Thomson Marsh

In 1990, Gifford and Brenda Thomson and Ken and Dorothy Thomson decided they wanted to preserve a sanctuary of land surrounding Thomson Brook where it flowed through a portion of their Gordon Road farm which they were selling to the City of Kelowna for a community recreation facility. They wished to ensure that wetland habitat was preserved undisturbed, for birds and wildlife, in perpetuity.

They had a long-time involvement in the Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club and Brenda was the first President of the Friends of Mission Creek who initiated the Mission Creek Greenway project. She was also a COLT director for a short time.

In 1993, the family made a donation of 4.5 acres to the Trust when the land was sold to the city, but the specific site wasn’t determined until work on the land was complete. In the interim, a receipt was issued by the City, with the idea that the sanctuary would be transferred to COLT when the boundaries were identified. In the end, in lieu of ownership, COLT holds a ‘no disturb’ preservation covenant on the property that was agreed on with the city in 2005.

Today, the watercourse through the property takes up more than the original acreage and the whole length of Thomson Brook is a sanctuary, in addition to the wetland. Adjacent to Thomson Marshes, the City has created an arboretum with a walkway between the access road for the Capital News Centre recreation complex and the waterway and wetland. COLT conducts annual inspections of the sanctuary to ensure the conditions from the original baseline inventory prepared by Biologist Nicole Thomas in September, 2004 are maintained.