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Click on the cover of BC Parks’ memory book below to see how BC Parks celebrated our 100th birthday

100 Years of BC Parks

What was BC Parks 100?

Jerry the Moose

BC Parks celebrated its 100th birthday (BC Parks 100) in 2011, marking the enactment of British Columbia’s first provincial park, Strathcona, on March 1, 1911. Over 25 major initiatives and 250 events occurred in celebration. BC Parks’ centenary was a ‘grassroots’ celebration that engaged a diverse group of community partners and sponsors to help deliver
BC Parks 100.

BC Parks 100 inspired many of our almost 20 million visitors and attracted new visitors too. The events drew together rural and urban communities, First Nations, youth, artists, tourists, and individuals interested in natural and cultural heritage. Initiatives to commemorate this milestone included contests, conservation projects, recreational events, conferences and community celebrations.

Please turn the following pages to check out all of the amazing events and programs that occurred during this very special occasion.

How did BC Parks 100 happen?

Using a grassroots approach, BC Parks 100 was guided by two Steering Committees: an internal committee consisting of BC Parks regional and headquarters staff and an external committee of representatives from a variety of sector areas including:

  • Elders Council for Parks in B.C.
  • B.C. Lodging and Campground Association
  • Assembly of B.C. Arts Councils
  • Heritage B.C.
  • Aboriginal Tourism B.C.
  • Society for Park Facility Operators
  • Canadian Parks and Wilderness Committee
  • Tourism BC
  • Various levels of government

These representatives advised the planning for BC Parks 100 and engaged their networks in the festivities.

In the beginning…Strathcona Expedition

In summer 2010, the Strathcona Centennial Expedition re-enacted the original 1910 expedition that led to the establishment of B.C.’s first provincial park, Strathcona Provincial Park, in 1911.

A diverse group of volunteers and stakeholders supported the expedition and generated over $26,000 in donations and over $5,000 of in-kind donations. North Vancouver Island Mine, Strathcona Park Lodge and Island Timberlands were major contributors to the expedition along with the many public donations and t-shirt sales. The combined revenues and donations not only fully paid for the expedition but also created a long-term legacy fund for Strathcona Provincial Park. The expedition was successful in fund-raising and community involvement but also in inspring momentum for BC Parks centennial year in 2011.

Visit the Strathcona Centennial Expedition website.

Top of Crown Mountain, Strathcona Provincial Park

Top of Crown Mountain,
Strathcona Provincial Park

100 Geocaches

Commemorative Coin

Commemorative Coin

In partnership with the Geocaching Association of B.C. and sponsored by the Camping and RVing Coalition, BC Parks held a centennial themed geocache initiative.

Caches, containing BC Parks’ commemorative coins and special memorabilia, were placed in 100 locations across the province in BC Parks, recreation sites and private campgrounds. Cache locations ranged from an easy walk in a park, a full day hike to a mountain top, alongside major highways, to some adventurous back roads.

Miracle Beach Event Launch

Miracle Beach Event Launch

This project was enthusiastically received by families, young adults, scouts and guides groups, school classes, and senior citizens who sometimes planned special trips to find the caches! A celebratory launch event was held on June 26th at Miracle Beach Provincial Park. This initiative offered a great opportunity for those who like to use technology, such as GPS units, to get active in BC Parks.

Arts in the Parks

The aim of the Arts in the Parks program was to support arts and First Nations arts organizations throughout B.C. with projects and events that celebrated BC Parks’ 100th anniversary. In partnership with the Assembly of B.C. Arts Councils and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, BC Parks hosted 22 arts and cultural events from March to December 2011 with a total of $100,000 funding allocated. Applicants reported audience figures of over 19,000 people at Arts in the Parks events.

View summary report of all the projects funded.

Arts in Parks

Community Legacy Program

Community Legacy Program

The Community Legacy Program offered opportunities for registered not-for-profit societies, charities, First Nations governments, bands or tribal councils, local governments, schools, school districts and post secondary institutions to apply for project funding of up to $20,000 to carry out improvements and enhancements to BC Parks throughout 2011. Projects included educational facilities and signs, trail enhancements, infrastructure to support recreational activities, conservation and restoration projects, and upgrades that make provincial parks more accessible to a variety of users. View the summary report of the Community Legacy Program.

Community Legacy Program - Construction

BC Parks 100 Passport

The BC Parks 100 Passport was a partnership with the Camping and RVing Coalition and Tourism BC. The passport engaged families in BC Parks’ centenary and connected them with participating sites throughout the province. Close to 180 participating sites across the province included various parks and Tourism Visitor Centres. Participating sites distributed the passports, unique stickers for collection, and prizes for qualifying participants. This program was so popular that BC Parks decided to do another 2-year passport (2012-2013). Click here for more information.

