In advance of Parks 100 in 2011 celebrating 100 years of BC Parks, Environment Minister Barry Penner is encouraging families and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages to enjoy Parks Day in B.C.'s provincial parks.
"Our goal is to celebrate the history and legacy of our provincial parks and encourage involvement in the celebrations connected to Parks 100," said Penner. "Parks Day is a great time to enjoy fun recreational activities and discover more of B.C.'s spectacular network of parks."
Parks Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday of July in every province and territory across Canada.
In British Columbia, BC Parks and park facility operators will team up to host celebrations in parks right across the province. Parks Day activities include natural and cultural hikes, children's nature games, fun runs, marine interpretation, scavenger hunts, nature slide shows and a visit from our favorite park employee - Jerry the Moose. Jerry encourages kids to have fun in parks and learn about them through Jerry's rangers program.
On Parks Day, a number of provincial parks will be offering children ages five to 12 the opportunity to participate in the fifth annual Colour Your Parks Kid's Art Contest. This year's contest is gearing up for BC Parks' centennial in 2011 and encourages children to imagine the best birthday party ever in a provincial park. The grand prize will be a birthday party with nine of the winner's friends who will join a ranger and Jerry the Moose in making that party a reality. All entries must be received by Sept. 17, 2010.
In addition, BC Parks is hosting its iParks Youth Webcast Competition. Youth 18 and under are encouraged to show off their creativity by producing a video (one minute or less) that captures why BC Parks' 100th birthday is worth celebrating. Contestants must include "Happy birthday BC Parks!" in their video entries. All entries must be received by Sept. 15, 2010. Prize sponsors for both contests this year include Arc'teryx, Naturebag, Coghlan's, Owlkids, and BC Parks.
BC Parks will celebrate its 100th birthday on March 1, 2011. This milestone will engage communities, youth, First Nations, and heritage, arts and tourism sectors in events, competitions and conservation projects designed to promote shared stewardship of B.C.'s natural and cultural resources and healthy, green living.
Since 2001 the B.C. government has established 65 new parks, 144 conservancies, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas, and expanded more than 60 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.9 million hectares of additional land.
Over the past five years, the B.C. government has invested approximately $107 million to improve park infrastructure and acquire additional parkland.
Today, 14.27 per cent (more than 13.5 million hectares) of British Columbia is protected - more than any other province in Canada. This is an area equal in size to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and P.E.I. combined.
To find out which provincial parks are holding Parks Day events on Saturday, July 17 and to learn more about the Colour Your Parks Kid's Art Contest and the iParks Youth Webcast Competition, go to: www.bcparks.ca
To find out more about Parks 100 and how you can get involved, go to: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/BCParks100/
To make a camping reservation under BC Parks' new and improved reservation system, go to: www.discovercamping.ca
While enjoying the parks in our area, you might get a chance to see this.
A before and after of one of the Alberta Tar Sands. This will happen if we don't protect our land.
The headwaters region of the Skeena and Stikine/Klappan River systems planned for Coalbed Methane Gas fields by Royal Dutch Shell.