People are getting back to work by improving access to nature and building infrastructure in B.C.’s provincial parks as part of StrongerBC: BC's Economic Recovery Plan.
The Province is investing $5 million for infrastructure projects in 24 provincial parks, including Tweedsmuir South, Lac Le Jeune and Shuswap Lake.
“We have heard the call for greater access to the outdoors to promote health and well-being during COVID-19. These meaningful projects create jobs to address those needs as part of our support for B.C. communities,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Investing in provincial parks also protects sensitive ecosystems, supports our climate change goals and makes parks more accessible for everyone to enjoy.”
Located between Anahim Lake and Bella Coola, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park South is one of the largest parks in B.C. and a magnet for outdoor recreation enthusiasts throughout the year. It also provides critical habitat for bears that visitors can watch feasting on salmon during the fall along the Atnarko River from the safety of a wildlife viewing platform.
To improve water quality for drinking and cooking, upgrades are being made to the park’s water system. Improvements to water systems are also being made at Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park south of Kamloops and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park near Sorrento. Both are popular destinations for camping, boating, hiking and biking during the summer months.
“An investment in our parks is an investment in the people of British Columbia,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment. “Getting outside is more important than ever, and our government is committed to expanding parks so that all British Columbians can enjoy the beautiful natural landscape of our province.”
Other infrastructure projects throughout the province include upgrades to water systems, parking lots, multi-use trails, campground facilities, backcountry facilities and accessibility improvements. Electric vehicle charging stations will also be added to some day-use areas in northwest B.C. The projects are scheduled for completion in the spring.
This announcement is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC, a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.
- B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 23 million visits each year.
- One of the largest park systems in North America, B.C. has more than 1,000 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.
- Parks and protected areas are dedicated to preserving the natural environment. Places of special ecological importance are designated as ecological reserves for scientific research and educational purposes.
- About 98% of the land base in B.C.’s parks and protected areas system is dedicated to ecology, with the remaining land developed with facilities such as campgrounds, day-use facilities, trails, boat launches, buildings, roads and parking lots.
- During the last three years, 1,205 new campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites throughout the province. A new fully serviced, 90-site campground in Manning Park is under construction and set to open in the spring.
For more information about BC Parks, visit: http://bcparks.ca/?v=202010151450
For more information about StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/