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Working to take care of parks in northwest B.C.

Working to take care of parks in northwest B.C.

January 22, 2021 at 10:21 am  BC, News, Politics

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 Lakelse Lake Park, Tyhee Park, Naikoon Park, Babine Lake Marine Park and Nisga’a Memorial Lava Beds 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.”

To make clean transportation more accessible for the growing number of people taking advantage of CleanBC initiatives, electric vehicle charging stations are being installed in the day-use area of Furlong Bay Campground in Lakelse Lake Park near Terrace, Tyhee Lake Park near Smithers and Naikoon Park on Haida Gwaii, which will also receive upgrades to water quality.

“Our stunning provincial parks provide a place for us to unwind, connect with family and friends and enjoy nature, especially in these difficult times,” said Nathan Cullen, MLA for Stikine. “By investing in electric vehicle charging stations in Tyhee Lake Provincial Park our government is adding to the more than 2,000 public Level 2 charging stations now stationed throughout the province. Protecting our parks means supporting clean transportation, which supports the CleanBC plan for a stronger, cleaner future.”

At Nisga’a Memorial Lava Beds Park north of Terrace, upgrades are being made to the interpretive audio-visual display at the visitor centre to provide an accessible cultural experience. Home to one of the youngest and most accessible volcanic features in B.C., the park gives visitors a chance to explore the unique volcanic landscape and learn about the culture and legends of the Nisga’a people.

At Babine Lake Marine Park near Burns Lake, new pit toilets and picnic tables are being installed. Other infrastructure projects throughout the province include upgrades to water systems, parking lots, multi-use trails, campground facilities, backcountry facilities and accessibility improvements. 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.

Quick Facts:

  • 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.

Learn More:

For more information about BC Parks, visit: http://bcparks.ca/?v=202010151450

For more information about StrongerBC, visit: https://strongerbc.gov.bc.ca/

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