With a holiday season bow, BC Parks wrapped up its 100th anniversary celebration in Golden Ears Provincial Park today with a symbolic tree-lighting that showcased the park's nearly $1-million electrical upgrade, announced Environment Minister Terry Lake.
Funded through BC Parks' 2011-12 capital budget, electricity was upgraded in the day-use area at Golden Ears and introduced to the campground, which offers 409 vehicle-accessible sites. A new, buried hydroelectric cable replaces five noisy diesel generators with a clean-energy solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It also eliminates the use of 30,000 litres of diesel fuel per year and about $40,000 in fuel and maintenance costs each year.
BC Parks celebrated its last centennial event in the day-use area and kept people warm around a campfire while drinking hot chocolate. About 50 students from the Environmental School in Maple Ridge provided musical entertainment with Jerry the Moose conducting. BC Parks 100 partner, Mountain Equipment Co-op, donated a winter camping scene. BC Parks' new, easily accessible picnic tables and personalized park benches were also featured.
During its centennial year, BC Parks held more than 250 events in parks throughout the province with the help of hundreds of volunteers. BC Parks engaged communities, businesses, community organizations and the public to bring people out to provincial parks. About 20 million people visit B.C.'s provincial parks annually.
Golden Ears is the province's most popular park for camping including winter camping, and one of the busiest provincial parks overall.
Quick Facts - BC Parks:
- Strathcona, on Vancouver Island, was designated B.C.'s first provincial park on March 1, 1911.
- Today, the province has nearly 1,000 parks and protected areas, including 65 new parks created since 2001.
- With 13.6 per cent of the province set aside as parks and protected areas, B.C. has the second-largest park system in Canada, second only to the national park system.
- Jerry the Moose is the official mascot of BC Parks.
Quick Facts - BC Parks 100:
- Parking fees were eliminated from B.C. provincial parks on May 3, 2011, making parks more accessible and inviting to families.
- The Province provided $450,000 to community groups through the Community Legacy Fund to support improvements to 27 parks throughout the province.
- BC Parks recently invested $100,000 in 100 new easily accessible picnic tables to be installed in B.C.'s busiest provincial parks (Rathtrevor and Golden Ears) throughout 2012.
- The 100 Park Benches for 100 Years of BC Parks program allows people to sponsor their own park bench and personalize it, at the same time providing 100 new locations for park visitors to sit down and enjoy the spectacular scenery - benches available through December 2011.
- Park rangers are featured in four Great Ranger videos sharing their experience of working as stewards of B.C.'s wonderful provincial parks.
- BC Parks provided a grant of $5,000 to support Learn to Fish sessions at parks in the Okanagan, Kamloops and Vancouver Island regions.
- In partnership with the British Columbia Geocaching Association, BC Parks supported placement of 100 geocaches in parks, recreational sites and private campgrounds throughout the province.
- A BC Parks 100 Passport program offered prizes to kids and families for visiting provincial parks last summer.
Find out More:
Great Ranger videos: http://bit.ly/ooyxPj
Learn to Fish: www.gofishbc.com/learntofish/default.htm
British Columbia Geocaching Association: http://www.bcgeocaching.com/
Connect with BC Parks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourBCParks
Ministry of Environment