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Desert Society News

Summer 2017

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Dear Supporters:

Summer has finally arrived in the South Okanagan and the Desert Society is looking forward to some busy months ahead. The Desert Centre season has gotten off to a great start with thousands of visitors arriving to learn more about our desert environment. The coming months promise to be busy as well, with continued strong attendance and a special line-up of events and programs at the Desert Centre.

On Saturday, July 8th, we are excited to be hosting Art in the Moonlight. Scheduled on the eve of the July full moon, the event will showcase the works of more than a dozen local artists. Art, photography, pottery and jewellery will be available to view and purchase. Entrance to the art show is free and includes wine tasting and children's art activities. If you want to grab a bite to eat or head out onto the boardwalk, charcuterie picnic boxes and guided tours will be available for purchase.

If you've never been to the Desert Centre at night, it's a truly special experience. You can enjoy the night time beauty of the desert by joining us for a Desert Night Tour, offered from 7:30 to 9:00 pm every Thursday through mid-August. The tours provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the desert during the cooler evening temperatures and to learn more about the many nocturnal animals that call this habitat home. For further details about our Desert Night Tours and Art in the Moonlight, please check out the event section of this newsletter.

You may notice that Romancing the Desert is not included in this summer's event line-up. The Society decided not to host Romancing the Desert this year so it can focus on some other major projects. Board and staff have been concentrating their efforts on projects to maintain and improve the Desert Centre site, including re-designing the native plant garden and re-finishing boardwalk kiosks. In addition, the Society is working hard to secure funding for a new interpretive building at the Desert Centre. The building will replace the aged trailers currently at the site and provide an educational centre capable of operating throughout the year and offering additional programs to the community.

If you are interested in getting involved or supporting our fundraising efforts for the new building, we invite you to contact the Desert Society at or 250-495-2470. It is thanks to the vision and commitment of our members, volunteers and donors that the Desert Centre became a reality nearly 20 years ago and has been able to succeed for the past two decades. We value and appreciate your partnership and look forward to your continued support of our habitat conservation mission and our efforts to educate the public and inspire future generations for years to come.

On behalf of the Osoyoos Desert Society Board
Lee McFadyen
President, Osoyoos Desert Society

Lauren Meads, Richard Cannings and Pluto
Photo by Richard Cannings
Bio Blitz
Tanya Brouwers

As part of Canada 150 celebrations, on June 9 and 10 the South Okanagan was one of 24 communities across Canada to host a community BioBlitz, an event that promotes citizen science and public engagement with the environment. The big day, hosted by the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance and sponsored by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Heritage Canada, was a total success, with almost 250 participants that included everyone from young to
old,  species experts and a r aft of generous  volunteers.  As  participants
White Lake Snake Walk
Photo by E Rose
explored the  region's unique grassland, riparian and aquatic ecosystems they were encouraged to photograph as many species as possible and upload them to the iNaturalist app. At the end of the day, over 400 species were captured including, among others, birds, butterflies, plants and aquatic insects. Best of all, these species, many of them unique to our special area, are now recorded forever in a global database. What a great present for Canada's 150th!

Desert Night Tours
Thursdays: July 6, 13, 20, 27 & August 3, 10
7:30 - 9:00 pm at the Osoyoos Desert Centre

Experience the magic of the desert at night. Take a guided tour along the Desert Centre's 1.5 km boardwalk and get the inside scoop on our desert's "wild" night life. Learn fascinating facts about the many nocturnal animals that call this habitat home and what you can do to help protect them.

$10/person ~ Advance registration required 
Art in the Moonlight
Saturday, July 8
5:30 - 9:30 pm at the Osoyoos Desert Centre
Art Show ~ Wine Tasting ~ Guided Tours
under the full moon!

Art Show and Wine Tasting - FREE
   ~ Enjoy or purchase original works by local artists
      (formerly featured in Art in the Garden)
   ~ Art activities for children
   ~ Includes free entrance to Desert Centre
      Interpretive Building

Desert Night Tours - $10 per person
   ~ Take a guided tour along the 1.5 km boardwalk
   ~ Tours at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00 and 7:30 pm

Charcuterie Picnic Boxes - For Sale
   ~ Enjoy local cheeses, meats and crostini
   ~ Available for purchase from booth hosted by JoJo's Cafe


Your support makes a difference. Memberships and donations help fund the Desert Society's
habitat conservation, restoration and education efforts.

Membership is $25 per person per year.

Members receive Desert Society newsletters and FREE admission to the Desert Centre.


Payment may be made through the secure, encrypted PayPal link, or you can click here to download a mail-in registration form.


Thank you!

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 The Osoyoos Desert Society