Wildflowers, rare grasslands and at risk species are part of the rich landscape of the Park Rill Floodplain which is now part of the Nature Trust of B.C. in the South Okanagan. (Graham Osborne photo)

Wildflowers, rare grasslands and at risk species are part of the rich landscape of the Park Rill Floodplain which is now part of the Nature Trust of B.C. in the South Okanagan. (Graham Osborne photo)

151 acres of biodiverse South Okanagan land donated to Nature Trust of B.C.

The land near Willowbrook is home to rare grasslands and at-risk animals

Through the generosity of its donors, Nature Trust of B.C. announced that 151 acres (61 hectares) of land, known as the Park Rill Floodplain, will be added to the White Lake biodiversity ranch complex in the South Okanagan.

The native grasslands of the South Okanagan are a hot-spot for biodiversity, hosting a huge number of B.C.’s at-risk species.

But, grasslands are also one of the rarest land cover types in B.C. covering less than one per cent of the province’s land base, with few intact swaths of open plains remaining.

Located approximately three km northwest of the community of Willowbrook within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, the Park Rill Floodplain property supports many species of conservation concern and provides critical habitat for federally listed species at risk including Lewis’s Woodpecker, Peregrine Falcons and Western Screech Owls.

“The diversity of species and habitats protected by this project exemplifies the importance of the native grasslands within the South Okanagan. The Nature Trust of BC has a sterling track record for protecting, managing and restoring these and other critical habitat types in B.C.,” said Dan Buffett, CEO of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

“For that reason, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is a proud funding partner of the Nature Trust and of our shared goals of conserving fish, wildlife and their habitats through the protection and conservation of BC’s natural landscapes.”

The Nature Trust expressed their thanks to landowners and conservationists Ray and Jennifer Stewart who have cared for the land for 33 years.

The project was undertaken with the financial support of Environment Climate Change Canada, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, George Galbraith and Family, Val and Dick Bradshaw and many individual donors.

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