Writer suggests ways to celebrate BC Parks’ 100 th birthday

In past years, I've offered up wish lists for our community. 2011 is a little different. This year marks the 100th anniversary of BC Parks, so in honour of that, I'm offering up a wish list for Wells Gray and North Thompson Provincial Parks.

In past years, I’ve offered up wish lists for our community. 2011 is a little different. This year marks the 100th anniversary of BC Parks, so in honour of that, I’m offering up a wish list for Wells Gray and North Thompson Provincial Parks.

There are a lot of simple things that you can do to celebrate BC Parks 100th.

Hike the trails – a well used trail is the easiest trail to maintain – give us feedback on what you find.

Help organize a Parks Day Event- Jerry the Moose (the BC Parks Mascot), was born in the Clearwater Valley- we should be the epicenter of Parks Day celebrations.

Organize an invasive weed pull or other conservation events – North Thompson Park could use this.

Help fund park facilities, like fishing docks for Foot Lake and Placid Lake – let’s make it easier to access great fishing spots for people who can’t afford float tubes or boats .

The project I’d really like to see – a talk shelter/picnic building for North Thompson Park. If such a building were built, interpretive programs and other educational and fun events could be offered in North Thompson for the benefit of all residents of Clearwater.

BC Parks has a special website for the anniversary, www.bcparks100.ca. Check it out for more ideas.

The cynical may say that it’s my business and it’ll just benefit tourists, or that parks are the responsibility of the provincial government and they should take care of them. I’d say to them that Wells Gray and North Thompson parks are part of the social and economic fabric of Clearwater. How many days have you spent hiking, fishing, skiing or camping in the parks, not to mention how many kids’ birthday parties you’ve attended in Pogey Park? How many dollars have passed through your families hands that arrived here with our summer tourists? A lot of other towns in this province wish they could have what we have because of our local BC Parks.

For nearly 75 years, Wells Gray has been integral part of the good life in the North Thompson Valley. I think it would be fantastic if we could muster up a celebration for BC Parks 100.

Merlin Blackwell

Blackwell Parks LTD – over 25 years in BC Parks.