BC Parks 100 Passport

100 Years of Adventure

100 Years of Adventure was a series of 11 recreation-based events hosted in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op to celebrate and introduce families to various self-propelled adventure sports including paddling, hiking, running, rock climbing, mountain biking, and more! Eleven community organizations were selected to receive $2000 in funding to support a community event that focussed on one of these activities.

» More on the 100 Years of Adventure event series

100 years of Adventure in Strathcona

Great Ranger Experience

Great Ranger Experience

The Great Ranger Experience is a video series created to celebrate park rangers in BC Parks. As BC Parks turned 100 years old, park rangers wanted to share their experiences working as stewards of B.C.’s parks and protected areas. These short videos capture spectacular landscapes and showcase a small part of what park rangers do in the province. Featured park rangers share what is special about their favourite provincial parks, and most importantly, share why they are passionate about their jobs. Four videos were produced.

Great Ranger Experience - Park Ranger

100 for 100 Bench Program

100 for 100 Bench Program

BC Parks invited community groups, businesses, individuals and families to join the 100 for 100 Park Bench Challenge and sponsor a park bench in a provincial park. BC Parks had 100 limited-edition centennial benches made from recycled plastic with the appearance of cedar and designed to withstand a wide range of temperatures and colour fading. All benches were sponsored, and BC Parks and its visitors will benefit for years to come from the generosity of everyone who was involved.

Learn to Fish

Learn to Fish

BC Parks partnered with Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to deliver the Learn to Fish program to 2,357 youth and their families in 61 sessions in provincial parks across B.C. This was the best year ever in terms of attendance and number of sessions since the program started in BC Parks (2005). This program provided free hands-on training and equipment for families and youth to learn about freshwater fish identification, fishing techniques and more.
2011 Learn to Fish Program Report

Learn to Fish

Healthy by Nature Conference

Healthy by Nature

BC Parks collaborated with numerous organizations (Canadian Parks Council, BC Parks, Parks Canada, Child and Nature Alliance, Elders Council for Parks in BC, BC Ministry of Health Services, BC Recreation and Parks Association, BC Healthy Communities, BC Ministry of Education, and the City of Vancouver) to host a forum to build regional momentum for the Healthy Parks Healthy People philosophy and reconnect individuals, families and communities with nature. The event was action-oriented and set out clear strategies for linking human health and well-being with the natural world. BC Parks welcomed 200 delegates in September in Vancouver, B.C. Click here for more information.

BC Magazine and Contest

BC Magazine BC Magazine

“Share Your BC” was a contest run jointly with British Columbia Magazine and BC Parks asking people to share a BC Park experience. The contest ran from March 15, to September 30, 2011 and all eligible entries were placed in a draw for a BC Parks adventure prize pack.

First Place – two night stay at Tigh‐Na‐Mara and a caving tour. Second Place – two night stay in the Porteau Cove cabins and a scenic floatplane tour of the area. Third Place – a BC Parks ‘Go Camping’ package including three nights camping, travel mugs, picnic blanket, coffee cups, water bottles and a yearlong subscription to BC Magazine.

See the stories that people shared.

BC Magazine also commemorated BC Parks 100 with a 2011 special summer edition dedicated to BC Parks.

Get Outside BC Youth Leadership Project

Get Outside BC

Get Outside BC! is a collaborative, youth‐led project that strengthens youth attachment to BC Parks and wilderness. The project was developed and piloted during BC Parks 100 as a way to engage a new generation of stewards for the next 100 years of BC Parks. The project is continuing as a legacy for youth engagement in BC Parks.

The project is a partnership between Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Child and Nature Alliance of Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op, and Parks Canada and BC Parks.

Phase I – Youth Leadership Summit (completed July 6-8, 2011): 40 young leaders, between 14 and 18, from across British Columbia came to Squamish to participate in leadership and outdoor skill training. They were chosen based on a common bond – their passion for the outdoors.

Programming included:

  1. Natural Leadership – inspiring others to get outside!
  2. Outdoor Ethics: Leave No Trace workshop
  3. Outdoor Safety & Trip Planning
  4. Green Jobs & Mentoring
  5. Community Event Planning – Take it Outside
    on International Youth Day!

Get Outside BC Youth
Leadership Project (continued…)

Phase II – Youth-led Events in Parks on International Youth Day: In honour of International Youth Day (August 12), the youth participants planned and hosted outdoor events with other youth from their own communities. These events reached over 400 people and ranged from outdoor concerts to multi-day camping trips.

Phase III – Regional Story-telling and Action Planning: The project wrapped up in October with participants attending small, regional reunion events linked provincially by webcast. They reconnected, shared stories from their community events and planned next steps as a network of Natural Leaders and independent ambassadors for parks in their communities.

