A male kingfisher at Vernon’s Polson Park. (David Guscott/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)

A male kingfisher at Vernon’s Polson Park. (David Guscott/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)

$78K in conservation grants awarded in the North Okanagan

The RDNO announced four recipients of its 2021 Conservation Fund Friday

The Regional District of North Okanagan has awarded grants to projects that will aim to protect various aspects of the local natural environment.

The district (RDNO) announced the recipients of its 2021 Conservation Fund Friday (Jan. 22), providing a total of $78,000 to four projects.

The Okanagan Nation Alliance was awarded $28,000 to develop interpretive signs for the Okanagan Rail Trail to increase the awareness of the importance of water and promote sustainable water practices.

The Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society secured $25,000 to work with landowners in the Conservation Fund area to create landowner management agreements that will improve stewardship for 600 acres of wildlife habitat, complete three habitat restoration projects and conduct two wildlife habitat enhancement workshops.

The North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club was handed $16,000 to conduct a comprehensive bird count for Swan Lake, updating research that was last completed 20 years ago.

Finally, the Okanagan Fisheries Foundation was awarded $9,000 to develop a rapid environmental assessment tool – A Healthy Watershed Checklist for BX Creek. The tool will be used to identify and assess the key restoration sites along BX Creek.

“The purpose of the fund is to provide local financial support for projects that will contribute to the conservation of our valuable natural areas and help restore and protect a healthy environment. We were happy to see the quality and variety in the selected projects in the first year of this grant program,” said Kevin Acton, chair of the RDNO Board of Directors.

The Conservation Fund is a dedicated funding source for environmental projects and helps communities ensure the sustainability of the environment and to protect current and future quality of life.

The participating areas include Electoral Areas B, C, D, E, F, the City of Armstrong and the Village of Lumby. For a project to be eligible, it must take place in one or more of these areas.

The next grant intake period will take place in September 2021, and potential applicants are encouraged to start planning and brainstorming now.

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