Working to take care of parks in northern B.C.
People are getting back to work by improving access to nature and building infrastructure in B.C.’s provincial parks as part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan.
The Province is investing $5 million for infrastructure projects in 24 provincial parks, including Mount Robson Park, West Lake Park and Swan Lake Park.
“We have heard the call for greater access to the outdoors to promote health and well-being during COVID-19. These meaningful projects create jobs to address those needs as part of our support for B.C. communities,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Investing in provincial parks also protects sensitive ecosystems, supports our climate change goals and makes parks more accessible for everyone to enjoy.”
Located near Valemount, Mount Robson Provincial Park is the second oldest park in B.C. and its namesake is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 metres. It is also home to the world-famous Berg Lake Trail, which is being upgraded with new bear caches for safe food storage, repairs to foot bridges and a new backcountry shelter at the Marmot Campground. Upgrades are also being made to the ranger station buildings in the service compound.
At West Lake Provincial Park near Prince George, park buildings in the service compound are being repaired, and in Swan Lake Provincial Park near Dawson Creek, a new boat launch dock will be installed to enhance visitor experience.
“An investment in our parks is an investment in the people of British Columbia,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment. “Getting outside is more important than ever, and our government is committed to expanding parks so that all British Columbians can enjoy the beautiful natural landscape of our province.”
Other infrastructure projects throughout the province include upgrades to water systems, parking lots, multi-use trails, campground facilities, backcountry facilities and accessibility improvements. Electric vehicle charging stations will also be added to some day-use areas in northwest B.C. The projects are scheduled for completion in the spring.
This announcement is part of B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC, a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities.
- B.C.’s provincial parks receive more than 23 million visits each year.
- One of the largest park systems in North America, B.C. has more than 1,000 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas covering approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.
- Parks and protected areas are dedicated to preserving the natural environment. Places of special ecological importance are designated as ecological reserves for scientific research and educational purposes.
- Approximately 98% of the parks and protected areas system remains largely undeveloped. The remaining 2% has been developed with a visitor-use focus and includes facilities such as campgrounds, day-use facilities, trails, boat launches, buildings, roads and parking lots.
- During the last three years, 1,205 new campsites have been added to provincial parks and recreation sites throughout the province. A new fully serviced, 90-site campground in Manning Park is under construction and set to open in the spring.
For more information about BC Parks, visit: http://bcparks.ca/?v=202010151450
For more information about StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/