Red tailed hawk (credit: Jeremy Hiebert)
The Okanagan Similkameen Parks Society (OSPS), formed in 1966, has the following mission:
- to acquire and preserve parklands and trails for the health, recreation, education and natural enjoyment of the public
- to seek preservation of habitat for wildlife
- to protect natural biotic areas for scientific study
- to evoke public awareness of the quality of life, and appreciation of the beauty and wonders of the natural environment through acquiring lands suitable for parks or for scientific, wildlife or natural reserves, and to hold them until they can be permanently entrusted to a suitable agency
The present is a crucial time for our mission. In the face of a quickly increasing human population and a declining wildlife population, conservation of lands, for this and future generations, is vital for both. Without conservation, wilderness may be lost to us and become but a memory of the region that was.
The OSPS values our mountains, lakes, rivers and valleys and believes that they are worth protecting and enjoying. We believe in the paramount importance of involving the PRIVATE citizen in the preservation of our precious lands.
Although named a Parks Society, and successful in getting several provincial parks established – Cathedral Park; Conkle Lake Park; and Okanagan Mountain Park; its mandates are far wider than parks. This was demonstrated by the purchase of 800 acres of winter rangeland for the endangered California Bighorn Sheep at Vaseux in 1966, and the recommendations to the Ecological Reserves Committee that a reserve be placed on arid and marsh lands at the head of Osoyoos Lake. Our society recognizes that recreation and conservation are so wide in scope as to encompass and embrace many forms.
It supports and works with other naturalists, private citizens and conservationists, and all levels of government in their endeavors to this end.
Experienced in conservation presentation to the government, the Parks Society has a board of directors; it welcomes active membership, and appeals for financial support.
The OSPS is registered as a charitable organization in Canada, and issues receipts for income tax purposes.