Spring 2020 eNEWSLETTER 

Dear Friends:

Spring is well entrenched and it is a spring of change like few of us have ever experienced. Fortunately, the grass grew, the leaves unfurled and the hillsides and wild spaces are covered with a myriad of blossoms. Migrating birds have flown on by or stopped to nest and chicks abound. These seasonal changes provide those of us fortunate enough to be able to experience them with some sense of normalcy.

In January, just as COVID-19 was making global headlines and before we imagined the changes about to occur, we sent out an update about major changes taking place within the Osoyoos Desert Society.  To recap: Denise Eastlick, the Society's long-time Executive Director has retired. Denise served us well over many years, taking us through important changes. With retirement she can draw a breath and enjoy the many activities put aside by her commitment to her position.  

As we were entering a new decade with new people the Board decided to restructure staff positions: A Managing Director would administrate the day-to-day operations and liaise with a Desert Centre Manager.  We were extremely lucky to have several excellent candidates apply for the new positions and chose Jayme Friedt to be our Managing Director and Leor Oren for the Desert Centre Manager. They are welcome additions to our team.

Then the reality of COVID-19 hit the world and opening the Centre would be seriously delayed. This meant finances must be juggled. Fortunately our new staff are committed to their positions and the juggling means we can open on June 6th with all the necessary safety precautions in place. Like so many charities, non-profits and businesses, times are tough but the Board and staff are tougher

As many of you know, the Osoyoos Desert Centre is off-grid and powered by a photovoltaic system. To remain functional, several aging components must be replaced before winter to keep the system operational during low light levels. This essential piece of equipment allows our security system to function and helps protect our now completed brand new building.

To achieve this we must raise $20,000. A normal season of visitors would have helped with the costs but we cannot predict what the summer will bring and will gratefully accept donations dedicated to replacing the system. In the past your generosity has achieved much in helping us reach our conservation and educational goals and we very much appreciate your ongoing support. 
To make a donation, please click here

On behalf of the Board and Staff, I wish you a safe and fulfilling summer. May nature be part of your joyful times and may a visit to the Desert Centre be part of your plans .
Lee McFadyen
President, Osoyoos Desert Society

Opening Day 
Saturday June 6th 
10 am to 2 pm!!

With COVID-19 Phase 2 re-opening in the works for BC, the Osoyoos Desert Centre is pleased to announce its opening day Saturday June 6, 10 am to 2 pm. Join us for a stroll along our 1.5 km boardwalk and take in the extraordinary beauty of our rare antelope-brush habitat!

In order to protect the well-being of our visitors, volunteers and staff the Osoyoos Desert Centre will be adhering to WorkSafeBC safety protocols including:

At this time we are unable to accept cash and require visitors to pay by debit card or credit card. We encourage you to activate tap on your cards to minimize risk even further. Please exercise best-practices and keep our community safe. If you are visiting from outside Canada, please self-isolate for 14 days before visiting. If you are feeling ill, please stay home.

We look forward to seeing you!

Osoyoos Desert Centre Hours

Wednesday to Sunday,  10 am to 2 pm

Daily, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Keep an eye out for new faces around the Desert Centre this summer. The ODS Board of Directors is pleased to welcome Jayme Friedt, our new Managing Director along with Leor Oren, our new Desert Centre Manager. Jayme has worked extensively in non-profit management, most recently as Festival Coordinator of the Meadowlark Nature Festival, ecoStudies coordinator for Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance and communications coordinator for the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program. Leor comes to us from Vancouver where he recently graduated from UBC with a degree in Natural Resources and Conservation and worked on several projects with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development and British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

If you see them around be sure to say, "Hi!"
Looking for a great way to get outdoors this summer? We can help!! Volunteers are wanted to help out with habitat restoration, gardening and maintenance and/or at our front desk helping with admissions, welcoming visitors and providing information. All ages and all skill levels are welcome (children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult volunteer). We'll  be adhering to WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety protocols to help keep our volunteers, visitors and staff safe. For more information call Jayme at 250-495-2470 or email mail@desert.org.
For more information visit our website www.desert.org or follow us on social media. 

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