A panoramic view of the Okanagan Valley with West Kelowna in the foreground and mountains in the background
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Backpackers hike along a snowy trail in a wintry forest

Are you looking for ways to connect with nature? Would you like to meet like-minded people and support local biodiversity conservation efforts? 

Here at OCCP, we know collaboration and community involvement are key elements supporting biodiversity conservation. Which is why we've rounded up a list of local citizen-led naturalist groups you can join today! 

We're also highlighting some of the important work they do to support biodiversity conservation and their efforts to connect people with nature.

First up, The Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society (OSS). The OSS works directly with locals, in the Okanagan, to support and assist them in caring for important natural areas. They provide information, organize volunteer restoration projects, and support landowners in becoming Wildlife Habitat Stewards on their properties. Visit OSS's website to find out more and to get involved!

In the Okanagan region we're lucky to have three active Naturalist clubs, which are supported by dedicated volunteers. The North Okanagan, Central Okanagan, and South Okanagan Naturalist Clubs host weekly outdoor activities throughout the Okanagan including guided hikes, walks, bikes, and snowshoeing excursions. In addition, the clubs have a number of expert birders and have had great success in viewing a large variety of native bird species, novice birders are always welcome. The clubs also support important conservation efforts through community outreach and education activities. Visit their respective websites to get involved: the North Okanagan Naturalist Club, the Central Okanagan Naturalist Club, and the South Okanagan Naturalist Club

According to NatureKids BC the research is clear, kids need nature and they become healthier, happier, and more focused when outdoors. The natural world also needs kids, a love for nature and a desire to go the extra mile to protect it is formed by ongoing and meaningful moments engaging with nature and getting to know local plants, animals, and wild places. NatureKids BC invites families to explore with them. There are local chapters in the North, Central,  and South Okanagan for plenty of opportunities to get involved with nature-based activities offered by NatureKids BC! 

Are you free tonight? Then you’re in luck, local non-profit Green Okanagan is getting together for green conversation at their first “Sustainability Social.” This won't be a structured event, talk, or presentation - it's simply a gathering of like-minded individuals sharing a passion for sustainability and green movements in our community. The first event will take place on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 from 6:30-8:00pm at BNA Brewing in Kelowna. You'll find the group upstairs, come and go as you please, they'll be happy to see you! Swing by on your own or bring a friend, grab a drink, and start a conversation. For more information about Green Okanagan visit their website or Facebook Page and join their Meetup to stay in the loop about future events.

Keep up to date on events and activities taking place in our community by visiting our "Upcoming Events" page on the OCCP website.

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