Regional District of Central Okanagan honours community leader Robert Hobson

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On June 9, 2023, the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) honoured community leader Robert Hobson by renaming the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan at Mission Creek Regional Park to the Robert Hobson Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan.

During his two-decade career as the Regional Board Chair of the RDCO (1994-2014), Mr. Hobson was a strong advocate for the protection and preservation of natural spaces. He was instrumental in championing the creation of today’s regional parks and greenways, with over 15 parks and 1,500 hectares of dedicated space added to the regional parks system during his tenure. These parks include: Black Mountain / snsk’il’nten Regional Park, Mission Creek Greenway, Rose Valley Regional Park and many more.

“Each day, residents of the Central Okanagan benefit from the foresight of leaders like, Robert Hobson, to create equitable access to nature through the expansion of regional parks,” says Loyal Wooldridge, RDCO Board Chair. “RDCO Leaders, passionate volunteers and staff carry forward Robert Hobson’s legacy by preserving our region’s green spaces that protect sensitive ecosystems, allow for climate adaptation and promote crucial connection to nature.”

[Current RDCO Chair Loyal Wooldridge with former chairs Gail Givens and Robert Hobson.]

The Centre is a fitting tribute to Mr. Hobson as a space to inspire community members to explore the great outdoors. Opened in 1994, the Robert Hobson Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan is a hub for connecting to regional parks and home to the parks visitor services team who lead programming across the RDCO’s 30 regional parks.

“I am deeply touched and humbled by this generous gesture and accept this on behalf of the many volunteers, educators, elected officials and parks staff who have made our wonderful parks system possible, says Robert Hobson. “Our parks today are taking on new roles in promoting inclusion, diversity, reconciliation, tourism and response to climate change. This centre will play a pivotal educational role in moving these issues forward, just as it has promoted ecological knowledge in the past.”

[Local leaders, past and present, gathered to honour Robert Hobson. (left to right): Luke Stack, Mohini Singh, Gail Givens, Ron Cannan, Robert Hobson, Sharon Shepherd, Gord Milsom, Charlie Hodge, Tom Dyas, Loyal Wooldridge]

Community members are invited to visit the Robert Hobson Environmental Education Centre at 2363A Springfield Rd, Tuesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free, and activities and programming are available for all ages. Until July, visitors can enjoy Bats: Out of the Darkness exhibit.