Campers at a provincial park in British Columbia. (Northern Vancouver Island Tourism/Steven Fines)

Campers at a provincial park in British Columbia. (Northern Vancouver Island Tourism/Steven Fines)

B.C. allocates $5-million towards projects in 24 provincial parks

Funds to go towards infrastructure that aids in helping park goers maintain adequate social distance

By Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The provincial government has pledged $5-million towards development projects spanning across 24 B.C. parks.

As part of the province’s StrongerBC economic recovery initiative to promote wellness and employment, the funds will be allocated towards improvements, such as the installation of a raised boardwalk and viewing platform in MacMillan Provincial Park and the replacement of boardwalk and stair structures in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park.

“We have heard the call for greater access to the outdoors to promote health and well-being during COVID-19,” said George Heyman, minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in a news release. “These meaningful projects create jobs to address those needs as part of our support for B.C. communities.”

The Maaqutusiis Hahoulthee Stewardship Society (MHSS) and 43K Wilderness Solutions were awarded a contract for the replacement of a two-kilometer boardwalk at Hot Springs Cove, which is located at Maquinna park.

“This work is the result of a Park Operator Agreement between BC Parks and the Ahousaht First Nation formed in 2017 for the maintenance of Maquinna Marine Park,” said the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The Agreement establishes a shared commitment for BC Parks and the Ahousaht First Nation to explore and pursue economic development opportunities.”

Two crews of three carpenters from Ahousaht, along with a shift supervisor from 43K Wilderness Solutions, will rotate in to replace the boardwalk. The $1.1-million project kicked-off last week and is anticipated to be complete by the end of the May, said MHSS general manager John Caton.

A “rustic” camp at Hot Springs Cove has been erected, where each worker is equipped with their own 10-feet by 12-feet sidewall tent that is outfitted with a propane heater and bed. The camp has an enclosed kitchen and on-demand hot running water.

While Caton said he has his fingers crossed that COVID-19 is going to allow the hot springs to open this year, only time will tell.

Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, remains closed as it normally experiences over 500,000 visits per year, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

“Due to the unique nature of the park, the trail system and boardwalks are very narrow making appropriate physical distancing extremely challenging,” said the ministry. “The parking areas at MacMillan Provincial Park are small and compact and do not allow for physical distancing in this area.”

The announcement is part of the province’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which is designed to protect people’s health and livelihoods, while supporting businesses and communities.

As one of the largest park systems in North America, B.C. has over 1,000 provincial parks, recreation areas and ecological reserves that cover around 14.4 per cent of the provincial land base.

“An investment in our parks is an investment in the people of British Columbia,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment in a release. “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.”

Around two per cent of the province’s parks and protected area systems have been largely developed with a visitor-use focus, including facilities such as campgrounds, boat launches and parking lots.

“We are celebrating this investment in BC Parks, which will have far-reaching benefits for people and nature,” said Annita Mcphee, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, B.C. chapter. “Keeping parks accessible and sustainably supported will create a more welcoming parks system, building healthy communities and future nature stewards.”

BC governmentBC Parks

Just Posted

Participants of the Indigenous-led agricultural training program pose for a photograph with the staff at Tea Creek Farm in Kitwanga. (Photo courtesy, Alex Stoney)
Indigenous-led food sovereignity program trains first cohort in Kitwanga

Tea Creek Farm trained participants from northwest B.C. First Nations

The Red Chris open pit mine approximately 80 km south of Dease Lake. The province and Tahltan will start negotiations on the first consent-based decision-making agreement ever to be negotiated under DRIPA with regards to two mining projects in northern B.C. (Newcrest Mining photo)
B.C. to begin DRIPA-based negotiations with Tahltan First Nation on two northwest mining projects

Negotiations on Red Chris and Eskay Creek mines to commence soon in accordance with Section 7 of DRIPA

Columnist Steve Smyth (File photo)
One for the road: Columnist Steve Smyth signs off

After nearly 60 years of residency, this will likely be the last… Continue reading

The site of the new Mills Memorial Hospital project in Terrace on June 18, 2021. The provincial government is so far choosing not to comment on suggestions a new Mills Memorial Hospital will now cost in excess of $600 million. (Ben Bogstie/Terrace Standard)
Province silent on Terrace hospital construction cost

Health ministry urges citizens to stay tuned

The City of Terrace is setting up a town hall meeting to address the ‘crisis’ in the downtown area. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace council declares crisis in downtown

City staff are in the process of setting up town hall meeting

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read