BC Parks Stories – Spring 2023
As a continuation of our ‘BC Parks in the news’ stories series, we wanted to highlight some recent projects and events that were featured this spring. From acknowledging the work of a recently retired BC Parks employee to the raising of a welcome pole in a popular park, there have been some great news stories to celebrate over the last few months. Read on to learn more.
Last spring, a $500,000 project began at Gowlland Tod Park that focused on upgrading trails and protecting sensitive ecosystems. The project includes formalizing and upgrading trails, closing some user-created trails to protect rare and sensitive ecosystems, and building a small parking lot to promote safety and reduce congestion. This project is part of a $21.5-million investment to expand and enhance outdoor recreation opportunities across the province.
Recently, a much-deserved tribute to one of our retiring staff, Area Supervisor Brent Blackmun, took place at Elk Falls Park. It’s been eight years since the suspension bridge was installed at the park, and Brent was recognized for playing an instrumental role in making it happen. The project was a true collaborative effort with partners, including BC Hydro. The project not only worked to create a visitor attraction, but also supported environmental efforts in the park to help augment salmon populations. A huge thank you to Brent for his incredible years of service to BC Parks, on this project, and countless others.
A very important event was held at Xwa’w’chayay (The Squamish word for Porteau Cove Park) on May 25. A welcome figure, that was designed and carved by Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) carvers Neil Baker and Delmar Joseph was raised at Xwa’w’chayay. During the last several months, the pole was carved at the school, and students from St’a7mes School in Squamish were able to take part. The project was funded in part by the BC Parks Licence Plate Program, which helped fund the carvers, purchase tools, and for the pole raising event.
The library hiking kits that were featured in our first “BC parks in the news post” are spreading across the province! Here’s a recent article about the hiking kits that are now in libraries across the northwest. The kits can be checked out for free from local libraries, and include items like basic equipment for the day – hiking poles, compass, first aid kit and emergency gear. Funding from the BC Parks Licence Plate Program makes these kits possible.
On June 27, the first seven kilometres of the Berg Lake Trail up to the Kinney Lake campground reopened. The popular trail closed in 2021 due to extensive flooding and damage, and there is excitement about the first part of the trail reopening. The trail from Kinney Lake to Whitehorn Campground is planned to open in 2024 and the trail from Whitehorn Campground to Berg Lake is planned to open in 2025.