Celebrate BC Parks’ 100 year anniversary with FREE PARKING!!!
Premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Terry Lake launched BC Parks centennial celebrations today by announcing that parking will now be free in all provincial parks to encourage families to take advantage of our world-class parks system.
As somebody who often finds himself in BC Parks this is such great news for me and for everybody who follows our ongoing Unplugged series of features. In fact it’s good for those who don’t as well as it’s aimed to encourage more people to check out the wonderful, protected parks that our province boasts.
When I shot this photo of Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park last year, the meter was running. Next time I go there, that same meter will be gone!
BC Parks manages almost 1,000 provincial parks and protected areas covering approximately 13.6 per cent of B.C. – more than 13.1 million hectares or 131,000 square kilometres. It’s the third largest protected areas system in North America, after the Canadian and American national park systems. About 20 million people visit British Columbia’s provincial parks each year, and I am one of those people!
Another interesting fact about parks in our province is that in the past decade, the B.C. government has established 65 new parks, 144 conservancies, two ecological reserves and nine protected areas. More than 60 parks and six ecological reserves have been expanded. In total, these additions protect more than 1.9 million hectares of additional land. In the spring of 2010, the BC Parks system was again expanded by more than 27,000 hectares. Seven new provincial parks and one new conservancy were established and land was added to 12 existing parks.
Get out and explore your parks. And park for free!