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Image is of Assistant Community Leader Candice and Community Leader Kerry.
Article from Castanet

Highstreet Ventures project helps Okanagan Stewardship Society

The new residents of Penticton’s Skaha Shores are helping the environment simply by living there.

And now, because the company that built the residential complex goes above and beyond to help the environment, those residents are giving another helping hand to nature.

Highstreet Ventures, which is a Kelowna-based real estate development company that primarily develops, builds, sells and operates net-zero energy ready apartments and condos, has donated $5,000 to Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society on behalf of all Skaha Shores residents.

“One of our objectives at Highstreet is to reduce carbon emissions and create a better living environment for everyone,” Highstreet vice-president of operations Pino Mancuso says. “Skaha Shores is our first high-performance net-zero energy ready building we will operate, and the first community member happened to move in just before Earth Day. So we wanted to contribute to a local initiative that aligned with environmental preservation.”

Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society, or OSS, is a grassroots, environmental, non-profit organization that aims to support voluntary conservation, protection and improvement of fish and wildlife habitat by educating local landowners and communities and undertaking habitat enhancement initiatives.

The donation from Highstreet Ventures on behalf of Skaha Shores residents will go a long way to making sure the OSS voice is heard in the community.

“The donation will help enable us to engage Penticton residents who may not be familiar with the local wildlife and how to co-exist with that wildlife to protect it for future generations,” OSS co-founder and executive director Alyson Skinner says.

“As Penticton grows in popularity, we hope to also educate newcomers to the area and provide opportunities for them to participate in on-the-ground stewardship, such as planting Indigenous trees and shrubs to support wildlife in the region.”

Skaha Shores residents are expected to all be moved in by early July, and they will be living in a building that is by far the most environmentally advanced residence in Penticton. It is Built Green Platinum, which is the highest rating from Built Green Canada.

The buildings, which are located on South Main Street, are equipped with a high-efficiency HVAC system, electric vehicle charging stations and solar arrays to power common areas.

It was built to level four of the BC Energy Step Code, which is currently the highest level of energy-efficiency performance.

“The community members, the people who have chosen to live at Skaha Shores, they are backing not just an environmentally advanced project, but also an organization that’s endeavouring to reduce their carbon footprint on every project beyond that,” Highstreet Ventures marketing manager Anna Schneider says. “We’re challenging the real estate, development, and construction industries to do better.

“We wouldn’t be here without people who choose to live with us. We really appreciate that they believe in what we do.”

More information about Highstreet Living can be found here, while the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society home page can be found here.