The Okanagan Nation Alliance will add basking sites at Box Lake for blue-listed painted western turtles with support from an Environment Grant from Columbia Basin Trust. (Submitted)

Funds being raised to protect habitat of at-risk wildlife

The Central Okanagan Land Trust needs your help to protect Munson Pond

The Central Okanagan Land Trust is looking for support to develop a conservation fund for Munson Pond in Kelowna. The new Munson Pond Endowment Fund has been registered with the Central Okanagan Foundation, and funds will be used to enhance and protect plant and wildlife habitat at the pond, according to the city in an email update.

Located near the intersection of Benvoulin Road and KLO Road, Munson Pond is surrounded by a mature remnant cottonwood forest valued for its bird watching opportunities and habitat of small amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The crowd-funding campaign to protect the pond is open until Dec. 21, the email said.

Over the last few years, the Central Okanagan Land Trust has planted native plants and built a walking trail, bridge and two viewing platforms at Munson Pond.

Munson Pond is an environmental jewel in the middle of the Central Okanagan’s rapidly urbanizing landscape. The pond is located at the end of Munson Road – off Benvoulin Road and just behind the FORTIS building and Kelowna Christian School, according to the trust fund’s website.

RELATED: Life on Munson Pond looking pretty bright

Originally dug as a gravel pit in the early 1960s, groundwater and artesian water quickly filled the pit. The result is a wonderful habitat for resident and migratory birds and for an exciting array of mammals, fish, amphibians, insects and plants – some of which are species-at-risk, the site said.

Munson Pond is named for the Munson family who has farmed in the area since the late 1800s. From dairy farming to orcharding, the Munson family has been and remains part of the area’s rich agricultural history.

Habitat loss is the most critical factor at play for wildlife and especially for species-at-risk. In the Okanagan region it is estimated that more than 70 per cent of the area’s wetlands has been filled in or destroyed by some means, the website said.

Learn more and donate by Dec. 21.

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