In 2023, the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) awarded $98,000 to six local organizations running projects to help conserve natural areas and restore and protect water, land, and wildlife. Funding came from the RDNO's Conservation Fund which is funded through a dedicated tax.
Applications for the next round of funding are now being accepted.
Earn a Letter of Proficiency for Wetland Delineation and Assessment from UBC's (Okanagan Campus) Department of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences. Learn methods and technical skills to identify wetlands and delineate their boundaries, and gain hands-on experience in field delineation methods, classification and functional assessment.
Celebrate youth led sustainability at this free event held at Kelowna's Rotary Centre for the Arts Atrium. See, and hopefully get inspired by, student projects to bring sustainable solutions to Kelowna and the world!
Mark your calendar for the Sustainable Development Challenge Semi-Final at the Mary Irwin Theatre (Kelowna). This event will see the top teams presenting their work to the judges and an audience of their peers. Only three teams will be chosen to move on to the Finale event Feb. 26th and continue to compete for more than $7500 in prizes.
Come to the UBCO Commons Lecture Hall for an exploration of the global and local impacts of climate change. This evening event features host Chris Walker of the CBC, keynote speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Syilx/Okanagan storytelling, an expert panel discussion, Q&A and more.
Tickets are now available, but seating is limited!
Now that almost everybody has a camera on their person, it's time for many wildlife photographers to learn how to avoid having negative impacts on wildlife. Respectful wildlife viewers not only do no harm, they may have a better chance of taking great photos of the wonderful wildlife that lives in the Okanagan.
Clean, plentiful fresh water and natural landscapes are a big part of why the Okanagan is such a great place to live. However, kɬúsx̌nítkw (Okanagan Lake) and its surrounding natural areas and fish and wildlife are facing significant challenges from a growing population that is increasing development and recreational demand around the lake. Currently, only 41% of Okanagan Lake's shoreline remains natural.
The holidays are upon us and, from all of us at OCCP, we wish you and your loved ones a very happy holiday season! We also extend a heartfelt thank you to our partners, funding supporters, community members, and readers for your continued support.
2019 is the OCCP's 11th year supporting collaboration for conservation. The OCCP model continues to be effective in building partnerships, sharing resources, and delivering on the Okanagan Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
First initiated in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is North America's longest-running Citizen Science project. Christmas Bird Counts run from December 14 to January 5 and the information gathered forms one of the world's largerst sets fo wildlife survey data. Christmas Bird Counts are usually organized by a birding club, naturalist organization or an individual compiler.
It is an exciting time for the OCCP, the Action Teams have undertaken research to protect water quality and environmental values for our large lakes, created outdoor educational programs in partnership with local teachers and school boards, and established local government land use policies to protect wildlife corridors and biodiversity. These projects are just a few of the important conservation initiatives underway, which are highlighted along with others in the 2017-2019 Program Report.
One way the OCCP is investing in conservation is by the establishment and support of community conservation funds. These funds are a dedicated source of funding for the specific purpose of undertaking environmental conservation projects. Funds help communities ensure the sustainability of natural environments and protect quality of life now and for the future. 2017 saw the establishment of the South Okanagan Conservation Fund and 2018 has seen work start on establishing the North Okanagan Conservation Fund.
OCCP is working with school teachers and administrators, the Faculty of Education UBC Okanagan, Wildrose Native Traditions, and the Okanagan Wise Water Program to develop resources and materials that will assist teachers in leading environmental lessons that support the new B.C. Curriculum. The lesson plans will incorporate an Okanagan perspective for species at risk, ecosystems, and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge.
Relaxation, fitness, family fun, delicious food—sounds like a dream vacation at an all-inclusive resort. But, believe it or not, this can all be found in a simple backyard garden. Gardening gives a total-body workout, allows us to reap what we've sowed, and provides an opportunity to reconnect with nature and our loved ones.
This post is a special contribution from Green Okanagan (GO), a registered non-profit organization based in Kelowna.
Want to be a part of returning sockeye salmon to the Okanagan river system?
Everyone is welcome to join members of the Syilx/Okanagan Nation, and over 430 students from local schools, for the ceremonial release of 10,000 Okanagan Sockeye Salmon fry at the Penticton Channel and En'owkin Centre in Penticton on May 2.
Okanagan lakes and surrounding natural areas are facing challenges. One major challenge is significant damage to the shoreline ecosystems caused by flooding. Flood damage strains sensitive lake ecosystems, destroys habitat, and has a detrimental effect on the health of our lakes.
Last month the OCCP supported on-the-ground habitat restoration activities to protect riparian and shoreline habitat at Bertram Creek Regional Park in Kelowna.
Could your Canadian charity or non-profit organization use a new roof or flooring (or landscape tiles, playground surfaces, garden mulch or kid's play structures) made from recycled rubber? Kal’s RePlay Fund helps cover the cost of projects that turn scrap tires into new rubber products to enhance facilities in the communities we serve.
