How to make a great park even better – adding a campground to Tribune Bay Park
In 2021, the Province purchased two properties on Hornby Island to add to the existing Tribune Bay Park. The land was purchased with funding provided to expand recreational and camping opportunities across the province.
Since then, BC Parks has been working with First Nations, community groups, partner agencies, and the broader public to develop a plan to incorporate these additional lands and enhance recreational opportunities – including camping – at Tribune Bay.
BC Parks staff have gathered input from a variety of sources:
- various BC Parks staff including planners, rangers, and the facilities team;
- ongoing information sharing and consultation with First Nations;
- input and advice from key community groups and partner agencies;
- professional assessments and reports, including archaeological, ecological and hydrological studies;
- public input received through surveys, on-site events and email.
BC Parks’ mandate is to maintain a balance between protecting natural environments and providing outdoor recreation, as well as supporting our reconciliation commitments to Indigenous Peoples. BC Parks has now developed a proposed recreation site plan for Tribune Bay Park that strives to find this balance.
Read on to learn more about what we’ve discovered through this process, where we’re headed, and what your next Tribune Bay adventure might look like.
To develop management guidance for the addition of land and camping opportunities at Tribune Bay Park, BC Parks staff engaged broadly and gathered information from a variety of sources:
BC Parks staff: A multi-disciplinary team of BC Parks staff participated in site assessments and community engagement to develop of high-level management guidance for the additions to Tribune Bay Park, which provided the framework for a draft site-level recreational plan.
Public engagement: Engaging with local community groups and the general public has highlighted important considerations for the campground layout and access, and key values that we need to prioritize for protection. Through various steps along the way, you have told us what you think by attending on-site open houses, responding to an on-line survey on Let’s Talk BC Parks, and sending us your comments by email.
Indigenous engagement: BC Parks is consulting with all First Nations with interests in this area. This consultation is active and ongoing, and strives to better integrate Indigenous knowledge, values and interests into park planning and management. BC Parks is working toward true and meaningful collaboration with Indigenous Peoples.
Professional assessments and reports: Closer surveying of the forested property revealed a wet meadow-swamp complex that transitions to a dry, mature forest in one direction, and to an upland meadow and the beach in another direction.
Archaeological assessments were conducted to provide more information about the historical use of the area by Indigenous Peoples. The presence of archaeological sites above the high tide line indicates traditional Indigenous use of Tribune Bay and the surrounding uplands for millennia.
What we learned and how we’ve incorporated your input
In our online survey, you told us a lot about why you love visiting and camping at Tribune Bay. We also heard from previous campers that you would prefer a less crowded camping experience and that some improvements to the facilities would be appreciated.
At the same time, Hornby Island residents also cautioned us to consider the impact that increased activity could have on the capacity of the ferry system and congestion on the island. We heard concerns about water use and water scarcity in the summer months.
Professional assessments highlighted the site’s cultural, ecological and hydrological features as key values for protection.
With these interests in mind, BC Parks considered the various opportunities and constraints of the acquired properties and developed high-level management guidance for the additions to Tribune Bay Park and a draft recreation site plan, that includes the following features:
- a variety of camping opportunities with improved facilities, using green building and universal design principles where possible;
- a similar overall number of campsites;
- careful consideration of campsite size and placement to limit the disturbance of forested areas;
- reduced density of campsites in the existing campground by developing additional sites on the other lands;
- a number of walk-in/bike-in sites to minimize the footprint of campsites, and promote active, car-free transportation; and,
- a new connector trail through the forest providing safe access from the campground and community amenities to the beach.
The proposed recreation site plan outlines how the former Tribune Bay campground will be enhanced, and how the campsites and a connecting trail will be integrated into the park. We invite you to visit https://helpshapebc.gov.bc.ca/tribune to view the draft conceptual drawings and to learn more! The campground layout will be adjusted onsite to best align with the site’s constraints and protection of important values. Construction is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2024.