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Osoyoos Desert Society


Business No: 894375385RR0001

Osoyoos Desert Society


On the southern edge of British Columbia’s beautiful Okanagan Valley is an extraordinary habitat popularly referred to as Canada’s pocket desert. This semi-arid, antelope-brush shrub-steppe is one of our most rare and endangered ecosystems. It is also home to one of the highest concentrations of at-risk species in Canada. Today 70% of this essential ecosystem has disappeared.

In the early 1990s a group of concerned citizens eager to protect this invaluable natural treasure formed the Osoyoos Desert Society. In 1999 the Society opened the Osoyoos Desert Centre, a nature interpretive facility that stewards 67 acres of antelope-brush habitat. Through its conservation, education and research efforts, the Osoyoos Desert Centre works to generate curiosity, understanding and active concern for this disappearing ecosystem.

Today the Osoyoos Desert Centre is a major tourist attraction in the South Okanagan and Similkameen welcoming over 10,000 visitors each year. Visitors explore and learn about Canada’s pocket desert through guided or self-guided tours along a 1.5 km elevated boardwalk trail that meanders through the landscape. They also take part in hands-on interactive displays in our interpretive discovery building or wander through our native plant demonstration garden and learn about the specialized plants that thrive in our desert environment. Through various nature talks and workshops ODC shares information about sustainability, biodiversity loss, climate change and invasive species management, and also delivers immersive, place-based educational fieldtrips to hundreds of students each year.


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