It’s time to #MeetWilden. Meet Wilden Resident & Owner of Outland Design Landscape Architecture Fiona Barton!
1. What is your name?
2. Which Wilden neighbourhood do you live in?
The very first one – Long Ridge. The late Randy Siemens of Rykon Construction built our home in 2004 – he was a lovely person.
3. What do you do for work and where can we find you online?
I’m a landscape architect and the owner of Outland Design Landscape Architecture, an Okanagan-based, 12 person, full service design firm – we’re currently working on Canyon Falls Middle School in the upper Mission. You can find out more about our team on our website and our Facebook page.
4. How do you relax after a hard day of work?
The Okanagan is enjoying a hot economy, in particular the real estate market and in my sector of design and construction, and so the concept of downtime is a little lost on me! We are working with some amazing clients on the realization of their dream homes and that itself is rewarding. However, I am learning to down tools and appreciate my family and three children who are ages 6, 4 and 2. We enjoy simple things like visiting Still Pond and looking for snails. Our children’s favourite game is to spot the Painted Turtles sunning themselves on logs floating in the water.
5. What is your secret superpower?
I make a killer banana bread.
6. What are some of your favourite things about living in Wilden?
What attracted Terry, my husband, and I to move to Wilden was the gentle footprint of the community. Rather than table-topping the development sites, care was taken to preserve tracts of land as no-build covenant areas, the result being that we have a pine and fir forest as our backyard and a visually unobtrusive setting for our neighbours across the valley from us. The community appealed to my ecological sensibilities in recognizing that we share this land with other animals. The hairs still stand up on the back of my neck when the coyotes howl during the night.
7. What is the most amazing adventure to go on in the Okanagan?
There are so many!
- Go and find the tomb at Paul’s Tomb in Knox Mountain Park
- Hike Scenic Canyon Regional Park and look for the rock overhang down by Mission Creek
- Take the 4 hour trek through Wildhorse Canyon in Okanagan Provincial Park and spot the diamond back rattlesnake sunning itself after lunch on the path between the wetland and the rock hibernacula
- Tickleberry’s in Okanagan Falls for ice cream is a must
- Go and find Kelowna’s second biggest lake, after Okanagan Lake (hint, it’s walking distance from Wilden)
- Wade out on foot to Grant Island Bird Sanctuary on Okanagan Lake in the early Spring when the lake level is lowered for Spring freshet – but be respectful of the birds!
8. If you were an animal living in Wilden, which one would you be?
A nighthawk – when we moved here we thought they were bats; their electric-sounding peent call is eerie at first, then neat when you realize it’s their hovering call before diving to catch mosquitoes in the night air. The porcupine that lives by the pond at the north end of Upper Canyon Drive is a close second.
9. If you could give $1M to charity, which one would you choose?
Definitely a charity which supports the next generation. Outland Design is partnered with Okanagan College on several applied research grants on the risk benefits of natural outdoor play and are proud supporters of the college’s Early Learning Institute of Children’s Outdoor Play Research Centre. We have worked with Okanagan College to develop outdoor lab daycares at their Penticton and Kelowna campuses, moving forward the idea that learning for children happens best when outside. We are also working with Kelowna Museums and the City of Kelowna on the Laurel Packing House Courtyard – a custom-designed outdoor space nestled in between the burgeoning tech towers of downtown that will allow children and their families to interactively learn about the agricultural roots of our community. There will be a functioning flume, bug hotel, an opportunity to ‘drive’ the original shunting truck that moved the box cars, apple boxes to find things in and a scaled, 3D model of the old rail yard – bring your Thomas the Tank Engine toy trains to play on it! Construction of the courtyard begins this year.
10. Tell us about one of your greatest adventures/memories in Wilden so far.
I was proud to assist the team at Wilden with streetscaping of the upper phase of Union Road, which ends at the intersection of Upper Canyon Drive – we had fun hand-selecting the Christmas tree that has centre stage on the roundabout. Next stage is to get some twinkle lights on it!
11. If you could choose anyone to be your neighbour, who would you choose?
I have great neighbours and wouldn’t change that. Glenn and Janice Fawdry of Fawdry Homes and Kara and Warren Rosart (karaandassociates.ca) should be given an award for tolerating the noise that our household generates!
12. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I always make time for sleep! It seems to be in short supply.