In-person parks interpretation activities by the Regional District of Central Okanagan are are gradually returning as B.C. moves into its phased reopening plan.
“We are following the public health experts’ guidelines and recommendations to ensure the comfort and safety of small groups of people taking part in a limited number of programs,” says Isabella Hodson, supervisor of community relations and visitor services.
“We’ve made some important adjustments in order to welcome residents back to in-person interpretive programs. For example, our Wild Walks program requires participants to register in advance; is limited to a maximum of eight people per outing; and will see everyone physically distancing, keeping a safe, minimum two metres apart.”
Registration information along with dates and times for Wild Walks this month in Stephens Coyote Regional Park are posted at: rdco.com/parksevents. To accommodate as many people as possible, register for only one hike this month.
As well, a number of free Pop-Up programs are being offered at several different regional parks during June. No registration is required. Residents may drop in and RDCO parks interpreters will provide sanitized equipment. Physical distancing will be required. Among these programs are:
• Butterfly Bioblitz: help track butterfly biodiversity by catching butterflies, identifying them and releasing them back into the wild;
• Birding 101: learn the basics of bird watching;
• Wild Waters Critters: discover the unique features of invertebrate life in ponds.
Information on dates, times and locations for each Pop-Up program can be found at rdco.com/parksevents.
The @regionalparks Instagram Live interpretative programs continue Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 1 p.m. This week’s programs are:
• today (June 9): Story Time: Owls. Park interpreters will share some owl stories and fascinating facts.
• Thursday: It’s Rivers and Oceans Week. Discover the Okanagan’s waterways and how they connect to the bigger picture.
• Saturday: Make a home-made rain gauge as interpreters continue the water theme and share information on the water cycle. Have on hand: a clear (and empty) two-litre plastic bottle, scissors, a few handfuls of clean pebbles or gravel, masking tape, a ruler and a permanent marker. Adult supervision is recommended for younger audience members.
The updated schedule of program topics and links to past video presentations are posted at rdco.com/parksevents.
During the current health emergency, all regional parks remain open for visitors using safe distancing practices. There are 63 kilometres of formal trails in 30 regional parks. Go online to: rdco.com/pickapark for more information.