iN PHOTOS: Kelowna man shares images of city's natural treasure Munson Pond | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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iN PHOTOS: Kelowna man shares images of city's natural treasure Munson Pond

The sun rises over Munson Pond in Kelowna in June.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

Alan Cohoe is a retired RV instructor at Okanagan College and spends much of his free time watching wildlife and honing his photography skills at Munson Pond, a wetland in the centre of Kelowna. 

He moved to a house beside the pond over five years ago but it wasn’t until the COVID pandemic hit that he began to understand what a treasure it was.

“I started walking out to the pond to take photographs of the wildlife to send to family, to show them life as we know it is still carrying on,” Cohoe said. “Ever since I’ve been out there almost every day, the goal is to find something interesting every day.”

Over the past few years Cohoe has taken photos and videos of wildlife on the pond across the changing seasons.

“It has so much bird and wildlife activity, it’s pretty neat to see this in the middle of a city,” he said. “Right now, wild mock orange trees are in full bloom and the fragrance is incredible. The water table will drop right now and when it gets hot it’s not as vibrant, the ducks go to other ponds, but there is always something going on.”

Fragrant mock orange trees bloom around Kelowna's Munson Pond.
Fragrant mock orange trees bloom around Kelowna's Munson Pond.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

The pond covers 3.8 acres and is lined with cottonwood trees and a variety of shrub species.

“In the fall the leaves turn colours, the water levels go up and the geese come back and winter there until it freezes,” Cohoe said. “There's a beaver that's active in the winter, he hauls limbs under the water and stores it.”

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Munson Pond is home to numerous birds species, including the flocks of migratory birds that arrive in the spring to the delight of local photographers.

“The spring is incredible when the flowers and birds come back. When the ice starts to thaw the diving birds will go under the ice and I’ll sit and watch and see how long they are under until they come up with little fish,” Cohoe said.

Two ducks and a turtle perch on a log in Munson Pond.
Two ducks and a turtle perch on a log in Munson Pond.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

The pond sits in Munson Pond Park located in the centre of Kelowna near the intersection of Benvoulin Road and KLO Road.

READ MORE: 'Don’t let it loose': Why invasive goldfish in Kelowna pond is a problem

It started as a gravel pit in the 1960s and after it was abandoned it was filled up by the area’s high water table and has been a popular spot for bird watching ever since, according to the Central Okanagan Land Trust.

An important site for migratory birds and wetland flora and fauna, the pond is currently an endangered ecological community, ranked by the BC Conservation Date Centre as rare in the province. 

Do you have a favourite spot to enjoy in your city? Let us know in the comments below. 

Munson Pond in Kelowna freezes over every winter.
Munson Pond in Kelowna freezes over every winter.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

Mallard ducks are one species of waterfowl that live at Munson Pond in Kelowna.
Mallard ducks are one species of waterfowl that live at Munson Pond in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

Wildflowers are in full bloom in June around Munson Pond in Kelowna.
Wildflowers are in full bloom in June around Munson Pond in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

This vole is one of numerous critters that live at Munson Pond in Kelowna.
This vole is one of numerous critters that live at Munson Pond in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

A heron fishes in Kelowna's Munson Pond.
A heron fishes in Kelowna's Munson Pond.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

Munson Pond in Kelowna is seen through the limbs of a pussywillow shrub in early spring.
Munson Pond in Kelowna is seen through the limbs of a pussywillow shrub in early spring.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Alan Cohoe

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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