Canada’s Parks Day is a great time to celebrate the pride and passion British Columbians have for the province’s parks system and the role parks play in people’s health, the environment and economy.
“It’s important to take time to appreciate all the wonderful benefits that parks offer us. Being closer to nature improves our health and well-being,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Parks and other protected areas provide critical habitat for a variety of species and help maintain ecological health. We will continue to increase opportunities for people to connect with nature in our beautiful BC Parks, so they can continue to bring families, friends and communities together.”
As B.C. residents spend Parks Day enjoying nature with their family or close friends, they may notice improvements to some provincial parks and campgrounds. As part of the ongoing campsite expansion program, BC Parks has started construction of a new campground in Manning Park that will provide more than 90 recreational-vehicle sites, targeted for completion in the fall. The project is the first of its kind for BC Parks since it will be fully serviced, offering water, sewer, electrical sites and a heated shower building.
The Province has also added 180 new campsites to two BC Parks and six recreation sites for the 2020 season. These include 39 backcountry sites at Circlet Lake, for a total of 60 tent pads, and seven new sites at Mount Fernie Provincial Park. Located in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, the Circlet Lake backcountry campground also has several new amenities for campers that will also reduce the environmental impact on the lake and surrounding area.
Parks Day also marks the launch of the Discover Parks Ambassador Pilot Program – a new partnership between the BC Parks Foundation and BC Parks. The nine ambassadors are post-secondary students and volunteers from the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Canadian Conservation Corps, who will be out in parks engaging visitors with activities, education, citizen science and more. Visitors will find the ambassadors circulating between parks in the Kamloops, Rock Creek, Parksville and Fort St. John areas.
Parks Day was first held in 1990 to celebrate parks in Canada and inspire people to enjoy and support these spaces. It is held on the third Saturday of July and provides Canadians with an opportunity to participate in fun, educational and family-oriented events at parks and historic sites across the country. Due to COVID-19, BC Parks is not having any events this year, but people are still encouraged to spend the day in a park and enjoy nature.
- BC Parks is one of the world’s biggest and most diverse park systems, with 1,035 provincial parks, recreation areas, protected areas, conservancies and ecological reserves covering more than 14% of the province’s land base.
- During the last three years, 1,205 new campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites throughout the province.
- Recreation sites are areas of Crown land located outside of provincial parks and are managed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
- Of the 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, approximately 55% are reservable and 45% remain on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information about BC Parks, visit: http://bcparks.ca/?v=202007151526
For more information about the BC Parks Foundation and the Discover Parks Ambassador Program, visit: https://bcparksfoundation.ca/