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 Alice Lake, Pinecone Burke Park, Porteau Cove and several other parks in the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky and Sunshine Coast.
“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 near Squamish, Alice Lake Provincial Park is a popular destination for camping, hiking and swimming. To enhance visitor experience for everyone, the Four Lakes Trail parking lot is being expanded, universally accessible pit toilets are being installed, along with a communal bear-safe food storage locker to service the 12 campsites for tenting.
Pinecone Burke Provincial Park is a 38,000-hectare wilderness area protecting old-growth forests, alpine lakes, vulnerable species, rugged terrain and remnant icefields. Located north of Coquitlam, investments are being made to the park’s backcountry campsites, which includes up to five new sites. Improvements are also being made to hiking and mountain biking trails. A draft of the park management plan is expected to be released for public comment by summer 2021.
“For years, volunteers who care about Pinecone Burke Provincial Park have dedicated considerable time and energy constructing and maintaining its trail network,” said Fin Donnelly, MLA for Coquitlam-Burke Mountain. “This $100,000 investment in the park compliments their hard work and contributes to ongoing improvements that will increase safety and enhance visitor experience.”
At Porteau Cove Provincial Park, upgrades are being made to the water system to improve potable water quality. The boat launch, campsites and day-use area will undergo additional measures to protect facilities from shoreline erosion. In addition, more than 45 provincial parks in the Lower Mainland, Sea-to-Sky and Sunshine Coast areas will have upgrades to bear-proof recycling and waste bins to better protect wildlife.
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.
- Approximately 98% of the parks and protected areas system remains largely undeveloped. The remaining 2% has been developed with a visitor-use focus and includes 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/