Tour scheduled at ecological reserve

A tour of the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve on Saturday will show the diversity and landscape of the area.

A tour of the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve on Saturday will show the diversity and landscape of the area.

The tour is to mark the 100th anniversary of the first park created in the province. B.C. Parks is showcasing parks, protected areas and ecological reserves to celebrate the occasion.

Don Gayton, one of the organizers of the field trip, said the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve is one of around 70 reserves and protected areas around the province.

The reserves are set aside because of special features.

“It was such a good example of the Okanagan landscape of ponderosa pine and bunch grass,” Gayton said.

Gayton and volunteer warden Laurie Rockwell, along with a B.C. Parks representative, will lead the tour.

While the ecological reserve was set up in 1971, Gayton said many Summerlanders are not aware it exists.

“It’s a wonderful little treasure that we have,” he said.

The reserve is bordered on one side by a mountain, on two sides by Trout Creek Canyon and on the fourth side by the Summerland Golf and Country Club.

“I don’t think the province will ever sell this land off,” Gayton said.

Those who participate in the tour will see some rare species of plants in the area as well as signs of fires from the 1740s.

Animal life, such as deer, black bears, coyotes, rattlesnakes and gopher snakes are sometimes seen in the 75-hectare reserve.

“We have species in this part of the country not found in any other part of Canada,” Gayton said.

Tour participants will meet at the Summerland Golf and Country Club parking lot on Saturday at 10 a.m. The tour will conclude around 12:30 p.m.

While the hike is mild, organizers advise participants to wear boots and long pants.


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