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Doctor’s passion, property results in new Okanagan nature reserve

Property of Dr. Laurance Jordan on east side of Vernon’s Swan Lake purchased by RDNO
Greater Vernon Advisory Committee chairperson Bob Fleming (far right) leads a cheer with members of GVAC, the Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club and members of Dr. Laurance Jordan’s family in celebrating the newly created Jordan Nature Reserve on Vernon’s Swan Lake. (Regional District North Okanagan photo)

A new nature reserve on the east side of Vernon’s Swan Lake will be named for the doctor who owned the property.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has acquired lakefront property to not only solidify the area as a nature reserve, but keep it accessible to the Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club.

The Jordan Nature Reserve is a 1.8-hectare property, located at 7710 Lochdale Road, originally purchased in 1968 by Dr. Laurance Theodore Jordan, who had a prominent practice in Vernon for more than 50 years. After his passing, Dr. Jordan’s sons were tasked with deciding what to do with the property and wanted to honour his passion for nature and bird-watching.

The VRDBC have made this their home for decades, and the family did not want to displace them, so they approached the RDNO to see if there was interest in acquiring the land as a nature reserve and for public use.

Swan Lake is identified as an area of high conservation value which does not have significant existing protection within the Greater Vernon Trails and Natural Spaces Master Plan, making this a fitting addition to the RDNO’s land inventory. The wetlands that border the lake are home to ducks, waterfowl, marsh birds, mammals and amphibians, and birds migrate to the lake in the spring and fall, including American White Pelicans and Trumpeter Swans.

The RDNO also owns the Swan Lake Nature Reserve (together with Ducks Unlimited) at the south end of the lake, as well as the property south of the new Jordan Nature Reserve.

The VRDBC will retain access to the property while ensuring that the lakefront property will be protected.

“We are thrilled to have acquired the Jordan Nature Reserve to ensure its protection for generations to come,” said Bob Fleming, chair of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, RDNO. “This acquisition highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship and showcases the spirit of collaboration between the RDNO, the Jordan family, and the Vernon Rowing and Dragon Boat Club in achieving a common goal.”

On May 31, members of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, the VRDBC, and the Jordan family gathered to mark the occasion with a group photo and shared stories over lemonade, which was a favourite of Dr. Jordan.

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