After another successful season of trail building, ecological monitoring, and public outreach projects (to name a few), the 2019 BC Parks student rangers have hung up their hiking boots and stepped back into the classroom. Thanks to funding from the BC Parks Licence Plate Program and the Government of Canada’s Canada Green Jobs Program, both students and BC Parks benefited from this seasonal work opportunity.
The BC Parks Student Ranger Program provides an opportunity for youth to gain valuable work experience. It provides training, skill building and fosters a sense of shared stewardship in caring for B.C.’s natural spaces. Since its initiation in 2018, the Student Ranger Program has also emphasized hiring Indigenous youth and was successful in hiring 30% of student rangers that self-identify as Indigenous.
Student rangers often find great entry level positions with the multitude of organizations BC Parks works closely with. However, the parks and protected areas themselves may receive the greatest benefit from this program.
Over the course of the 2019 season, student rangers completed over 220 unique projects in 110 provincial parks and protected areas. Many of these projects would not have been possible without the assistance of student ranger crews and operational funds provided by the BC Parks Licence Plate Program.
Crews worked on projects in four different areas: conservation, recreation, Indigenous relations and public outreach. Conservation projects included everything from removing invasive Canada thistle from Whiteswan Lake Park to long-term ecological monitoring of amphibians in Big Bar Lake Park. Crews stretched their outreach muscles celebrating Parks Day in BC Parks across the province and a hybrid outreach and Indigenous relations project saw student rangers assisting with the Kema Experience at Beatton and Swan Lake provincial parks. These events showcased the history and culture of the Doig River First Nation for members of the public. A variety of recreation projects saw crews utilizing their actual muscles constructing tent pads at Mount Robson Park, reconstructing boardwalks in Tweedsmuir Park, installing signage at Golden Ears Park or completing the installation of playground equipment at Quinsam Campground.
After another full season, 2019 student rangers and the BC Parks staff that support this program deserve an A+ for their efforts.
- Those interested in learning more about the program and potentially applying in the future are encouraged to keep an eye on the student ranger webpage: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/employment/student-ranger/
- Watch the student rangers in action and learn more here: https://youtu.be/pWG31r2quMs
- To find out how the BC Parks Licence Plate Program is changing parks and communities across the province, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/licence-plates/