Stewards of our local environment

Friends Of The South Slopes Society

A team of passionate volunteers

The Friends Of The South Slopes Society is a group of people who care deeply about the natural environment around Kelowna's South Slopes.

In November 1997, a few people interested in the orderly management of the Crown Lands of the “South Slopes” met to develop a plan for recreational use and environmental preservation of the South Slopes. The South Slopes encompass the area between Myra Canyon and the eastern edge of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. It was decided to resurrect the “Friends of the South Slopes Society” and continue the new mandate under that name. FOSS is still focused on recreation and environmental preservation.

In 2004, FOSS signed their first Volunteer Group Agreement with BC Parks. That volunteer agreement has morphed into a Park Use Permit and then a Partnership agreement. This strong partnership with BC Parks has allowed FOSS to become an effective, forward-thinking volunteer organization that works towards making the South Slopes a premier recreation destination.  

In 2022, the Myra Canyon Trestle Restoration Society’s responsibilities were turned over to FOSS. The Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) trail is now part of FOSS’s mandate on the South Slopes. The historic trestles draw visitors from around the globe and contributes to FOSS’ work to provide a diverse recreation experience and connectivity across the South Slopes.

FOSS continues to maintain trails across the South Slopes including Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park and Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park. FOSS also continues to collaborate with other stakeholders and government ministries to secure access and land acquisitions to contribute to the overall trail connectivity of the South Slopes.

The Board

I use our two Provincial Parks regularly and feel extremely fortunate to have such beautiful spaces within our community. The people and history behind the creation of these extraordinary spaces remind us that proper stewardship will continue to ensure the longevity, use, and protection of the parks for many generations to come. I am honoured to be a part of a great team of volunteers who are the current keepers of this mandate.
Cam KouranyPresident
As a long-time user of both Myra-Bellevue and Okanagan Mountain Provincial Parks I’ve regularly enjoyed the many benefits of our beautiful natural resources. Volunteering with FOSS provides a great opportunity to ‘give back’, contributing to the care and stewardship of these great local parks, and advocating for all users – hikers, runners, bikers, equestrians, naturalists, and more.
Rick ElleryChair, Strategic Relations Committee
For the last 18 years, I've enjoyed working with a benevolent organization and spending time in the great outdoors. Working with FOSS volunteers is very rewarding with exceptional comradery, outdoor experiences and an opportunity learn something new every trip.
Brad WrightDirector, Past President
I’m a frequent trail user and I wanted to find a way to give back to the team that is always out there maintaining our trails. Besides the obvious work that we can see - cutting fallen trees, installing new bridges, and adding new drainage, FOSS also does a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure we all have access to nature and wilderness for years to come. Without FOSS continued efforts our parks would have been turned into gravel pits or residential neighbourhoods. I value both the short-term “fix the trails” and long-term stewardship approach that FOSS has.
Sandy HiltonTreasurer
I volunteer to give back to my community, so that people can enjoy parks and backcountry experiences. I enjoy working with the committed, passionate people that make up our board and trail crews. I enjoy the friendship and fun on our trail maintenance days.
Milt StevensonChair of FOSS Trail Maintenance
Trails don’t maintain themselves. Since I enjoy being outdoors, it seemed natural to join the FOSS trail crew to both maintain and rehabilitate trails in Myra Bellevue and Okanagan Mountain Parks so that others could enjoy the trails too. We are fortunate to have an absolutely outstanding group of men and women volunteers who make participating in FOSS activities a joy. Who wouldn’t want to be around that kind of positive energy?
Alan MilnesAdopt-a-Trail board liaison, trail crew member
My husband and I have been members and supporters of FOSS for many years. This organization has been doing great work over the years in building and connecting trails and advocating for enhanced park space. My many years of board experience and desire to learn more about all the trails encourages me to volunteer on the board of FOSS and help in the expansion of the trail network, promote funding and grow the communication about this organization.
Sharon Shepherddirector

I ride my bike year-round in all the Parks that FOSS helps to manage. The trails maintained and protected by FOSS provide me with an amazing outdoor experience. They offer a sense of freedom, challenge and a connection to nature that is unparalleled, especially when you consider their close proximity to Kelowna. By joining the FOSS Board, I hope to be a part of maintaining and preserving these trails. I am excited to work collaboratively with other passionate park users to promote responsible trail use and management, and to ensure these trails remain a cherished resource for all outdoor enthusiasts.

Paula Levensdirector
For over 30 years I've been hiking and running the trails FOSS cares for. It feels great to give back to an area that has given me so much over the years. I'm inspired by the challenges FOSS takes on and the spirit of the volunteers who contribute so much time and effort to make the trails great for everyone.
I have spent a great many hours in the parks that ring the South of Kelowna. We have unfettered access to world-class hiking and biking trails borne from the volunteering efforts of some real upstanding people. I hope to help maintain these parks into the future and preserve the history and spirit of the community that has been in these hills for so many years.
Logan Paydirector
With my wife Lynn, I moved to Kelowna full time 3 years ago from Kingston Ontario to be closer to family and a ski lift. I was a road rider in Ontario, but little did I know that I would morph into a mountain biker who would spend many hours every week in Myra Bellevue Park. One day last year I asked “who maintains these trails for the lucky users ?"  A few months later I asked “Can I help ?” I recently joined the board – a group of volunteers committed to maintaining trails and access as well as advocating on behalf all users of Myra Bellevue Park, Okanagan Mtn Park and the KVR.
Steve Halldirector