Story courtesy of Kevin Campbell, Senior Park Ranger
With our peak summer season now behind us, I’d like to take the opportunity to pass along an update on what we accomplished on the Osprey Trail Volunteer Project.
The Osprey Trail is located in our front country campground at Bowron Lakes provincial park and provides a 1km loop with wetland views, beach access and a Parks 100 bench at the far end. The trail has always been very rudimentary, but in 2011 as a celebration for Parks 100, former Bowron Ranger Edward Tennisco (now a Senior Park Ranger for Manning provincial park), created a temporary interpretive trail. This was such a success that permanent interpretive signage was installed as a legacy of our 100 years. In the fall of 2013 BC Parks was then approached by a school group from the UK looking for volunteer work while on a trip through BC during summer 2014. After a few meetings and site visits we all agreed that improving the accessibility of the Osprey Trail was a great option that would allow more visitors to enjoy the interpretive information and recreational opportunities.
With 28 volunteers overall, each group of 14 put in approximately 3 working days on the project. In that time we were able to re-route a number of “unsustainable” sections of the trail which were either too steep or too close to a steep bank (both of which were susceptible to continued erosion). With this we were able to lower the overall grade of the trail making it more accessible to park visitors. We were also able to move approximately 30+ yards of gravel (two very large gravel truck loads) via wheelbarrow which surfaced over 50% of the entire trail.
Overall our volunteer group was very pleased with the work they completed and are happy to know that their efforts will pay off by improving accessibility to our park visitors for the next 100 years. As a thank you for all their efforts, we hosted a volunteer appreciation celebration with the entire group once the project was complete, and after being in the backcountry for almost a month the cake was a real hit!
Looking forward the next step is to conduct a number of trail touch ups, re-route one more steep section, and resurface the remaining portion of trail with our local stakeholder groups, to continue on with the great work started by our UK volunteers.