The Desert Centre in Osoyoos opened on Saturday for the season. (Contributed)

Osoyoos Desert Centre opens for the season

‘Getting out in nature is one of the most important remedies [during] COVID restrictions.’

The Osoyoos Desert Centre is officially open for the season. The centre celebrated its opening day Saturday, May 8.

One of the centre’s most special feature is a 1.5 km boardwalk that meanders through the rare antelope-brush habitat offering an elevated view of the plant and animal life that exists there including Spadefoots, Behr’s Hairstreak butterflies, Nuttall’s Cottontail, Western Bluebirds and of course, antelope-brush, several species of sage and the prickly pear cactus to name a few.

“We’re very excited about opening the Osoyoos Desert Centre for the 2021 season. The past year has been challenging for many people and organizations,” says Osoyoos Desert Centre’s managing director Jayme Friedt.

“Getting out in nature is one of the most important remedies for people coping with our COVID restrictions. It’s re-energizing on all fronts – physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Visitors can take a stroll through the Desert Centre’s native plant demonstration garden. Inside the centre’s interpretive building there are educational displays highlighting the many plants and animal life that make antelope-brush habitat so special. There is also an outdoor picnic area at the centre.

“For now, in compliance with our BC COVID restrictions, we are asking that only visitors from our Interior Health region come out for a visit. Hopefully in the near future we can host people from all over B.C. and further afield. We are very excited about the prospect of being part of people’s staycation plans this year.”

Osoyoos Desert Centre spring hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $20 for families, $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for youth (ages 6-17) and children 5 and under are free. At this time, the Desert Centre will not be accepting cash and require visitors to pay by debit card or credit card.

The Osoyoos Desert Centre is located at 14580 – 146 Avenue, 3 km north of Osoyoos off Highway 97. For more information call 250-495-2470, visit www.desert.org.

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