It was a perfect day for touring two of HCTF’s most recent acquisition properties: Sage & Sparrow Grasslands and Elkink South Block. Led by NCC’s Okanagan Property Manager Barb Pryce, HCTF board members got to experience first-hand the subtle beauty of these grasslands, and learn more about their incredible ecological values.
HCTF contributed $300,000 to NCC’s purchase of the Sage & Sparrow Grasslands in 2012, and then granted a further $500,000 to NCC’s campaign to purchase Elkink South Block last June. Together, the properties create over 3,100 acres of continuous rare grassland habitat that is home to a diverse range of amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species, some of which occur nowhere else in the world. As part of the excursion, Board Members got to visit the site of the Burrowing Owl Recovery Program on the South Block property, and view some of the research sites where scientists are now conducting surveys of the many plants and animals inhabiting this rare ecosystem.
In addition to experiencing the impressive sights (and fragrant smell of sagebrush), board members were provided with some excellent information on enhancement projects taking place within the area, as well as some of the conservation challenges facing the region. A big thank-you to field trip guests Bryn White (SOSCP), Dan Peterson (MFLRNO), and Linda Hannah (NCC) for taking the time to join us and share your experiences. An especially big thank-you to our guide, Barb Pryce, for leading us through an informative and thoroughly enjoyable day in the South Okanagan.