Osoyoos Desert Centre gets funds to replace ageing wooden boardwalk
Osoyoos Desert Centre is delighted to announce it's been awarded a Province of BC grant to replace its 1.5 km elevated wooden boardwalk trail. The funding is provided under the destination development stream of the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) announced last fall to help bolster the recovery of BC's tourism industry and provide economic stimulus to BC communities impacted by COVID-19.
"We're so thrilled to receive this funding," says Jayme Friedt, Osoyoos Desert Centre Managing Director. "Helping create jobs and increase tourism to our region is a great opportunity that we fully embrace. Our boardwalk was the initial capital investment of the Osoyoos Desert Centre back when it opened in 1998 and has become the Centre's signature attraction. After 22-years, it is definitely coming to the end of its life!"
Showcasing Canada's unique "pocket desert," the Osoyoos Desert Centre stewards 67-acres of endangered antelope-brush habitat and welcomes 10,000 visitors from around the world each year. Visitors explore the South Okanagan's desert ecology and learn about the conservation of endangered species and habitats through guided and self-guided tours along the boardwalk trail as well as hands-on workshops, ecological talks and special events.
The Centre also features an interpretive building with several interactive displays and a native plant demonstration garden.
"This funding is a dream come true," says Osoyoos Desert Society President Lee McFadyen. "The boardwalk is essential to the Osoyoos Desert Centre's visitor's experience. It takes them on a meander through the heart of the antelope brush and watchful eyes may catch glimpses
of butterflies, nesting bluebirds feeding their young, an active little Nuttall's cottontail, spadefoots at different stages of their life cycle, or a snake sunning on the warm sand. Last summer, we even had a badger living at the Centre! Rebuilding our deteriorating boardwalk means we can provide safe access to this wonderful habitat for people of all ages and abilities for many years to come."
The Osoyoos Desert Centre is open annually from May to October. This year opening day is set for May 1, 2021. Construction on the project will begin after the Centre closes for the 2021 season in October and be completed by spring of 2022.