday with a customer appreciation event.

Jon Alcock from Sunshine Farm in Kelowna proudly displays some of his seeds at the 14th annual Seedy Saturday in Penticton, Saturday at the Jim Pattison Centre for Excellence at Okanagan College. Alcock has been at the event for all 14 years and says he appreciates the knowledge of the visit…

With the holiday season in full swing and the New Year just around the corner, many of you may be indulging in retrospection and re-evaluating some of your life choices. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to start making the changes that you contemplated throughout the year b…

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Oliver orchardist David Machial won four top awards at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair held in Toronto.

As you hunker down next to your fireplace during these bone-chilling days, you may feel in the festive mood and be listening to Christmas carols, including traditional pieces such as ‘Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly’ and ‘The Holly and the Ivy’. But wait. Holly and ivy? Aren’t these inva…

Following on the heels of my previous article, there is another invasive invertebrate in our midst that deserves greater attention.

Global water expert Bob Sandford is coming to speak at the Cleland Theatre on Monday, Nov. 28. Sandford has authored over 20 books and has been described as “The Winston Churchill of Water”. His presentation in Penticton will focus on “Understanding Water in the 21st Century – Droughts and F…

“Water is going to be more precious than people can imagine in the future,” states Bob Sandford. “We need to act accordingly.”

Renowned author, Bob Sandford, is leading the conversation around climate change and water policy issues in Canada and we ought to consider ourselves lucky that he is making a stop in Penticton. We should all be eager to drink in the valuable information that Sandford will deliver in his upcoming presentation organized by the Regional District, “Meeting Water Challenges: Are You Ready?” taking place at the Cleland Theatre in Penticton on Monday, November 28 at 7 pm.

Sandford’s talk will provide us with the framework of how to view our water and climate issues from an informed perspective backed by extensive scientific data. To quote Sandford: “With sea level rising, extreme weather events being the new normal, it’s not just about protecting yourself, it is understanding what is happening globally and regionally and how that will impact you.“

Sandford is the EPCOR Water Security Research Chair at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

He is also involved in multiple water organizations and research and policy groups. A key component of Sandford’s work is to translate scientific research outcomes into language decision-makers can use to craft meaningful public policy.

He is also a well respected writer who has written numerous books on water issues and climate change and the presentation he brings to Penticton will focus on issues he examines in his two latest books, Storm Warning: Water and Climate Security in a Changing World and The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy and Biodiversity in a Changing World co-authored by Jon O’Riordan.

In his 2015 book, Storm Warning, Sandford devotes an entire chapter entitled Fire and Water which considers climate change effects on water in the Okanagan.

In this chapter Sandford says “I worry that it won’t be long before the relative stability the people who live there have enjoyed may be disrupted. In saying this I do not wish to imply that this is the end of the world. They know what they need to do in the Okanagan. But what is happening elsewhere in Canada and the rest of the world should add urgency to their efforts.”

Summerland author and ecologist , Don Gayton, will set the stage for the evening by providing the audience with a brief presentation on the Okanagan’s water and wetland history. Executive Director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board, Anna Warwick Sears, will introduce the evening and provide an outline of how the water board operates and in which projects they are currently involved.

Many of us who live and work in the Okanagan are aware that water our most precious resource needs preserving and requires solid governance.

This is underscored by current news reports that 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record, a big concern for those living in a semi-arid landscape.

In the days following the US Election where Climate Change and the health of the Environment is being taken off the table by our stateside neighbour, I would urge all of us who care about the future of the health of our water and land environments to attend

Mr. Sandford’s presentation. It is free to all and is being funded by the following partners: the RBC Blue Water Project Fund, the RDOS and the City of Penticton.

Doors open at 6:30 pm and seating is on a first come first serve basis.

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