The Park Rill Creek property, recently purchased by the Nature Trust of B.C. is important habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Photo courtesy Nick Burdock

Nature Trust of B.C. purchases property in South Okanagan

Parcel will be added to White Lake biodiversity ranch

With the help of many community partners, the Nature Trust of B.C. has purchased the Park Rill Creek property in the South Okanagan.

Okanagan conservation land manager Nick Burdock and the Nature Trust’s conservation youth crew at the Park Rill Creek property.

“Thanks to the outstanding support of key partners and individual donors, we are able to protect this important habitat for a wide range of wildlife and plants. This property connects to other Nature Trust lands, expanding conservation in the South Okanagan,” said Jasper Lament, CEO of the Nature Trust.

Related:Nature Trust big recipient in first round of conservation funding

Located in the White Lake Basin in the South Okanagan, this 32.2-hectare (80-acre) parcel is home to some of the most endangered and rare species in our province, such as the endangered half-moon hairstreak butterfly and the rare painted turtle, which is named after its distinguishing bright yellow and red stripes.

The area also provides important habitat for birds including the sage thrasher, which nests in sagebrush. The property is rich with vegetation including aromatic gray sagebrush, desert grassland and broadleaf woodlands. Park Rill Creek winds through the property.

Related:Funds protect grassland and riparian habitat

“The White Lake Basin is one of the gems in the Nature Trust of BC’s conservation land portfolio,” said Nick Burdock, Okanagan conservation land manager. “The Park Rill Creek property is one of the finest examples of mixed riparian habitat along the Park Rill corridor. You really get the sense that this piece of land has been cared for in a way that protected its conservation values.”

The property will be added to the Nature Trust of B.C.’s White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch complex, which is one of the largest intact grasslands in the region. The ranch is an innovative program where the trust works with a ranching family to help protect species at risk while they maintain a viable ranching operation.

Funding for this project was provided by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, South Okanagan Conservation Fund, which is overseen by the Regional District of the Okanagan-Similkameen, BC Conservation Foundation, Sitka Foundation, Collings Family Foundation, Gosling Foundation, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, BMO Bank of Montreal, Odlum Brown Limited Land Acquisition Fund, the South Okanagan Naturalists’ Club and individual donors.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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