See the video of Get Outside BC.

Get Outdoors Educator Workshops

In partnership with Wild BC ten free workshops were provided to over 200 educators across the province. The workshop and supporting curriculum guide was developed in 2009 in partnership with Wild BC, BC Parks, Parks Canada, Metro Vancouver Parks and the BC Ministry of Education to help educators understand the importance of parks as an outdoor classroom and to provide them with the necessary skills to feel comfortable teaching in natural environments.

Get Outdoors!

For more information about Get Outdoors!, click here.

Community Events

Over 100 community celebrations helped BC Parks ring in their 100th birthday. Some groups hosted parades in their communities while others ran special events in their local provincial parks. Below are a few examples of partnerships that strengthened the community connections to provincial parks.

  1. BC Day Celebrations

    Symphony Splash

    Symphony Splash

    BC Parks partnered with the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) to host BC Day events in parks across the province. Approximately 5000 people attended the celebrations that included appearances by Jerry the Moose, interpretation programs, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, horseshoe contests and lots of cakes. BC Parks was the Theme Sponsor for the 22nd annual Symphony Splash in Victoria’s Inner Harbour with attendance of 40,000 people.

  1. Parks Day Celebrations

    Every year, BC Parks celebrates Parks Day (parksday.ca), the annual and national initiative that focusses on the important role parks play in all of our lives. We celebrated with dozens of parks offering Parks Day activities all across the province: biodiversity and marine walks, natural and cultural hikes, children's games, sandcastle competitions, scavenger hunts, and of course, birthday cake with our favourite parks employee – Jerry the Moose!

    One of the year's highlights was our "Park in the City" event hosted in partnership with Parks Canada (also celebrating their agency’s 100th anniversary), Vancouver Parks Board, and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. It was held at Stanley Park and offered youth and new Canadians basic equipment and skills workshops for enjoying the great outdoors. It was a banner celebration with the artist K’Nann performing that evening. Click here for more information.

  1. Take a Hike!

    For BC Parks’ centenary and Capital Regional District (Victoria) Parks’ 45th anniversary, the organizations co-hosted a hike and community celebration in June. This hiking event in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park and Mount Work Regional Park combined guided hikes, interpretation and a challenge to hike all the available trails in the two parks.

    Gowland Tod Provincial Park
  1. Scouts Canada Pacific Jamboree

    Scouts Crest

    Scouts Crest

    In July of 2011, Scouts Canada’s Pacific Council hosted their Pacific Jamboree at Camp Byng, Sunshine Coast, and in Porpoise Bay Provincial Park with a BC Parks 100 theme. The weeklong event included a variety of engaging outdoor activities that scouts, BC Parks’ rangers and Jerry the Moose all participated including sailing, games, leader training and more.

    As part of BC Parks 100, Scouts Canada and BC Parks partnered on a competition for a special edition Scouts Crest. Owen Andrews from Victoria, BC was the winning entry. Several thousand crests were created and earned by participating scouts across the province.

    Porpoise Bay Provincial Park

Conservation Events

In partnership with communities, BC Parks facilitated events in 2011 celebrating the variety of conservation work that happens in parks and protected areas. BC Parks 100 conservation events fell under three themes:

  1. Ecological Reserve Warden Days

    BC Parks and Ecological Reserve Wardens organized events around the province to highlight the amazing work that these volunteers do. The activities of Ecological Reserve Warden Days included interpretive hikes, monitoring and inventory work, and creating displays to showcase ERs at community events.

    Ecological Reserve Warden Days

    Please see the Community Legacy Project Report for another BC Parks 100 project linked to the important work that Ecological Wardens do.

  1. Science in the Park

    Science in the Park

    A wide variety of scientific and research activities occur in parks and protected areas across the province. Science in the Park was an opportunity for researchers to highlight the work they do and to allow public participation in certain scientific activities such as taking measurements, recording data and analysing results.

  2. Communities for Conservation

    Much of the conservation work that happens in BC Parks is a result of volunteer work by community groups and environmental organizations. Communities for Conservation Communities for Conservation encouraged community groups to develop an event that focussed on their organization’s activities with the support of BC Parks.

Legacy Pieces

To honour BC Parks’ 100th anniversary, BC Parks programs created for the centenary will continue to live on. Please check out some of these wonderful BC Parks 100 legacies:

BC Parks on Facebook

Thank You

BC Parks wishes to thank all of its partners, volunteers, park facility operators, sponsors, staff, the public and especially Jerry the Moose for helping us ring in our 100th anniversary.

Here’s looking forward to the next 100 years of B.C.’s beautiful parks and protected areas!

BC Parks 100