A biologist who has spent more than 35 years beautifying the Cowichan Valley, a driving force behind the protection of an iconic piece of the North Shore Mountains, an enthusiastic park operator known for her wildflower posters, and a man remembered for saving the lives of countless park visitors – these are the recipients of the 2015 BC Parks Volunteer Awards.
The winners are:
- Volunteer of the Year – Genevieve Singleton
- Volunteer Group of the Year – Friends of Cypress Provincial Park
- Volunteer Legacy Award – Tim Jones (posthumous award)
- Community Partner of the Year – Camping and RVing B.C. Coalition
- Park Facility Operator of the Year – Marnee Allison
Volunteer of the Year
Volunteer of the Year recipient Genevieve Singleton is a biologist, and has been volunteering with parks in the Cowichan-area for more than 35 years – contributing more than 300 hours per year. Her hard work over the years includes acting as a nature interpreter at Goldstream Provincial Park, leading the “Bring Back the Bluebird” effort in the Cowichan Valley, which included installing nest boxes and recording sightings, and efforts to remove invasive species in Cowichan River Provincial Park.
Singleton has also been an ecological reserve warden at Honeymoon Bay and led educational outings for local schoolchildren.
During her time volunteering, Singleton also works closely with her husband, who is a highly-respected restoration biologist.
Volunteer Group of the Year
Volunteer group of the year recipient Friends of Cypress Provincial Park (FCPP) have long been a driving force behind the protection and stewardship of Cypress Provincial Park, an iconic piece of Vancouver’s North Shore mountains.
Conservation has always been a focus for the FCPP, and its members are strong advocates for conservation values in the park.
In recent years, members of FCPP have spent hundreds of hours on conservation-related work, including native and invasive plant inventory, invasive plant removal, raising awareness of park values and invasive plants, and advocating for strong environmental management in the park.
The FCPP have also provided opportunities and resources for the public to learn about and the park’s ecological values, including leading interpretive hikes, creating a brochure highlighting plants of note in the park, and providing public presentations on the park and its values.
Volunteer Legacy Award (posthumous award)
The late Tim Jones, Volunteer Legacy Award recipient, is reported to have saved more than 1,600 lives, including those of many park visitors.
Over the course of his volunteer service, Jones led the North Shore Search and Rescue team on countless searches in Cypress and Mount Seymour provincial parks.
Jones was an outspoken advocate on the importance of backcountry preparedness and safety, and was regularly in the media promoting such safety tips.
Many of the rescues Jones participated in through his years with North Shore Search and Rescue took place in provincial parks located along the North Shore.
In January 2014, Jones died from cardiac arrest while hiking in Mount Seymour Provincial Park.
Community Partner of the Year
Community Partner of the Year, the Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition (CRVBCC), is a non-profit group raising awareness about the wide range of camping and RV experiences across British Columbia.
The coalition helps enhance visitor experiences by allowing visitors to easily search, plan and book their camping or RV trip in B.C.
Through social media, newsletters and mail campaigns, the support of the Coalition has been essential in helping promote BC Parks events, Discover Camping and other BC Parks projects to the public.
Collaboration between coalition partners, which include Recreation Sites and Trails BC, the BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association, and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, has directly helped visitors attend and explore B.C.’s provincial parks.
Park Operator of the Year
Park Operator of the Year recipient Marnee Allison has spent more than a decade spreading her enthusiasm and love of the outdoors to the public.
Allison has worked in several provincial parks in the northern region of the province, including her current efforts at Boya Lake Provincial Park.
Allison is always full of energy, willing to share ideas, and take on new challenges. She ensures the park she oversees is maintained to the highest standards, and provides additional services to her visitors.
She also involves communities and community members in the management of the park and park activities, and makes considerable effort and has established excellent respectful relationships with the Kaska Dene First Nation and the Tahltan First Nation.
From creating and developing wildflower posters to helping visitors identify plants found around Boya Lake, to hosting and developing a variety of interpretative programs for visitors to enjoy, Allison is passionate about parks regularly goes above and beyond.
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment –
“Congratulations to the 2015 BC Parks Volunteer Award winners, and thank you for all that you do. Your contributions are certainly worthy of recognition. We are fortunate to have thousands of volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time, energy and expertise to help enhance our beautiful provincial parks. From trail building and ecological monitoring to restoration projects, BC Parks volunteers are invaluable. Thank you to all of our volunteers for their passion in protecting and preserving our provincial parks for future generations to enjoy.”
- From school groups to retirees, hundreds of British Columbians volunteer in BC Parks each year.
- Volunteers work to enhance park visitor services by building trails, becoming campground hosts, improving and restoring facilities, running educational programs, taking inventories of parks flora and fauna and helping with park management and planning.
- In 2014-15, more than 1,417 volunteers (groups and individuals) contributed 18,447 volunteer hours with BC Parks.
- Volunteer groups range from small community trail clubs to larger provincial societies, all with an interest in protecting and improving our park system.
- B.C. provincial parks receive more than 21 million visits each year.
Learn more about the recipients of the 2015 BC Parks volunteer awards at:
For more information about BC Parks, please visit: www.bcparks.ca
Connect with BC Parks on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YourBCParks