In partnership with UBCO and local and provincial governments, the OCCP is taking action to protect land in the Okanagan by focusing on major wildlife corridors.
The Okanagan wildlife corridor, which extends from Vernon into Washington State, provides critical habitat for an array of plants and animals that are unique and rare, some of which are found nowhere else in Canada. This crucial habitat allows species to forage, migrate, and find mates. All of which are essential for their long-term survival.
If you are looking for ways to connect with nature or want to meet like-minded people and support local biodiversity conservation efforts, we've rounded up a list of local citizen-led naturalist groups you can join today!
We also have highlights of some of the important work they do to support biodiversity conservation as well as their efforts to connect people with nature.
With the increasing risk of extreme weather events such as flooding, severe drought, and forest fires, innovative technologies are being used to support planning and preparedness efforts locally. LiDAR is one of the innovative technologies being employed by government, conservation organizations, and academia to support climate change resilience and biodiversity conservation efforts.
With the new year looming and many new opportunities on the horizon, earlier this month we asked our partner organizations to participate in a strategic planning session to chart the future of the OCCP. We asked for our partners to provide their insights, thoughtful perspectives, and enthusiasm to evaluate our future priorities, programming, and projects.
The Okanagan is home to around 300 different species of birds and the Christmas Bird Count is a 100 year old holiday tradition. The bird counts take place between December 14 and January 5. This year the Okanagan has bird counts taking place in Vernon, Lake Country, Kelowna, Big White, Peachland, and Penticton.
Help add to a century of community science data by signing up for a count near you. Neither binoculars or experience are necessary.
This holiday season consider making a donation or gift in support of conservation work in honour of an important person or group of people in your life. Making a gift to a conservation organization, land trust, or wildlife rehabilitation center leaves a lasting legacy. Every gift is meaningful, and every dollar helps.
There are many local conservation focused organizations and many ways to give to and support them in their efforts to keep nature in our future.
Interested in removing harmful substances and plastic waste from fresh water, or improving and restoring aquatic habitat?
Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) EcoAction Community Funding Program is now accepting funding applications. Funding is available for new projects that engage Canadians and clearly demonstrate measurable, positive results related to the key environmental priority of fresh water. Proposals engaging Indigenous Peoples, youth, and/or small businesses will get preference.
Telus Community Board Grants support initiatives from Canadian registered charities and qualified donees that focus on local, grassroots community-based health and education programs. They put community funding in the hands of local leaders working to help youth reach their full potential.
The Government of Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Aquatic Species at Risk provides funding for projects that support the recovery of endangered, threatened, and other species at risk and their habitats. It encourages Canadians from all walks of life to engage in conservation actions that benefit wildlife.
Proposals for the 2020-2021 cycle are now being accepted.
The Aboriginal Fund for Species at Risk (AFSAR; Species at Risk Stream and Prevention Stream) is now accepting applications for the 2020-2021 funding cycle.
Since 2004 AFSAR has supported the development of Indigenous capacity to participate actively in the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). AFSAR also supports and promotes the conservation, protection and recovery of target species and their habitats on Indigenous lands and territories.
Systems Change Grants support projects that take action to address the root causes of pressing social, environmental or cultural issues by influencing the behaviours of populations, organizations, and institutions. Short-term grants (Develop grants) are a one-time application that can be submitted any time throughout the year and decisions are made the following month. The next granting cycle for multi-year grants (Test and Scale grants) opens January 2, 2019.
The James L. Baillie Memorial Fund for Bird Research and Preservation is accepting applications for Regular and Small Grants. These grants go to individuals, groups and organizations for projects that advance the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of wild birds and their habitats. Regular Grants go up to $5000, while Small Grants can be up to $1000.
Here in the Okanagan our lakes, waterways, and landscapes provide drinking water, support recreation, and power our economy. It follows that we need to keep our freshwater environments and natural systems healthy and clean. To this end, the OCCP partnered with local governments to undertake a research study of Kalamalka and Wood Lake to understand the impact power boating is having on our lakes.
Since 2004, the Okanagan Nation Alliance’s (ONA) Skaha Sockeye Reintroduction program has worked at reintroducing sc’win (Okanagan sockeye) back to their historic range, which includes t’iwcən (Skaha) Lake and kłusənitkw (Okanagan) Lakes. This is why q̓awsitkw (Okanagan River) is now thick and red with sockeye salmon in October.
The following post is a Special contribution from the Syilx Okanagan Nation Alliance.
The Okanagan's abundance of clean, fresh water and natural landscapes is facing significant challenges. These include increased usage demands, growing population, and development, especially around Okanagan Lake. All of which are straining the sensitive lake ecosystem and having a detrimental effect on the health of our lake.
Guided by our Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, OCCP seeks to address the many challenges facing our natural areas by promoting a collaborative approach to biodiversity conservation and restoration.