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Friends of Black Mountain (FoBM) was formed in 2015 by Ian Pooley, a visionary with equal passion for local history and the great outdoors. In its many years of operation as one of the regional district's dozen "Friends of" groups, FoBM can boast many important achievements in the the protection and promotion of the Black Mountain - sntsk'il'ntən Regional Park.

Black Mountain - sntsk'il'ntən is the largest regional park in the area, and is the first to be co-managed by the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) and the Westbank First Nations. Today, the FoBM members continue to advocate for and engage with the RDCO and our community to ensure the preservation of native grasslands and protection of diverse wildlife.

"I founded Friends of Black Mountain in 2015 because there was a need for a volunteer group to get involved in advocating and assisting with the new Black Mountain - Sntsk’il’nten Regional Park. To me, Black Mountain is one of the Central Okanagan’s iconic landmarks; as well, it represents a last chance to conserve a significant block of Okanagan grassland, part of our Okanagan heritage that is under attack from the pressures of urban expansion."

 - Ian Pooley, FoBM Founder



The Friends of Black Mountain have undertaken several initiatives to increase understanding of the park's delicate ecosystems, and address concerns related to the protection of these important ecological areas.


Our goal is to bring awareness and action to presearve the endangered and native grasslands of the park while supporting local wildlie. One of these is our excellent bluebird monitoring program.


Other vitally important work involves monitoring the water levels, plant species and animal residents of the ephemeral ponds - special little bodies of water nestled in the grassland that dry up every summer but fill up again in spring. In response to our dedication to safeguarding the health of these ponds, the RDCO agreed to enclose them with protective fencing. 


Over the years, we've also headed up numerous hikes for interested members of the public. These interpretive hikes started at different access points and led people to wonderful vistas. In 2023, we began again after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hike as a group on the third Sunday of every month, and would love to see you there!

Looking back over the past five years, we can see other encouraging signs of progress. Vandalism of fences and gates has declined and we see fewer off-road vehicles in the park. We're also pleased that fewer cattle have found their way into the park from neighbouring ranches. Horseback riding is now restricted to designated trails. We will continue to urge hikers, dog walkers and their pets to remain on the trails and to remove all waste.

For more about the park, check out the news section of our website.

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