What are the BX Ranchlands?
The BX Ranchlands is a 167-acre property located on Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) land near Vernon, BC.
Historically, the area was an important site for Indigenous hunting and gathering, however, these activities were greatly disrupted by the implementation of Settler agricultural practices in the 1870’s. Settlers used the land to provide pasture for the horses of the BX Express stagecoach, which moved people, goods, and communications throughout the province. In recent years, it has been primarily used for growing forage and hay crops, and over-wintering horses and cattle.
Approximately 33 acres have been used to form a perimeter trail network. It is also an ecologically diverse site, containing habitat areas that support a mix of vegetation and wildlife.
In 2021, The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems (ISFS) and the Land to Table Network of the North Okanagan (L2T) were contracted by the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) to prepare a 5 year development plan for the BX Ranchlands parcel at 4122 East Vernon Rd. Located on the ancestral, and unceded lands of the Syilx/Okanagan people, and part of Electoral Areas B and C, the site is a valued community resource for agriculture, recreation, and conservation. In order to explore these interests further, ISFS and L2T worked with the RDNO and local stakeholders to draft a plan for the site that will maintain community access while supporting ecological well-being and encouraging agricultural opportunities for local farmers and growers.
The plan was developed in partnership with an initial working group, made up of key community stakeholders who provided feedback at every stage of the planning process. The draft plan was then shared publicly during a consultation period in May 2022, culminating in an open house event, to gather further feedback.
Now that the proposed plan is complete the RDNO is responsible for implementation, however going forward the site is expected to be managed in collaboration with a local non-profit organization. The intention is to have users, such as farmers, community organizations, Indigenous groups, and school groups accessing the BX Ranchlands for farming, research, and educational opportunities by Spring 2025. In order to make this happen, the RDNO is working with Land to Table in 2023 to develop a working group with the purpose to understand what the specific site user needs may be, such as irrigation, fencing, utilities, amenities, vehicle access, and safety considerations.
BX Farm Tour – Info Booth
Stop by to learn more about the plan, view the site map and speak to BX/Swan Lake Resident Association members, and RDNO and Land to Table staff.
Address: 4122 East Vernon Road
Hours: Information booth each day 10am-4pm
Categories: Info booth; informative handouts; walking trail
Parking/Accessibility: Parking lot at address.
Washroom Available: No