Every May long-weekend since 1998, Meadowlark Nature Festival has presented interactive, multi-disciplinary events that explore and celebrate the spectacular natural environment of the Okanagan Similkameen. Taking participants from Canada’s unique desert environment in the south, to the alpine meadows high above the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, the Festival connects people with nature, engaging and inspiring them to protect the unique habitats and species of this region and indeed our planet.
Meadowlark Festival is geared to appeal to a wide cross-section of people and interests, and so events include canoe trips, guided hikes, film screenings, Aboriginal culture, inspirational speakers, bird watching tours, back-country horseback riding, geological tours, astronomy events, art exhibitions, photography, writing and painting workshops, historic hikes and more. There is truly something for everyone! Each event is led by an expert in their field such as a biologist, botanist, historian, geologist, naturalist, aboriginal knowledge keeper, astronomer, herpetologist, artist, etc. and groups are kept small so participants get an informative and entertaining, up-close-and-personal, one-on-one experience.
Throughout its history, Meadowlark has exposed thousands of local and visiting participants to conservation and environmental initiatives, encouraging their involvement and bringing them together to steward our natural environment and find common ground on which to celebrate it. The Festival promotes the Okanagan Similkameen as a major tourism destination in general and also offers insight and information about more specific locations that are of interest to eco-tourists, artists, birders, outdoor sporting enthusiasts such as hikers, cyclists, canoeists and others. A recent Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM) report determined the Festival’s annual economic impact to be $625,000 for the whole of BC and over $550,000 directly to Penticton and area.
Meadowlark Nature Festival is the flagship event presented each year by the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA), a registered non-profit, charitable organization. In addition to the annual Meadowlark Festival, OSCA operates ongoing community programs including:
- ECOstudies Program
- Spotlight on Species Program
- ECOmanagement Program
- Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory
and OSCA online
For more information on OSCA visit our website at www.osca.org.