Mayors and city council members past and present gathered at Mission Creek Regional Park on Friday, June 9 to honour a former chair of the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO).
Robert Hobson was the Regional Board Chair of the RDCO for 20 years, from 1994-2004 and was instrumental in the creation of many parks around Kelowna and the Okanagan. A few of the regional parks that were added during his time as chair are: Mission Creek Greenway, Rose Valley Regional Park, Black Mountain/snsk’il’nten Regional Park, and many more.
On Friday, to honour Hobson, the RDCO renamed the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan to the Robert Hobson Environmental Centre for the Okanagan.
“I am deeply touched and humbled by this generous gesture and accept this on behalf of the many volunteers, educators, elected officials and parks staff who have made our wonderful parks system possible,” said Hobson. “Our parks today are taking on new roles in promoting inclusion, diversity, reconciliation, tourism and response to climate change. This centre will play a pivotal educational role in moving these issues forward, just as it has promoted ecological knowledge in the past.”
Many current and former political figures were in attendance including Kelowna Mayor Tom Dyas, West Kelowna Mayor Tom Milsom, former Kelowna Mayor Sharon Shepherd, current RDCO Chair and Kelowna council member Loyal Woodridge, Kelowna council members Mohini Singh, Charlie Hodge, Ron Cannan, Luke Stack, and former councillor Gail Givens.
Hobson is also a former Kelowna council member.
“Robert, you’ve had an amazing journey and so much success,” said Shepherd. “You were so instrumental and a leader in so many of the right decisions.”
The Robert Hobson Environmental Education Centre is located at Mission Creek Regional Park (2363A Springfield Avenue).