A new property purchase and two key partnerships will enhance the trail network in West Kelowna’s Glen Canyon Regional Park.
A 1.59-hectare (3.9-acre) property at 2240 Scharf Road in West Kelowna was purchased for $132,000 and will allow completion of trail through the upper section of Glen Canyon Regional Park. When complete, the continuous trail will run along the west side of Powers Creek, upstream from Highway 97 to Smith Creek Road.
Funding for the property acquisition comes from the Regional Parks Legacy and Park Land Reserve funds.
As well, work is underway on upgrading upstream trails, installation of staircases and improvements to the trailhead and parking area located just off Gellatly Road south. This work, with a cost of $167,000 is being funded through the BC Community Recreation Initiative Trails to Health Program and is possible with the recent approval of a Joint Management and Regulation Agreement between the Regional District and District of West Kelowna. This partnership has the Regional District upgrading trails and managing parkland that was donated by the Canyon Ridge development to the District of West Kelowna, as a part of Glen Canyon Regional Park.
The Regional District also celebrates the long-standing partnership it has had with the Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society. Over the past number of years, its worked with the Society volunteers to support ongoing trail enhancements in various areas of West Kelowna and more recently saw the Society assist with the installation of a pedestrian bridge over Powers Creek. This links the trails on both sides of the creek with a property on Brown Road that was purchased by the Regional District and added last year to Glen Canyon Regional Park.
Regional Board Chair Robert Hobson said, “These important and ongoing partnerships with West Kelowna and the Gellatly Bay Trails and Parks Society, show how much we can accomplish. By working together, we can create even more recreational opportunities for the benefit of all Central Okanagan residents.”
Work on the new Gellatly Road trailhead and parking area and upstream trail improvements is underway and should be complete by the end of October.
In 2008, the Regional District Board unanimously agreed to establish a special tax requisition over five years to build the Parks Legacy Fund in order to leverage the purchase and protection of important properties for the Regional Park system. Since that time, along with funding from the Park Land Reserve Fund, $21.7-million in property purchases have been made. Along with land donations and Crown tenure agreements valued at $11.5-million, over 900 additional hectares (2,300-acres) of land has been added to the Regional Park system worth over $33.4-million.
2014 is the 40th anniversary of the Central Okanagan Regional Park system. Since it began in the fall of 1974 and with the purchase of the almost four-hectare Kaloya Regional Park in Lake Country in early 1975, it’s grown to protect more than 1,900-hectares of land in 31 Regional Parks.