What We Do
Education is central to the mission of the Osoyoos Desert Centre.
We believe exploring the unique and beautiful landscapes of our natural world encourages us to observe more deeply, fostering a curiosity and passion not only for this extraordinary part of Canada, but indeed for the rest of the world.
Osoyoos Desert Centre Tours
We offer guided and self-guided tours to give visitors the opportunity to experience Canada’s unique desert habitat. Private tours for groups and schools are also available upon request and special Feature Tours are held on select dates during the summer.
Boardwalk Trail Interpretive Signage
Along the boardwalk trail at the Osoyoos Desert Centre, interpretive signs have been installed to provide insights into the area’s habitat and wildlife.
Each year we provide educational tours to hundreds of students. Elementary through post-secondary classes are able to explore and learn about the local environment during specially-themed guided tours. Programs also include a chance to visit the hands-on displays in the interpretive building.
Learning about our natural history gives us a sense of belonging and incites a greater understanding of our place in the world. This understanding is essential to engaged citizenship and pride in our identity and the world around us. It is inclusive, transcending differences in gender, ethnicity, language, age, ability, geography and economic status and is applicable in varying disciplines including politics, economics, science, art, and business. We believe this understanding is fundamental to the ongoing strength of our communities.
In 2019 the Osoyoos Desert Centre was able to open a brand new space for its indoor interpretive exhibits. The interactive exhibits and displays augment the Centre’s other educational opportunities, including a 1.5 km boardwalk trail and native plant garden. In keeping with the Centre’s mission, the building was constructed and installed to minimize habitat disturbance and complement the beauty of the natural surroundings. The new interpretive building serves as a welcoming gateway to the Centre's site and most importantly, enables us to continue educating the public and conserving one of Canada’s most endangered ecosystems.
Native Plant Demonstration Garden
The term native plant is typically used to describe plants that grew in a particular area prior to the arrival of settlers. The South Okanagan is home to an incredible diversity of native grasses, flowers and shrubs and offers gardeners a variety of beautiful plants to use in their landscaping. Besides providing food and shelter for local wildlife, native plants save time and money by reducing water use and the need for fertilizers and pesticides.
A native plant demonstration garden has been created at the Centre to showcase native species and promote native landscaping. Within the garden, a variety of mini-gardens have been designed to highlight different landscaping styles and options. The demonstration garden features a native plant meadow, rock garden, butterfly garden, native hedge, hummingbird garden, silver sage garden and container garden.
For more information about native landscaping, download our Native Landscaping Booklet here.
Workshops and Lectures
Throughout the year, the Osoyoos Desert Centre offers a variety of educational programs, including lecture series and hands-on workshops. Through its programs the Centre strives to increase public awareness and knowledge about our beautiful natural spaces and provide opportunities for people to get involved and have a positive impact on their environment.