Monday May 2, 2011

Local News 

An Idea Whose Time Has Expired 

Provincial park pay parking is now a thing of the past

Staff/Voice

 

C Parks turns 100 this year and as part of the centennial celebrations, the provincial government announced today they have removed pay parking from all provincial parks effective immediately.

 

By getting rid of pay parking the government is hoping to encourage more people to visit the parks more often. The move also helps to remove financial barriers for low-income families and individuals. Overnight hikers often park at a trail head and leave their vehicle overnight can now do so without having to pay.

The issue has been a sore spot with many in the community who visit provincial parks on a regular basis and faced having to fork over $5-10 every time they drove their cars to the parks.

"That's a great idea," said Chilliwack resident and father Dale Mitchell in an e-mail to The Voice. "We go up to Cultus Lake 2 or 3 times a week in the summer with the kids and will now save about $60 a month, that pays for the gas, so we'll definitely be going more often."

Premier Christy Clark and Environment Minister Terry Lake want to inspire people to become more active.

“The parking meters are coming out and parking will be free, effective immediately, so that British Columbia’s parks are even more welcoming for families,” said Premier Clark. “Our parks not only contribute to a healthy lifestyle and protect our environment, they are important to our economy. More park visitors mean more tourism dollars and more jobs for rural British Columbians and we want to eliminate any barriers to using the parks.”

Parks nearby Chilliwack that will be affected are; Chilliwack Lake, Cultus Lake, Kilby, Sasquatch, Manning, Emory Creek and Coquihalla Canyon.

According to the news release, the Province also announced a $500,000 Community Legacy Program to support communities while they celebrate the BC Parks centennial this year. The funding will be used to improve parks across the province. Community groups can apply for up to $20,000 for projects such as trail enhancements, improvements that support recreational activities or conservation of a park’s ecology or cultural history.

“BC Parks are a part of who we are,” said Lake. “They help define us as British Columbians, and show that we care deeply about our environment and our planet. The new legacy fund looks to the future and the improvements we can continue to make, and it looks to the past 100 years by recognizing that community groups have played a key role in making the parks and protected areas system what it is today.”

There will be a number of promotions throughout the year including photo sharing or stories from a BC Parks adventure at www.facebook.com/YourBCParks  and then go to www.bcparks.ca  to submit their name for a random draw of a BC Parks birthday pack to make your next park visit more enjoyable.

The Past 100 Years

Parks Today

Conservation

Recreation

Projects to mark the centennial include

For More Info

 

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