As British Columbians join other Canadians in celebrating Parks Day on Saturday, July 16, 2022, BC Parks is encouraging everyone to take the pledge to follow the Camper’s Code to help ensure parks continue offering people enjoyable opportunities to connect with nature.
A national day of recognition, Parks Day is a time to reflect on the importance of parks and to appreciate how they support health and well-being, maintain healthy ecosystems, sequester carbon, and provide habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people camping in B.C. parks, and we want to ensure everyone has a positive experience with as little impact on our natural ecosystems as possible,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment. “Our provincial parks are places for everyone, and we continue to strive to make our parks welcoming and accessible spaces where everyone belongs.”
The Camper’s Code was developed collaboratively by a dozen B.C.-based organizations that recognize everyone can play a role in creating a safe, enjoyable, respectful camping experience for all. The code includes pledges to pack out garbage to help keep parks clean, respect other campers enjoying the sounds of nature, and keep a clean campsite to avoid attracting wildlife.
“There’s been a rapid increase in new campers across B.C., but not everyone knows how to camp responsibly,” said Joss Penny, chair of the Camping and RVing British Columbia Coalition. “The Camper’s Code consists of nine simple messages to inspire a sense of shared responsibility and an understanding of appropriate behaviour.”
The Camper’s Code also emphasizes the importance of trip planning, knowing and staying within your limits, and packing essential items such as a flashlight, first aid kit, extra food, water and clothing.
“No one ever expects to get into trouble outdoors. But a turn in the weather, a mistake in judgment, unexpected injury or equipment failure can quickly change any recreational outing,” said Sandra Riches, executive director, BC AdventureSmart. “Planning ahead and being prepared are key elements of the Camper’s Code, which helps enthusiasts successfully reach their destination back home.”
BC Parks manages approximately 10,700 campsites, and Recreation Sites and Trails BC manages more than 9,200 recreation sites and more than 600 trails. Generally located in more remote areas with basic facilities, recreation sites provide a rustic camping experience in some of the province’s most beautiful locations.
Canada’s Parks Day, held on the third Saturday of July every year, includes fun, educational and family-oriented events at parks and historic sites across the country. In B.C., events will be led by Discover Parks ambassadors, student rangers, Jerry the Moose – BC Parks’ official mascot – and community partners, and will take place at the following parks: Goldstream, Rathtrevor, Alice Lake, Golden Ears, Lac Le Jeune, Tyee Lake and Moyie Lake.
Louise Pedersen, executive director, Outdoor Recreation Council –
“By simplifying and amplifying some of the best practices on how to camp and recreate responsibly, the Camper’s Code helps us care for each other, take care of our outdoor spaces and support our land managers.”
Jaime Cox, president, BC Lodging and Campgrounds Association –
“The goal of the Camper’s Code is to build more awareness about desired campers' behaviours, educate new campers on acceptable behaviours and promote the sustainability of British Columbia as a destination for future generations to enjoy.”
For more information about Parks Day events in B.C., visit: https://bcparks.ca/parksday/
For more information about the Camper’s Code, visit: https://www.camperscode.com/
For more information about BC Parks and to make camping reservations, visit: https://bcparks.ca/
For more information about Recreation Sites and Trails BC, visit: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/