Benvoulin Woods

Long before establishment of the popular Mission Creek Greenway, that meandering creek was straightened and diked to prevent its seasonal inundation of adjacent properties. Much of the greenway uses those dikes.

In the 1990s the Friends of Mission Creek recognized the importance of preserving portions of the creek’s original course and asked the City of Kelowna to purchase the Benvoulin Woods from Esther Demofsky. Subsequently, about 20 per cent of the property was subdivided off for use as part of the greenway. Her conditions for sale of her property were that the Benvoulin Woods would remain undisturbed in perpetuity and that the City not own that property.

So, the City purchased the whole property in 1998 but transferred the Benvoulin Woods section to COLT, which had been named as a partner in the greenway project for just such a purpose.
She also donated $25,000 of the purchase price back to the city, and COLT leased the property to the Regional District to manage as a sanctuary for eagles, herons and other wildlife.

A baseline inventory of the property was prepared in August 2004 by Biologist, Nicole Thomas. It forms the basis for annual inspections by COLT to ensure it is preserved as undisturbed habitat.