Half of new conservation fund's $400,000 to go towards Park Rill property - InfoNews

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Half of new conservation fund's $400,000 to go towards Park Rill property

The regional district's new conservation fund's technical advisory committee has seven projects earmarked for board director's approval, with almost half the funding earmarked for purchase of the Nature Trust of B.C.'s Park Rill property.
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December 26, 2017 - 2:15 PM

PENTICTON - The initial round of projects for the new regional district’s South Okanagan Conservation Fund have been selected.

Seven regionally significant environmental projects totalling more than $400,000 will be presented to Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen’s board of directors at the Jan. 4 regular meeting for board approval.

Two projects involve land purchases, including a $200,000 contribution to The Nature Trust of B.C.’s Park Rill Creek infill project, and $57,755 towards the purchase of up to 2.29 hectares of lowland and wetland habitats on locatee lands on the Penticton Indian Reserve, to be controlled by the band’s En’owkin Centre.

The amount requested for the Park Rill property equals roughly 21 per cent of the property’s value, appraised at $960,000.

Other projects selected by the conservation fund’s Technical Advisory Committee include:

  • Reconnection of floodplain in Penticton Creek and enhance fish spawning areas ($40,260) in the Okanagan River, negatively affected by channelization of the riverbed in the1950s, in partnership with the Penticton Indian Band and the Okanagan Nation Alliance
  • Reconstruction of the sediment catchment basin of Ellis Creek to allow year round fish passage up a four kilometre length of  Ellis Creek ($50,000), partnered again with the Okanagan Nations and Penticton Indian Band
  • Habitat stewardship and enhancement in the South Okanagan by providing residents with training, information and technical assistance that will empower them to take on conservation and stewardship projects in their neighbourhoods ($38,000),with the Okanagan and Similkameen Stewardship Society
  • An invasive-free certificate program to promote and integrate invasive plant prevention and management into the practises of horticulture and landscape companies in the South Okanagan ($6,415), in partnership with the Okanagan and Similkameen Invasive Species Society
  • An eco-management project to reduce threats to important species at risk in the workplace in activities such as pest control and other industries ($7,841) partnered with the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance

The South Okanagan Conservation Fund was established in 2016 to provide local financial support for environmental projects that will contribute to the conservation of the South Okanagan’s natural assets. This year’s selected projects come from this year’s first intake of applications for the new fund, which is expected to generate $500,000 annually, through an average regional district taxpayers’ contribution of $10, based on an assessed property value of $343,000.

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