BC acquires $9.7 million in new land to add to parks in Okanagan and province-wide

Local provincial parks grow

The Province of B.C. has acquired more than 650 new hectares of land valued at $9.7 million which will be added to 16 provincial parks and two protected areas. 

“Our parks and protected areas are among the natural treasures of our province and play an important role in our overall health and well-being, especially during COVID-19,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

“These areas also provide critical habitat to a number of species. Acquiring additional land means more species and ecosystems will be protected and the land will be here for generations to come.”

Of the acquisitions, 168.2 hectares are in the Okanagan Valley. 

In Peachland, 21.2 hectares worth over $1 million were donated to Okanagan Mountain Park. The parcel was donated as part of a rezoning and subdivision process, and will provide a buffer between the park and the nearby residences. 

In Penticton, 65 hectares have been added to Skaha Bluffs Park to further protect threatened riparian and grassland plant communities, as well as a variety of at-risk species like big horn sheep and Western screech owls. The ecological gift is valued at $1,035,000.

And in the South Okanagan, 82 hectares have been transferred to Cathedral Park for $1 from Okanagan College. The parcels were already within the park, and the acquisition now allows the province to mange the areas in a manner that fits with the rest of the park. 

British Columbia has 1,035 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering more than 14 million hectares, or approximately 14.4 per cent of the provincial land base. During the last three years, 883 hectares of land have been acquired for parks and protected areas.

Find the full list of acquisitions province-wide for 2019-2020 here

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