The idea of forming a group to make a ‘Stewardship Commitment’ to Garibaldi Park was initiated in 2010 and under the leadership of Al Jenkins the Friends of Garibaldi Park (FOGP) was formed. As an inaugural project the FOGP developed an action plan to care for and upgrade the Black Tusk Trail. The plan outlined a recommended scope of work and was eventually presented to Chris Platz, the Area Supervisor for the Whistler Area. The ‘Black Tusk Meadows Trail Upgrade Proposal’ advocated for a major renovation and upgrade in order to prevent further damage to the fragile alpine meadows.
Fast forward to September 2012, eleven passionate FOGP volunteers and the committed Rangers of Garibaldi Park combined their resources and worked together to carry out some of the much needed restoration work on the Black Tusk trail.
The two September FOGP work parties carpooled along the Sea to Sky Highway and met at the Rubble Creek trailhead. From there everyone hiked up to Taylor Campground where camp was made for three days. During the hike up the group was treated by Frank (a prof. geotechnical engineer) to a walking crash course on the essentials to trail building along with a quick geotechnical history course of the park during the lunch time stop at The Barrier.
With hand tools and guidance provided by the Garibaldi Park Rangers, FOGP volunteers cleared drainage ditches, repaired and rebuilt wooden bridges along both the Black Tusk Trail and Ranger’s Trail near Taylor Cabin. Approximately 15 metres of boardwalk was constructed and even a set of stairs was built at the Parnassus Creek crossing.
It was not all hard work but a lot of fun as well. This included Garibaldi Park historian, Cathy, entertaining not only the FOGP work party but all of the guests staying at the park to a wonderful night time slide show presentation on the History of Garibaldi Park with Garibaldi Lake as the back drop.
The two September work parties were a great success and just the tip of the ice burg. Growing awareness that everyone can make a difference in the care of Garibaldi Park is truly rewarding and the FOGP would like to thank all the volunteers as well as the BC Parks Rangers, FMCBC, BCMC, VOC, and North Shore Hikers for all their support.
Planning has begun for 2013 work parties. For more information on FOGP and volunteer opportunities in Garibaldi Park during the summer of 2013 visit Friends of Garibaldi Park website.