Since the establishment of Strathcona Provincial Park in 1911, BC Parks has benefitted from the valuable contributions of volunteers to help develop, operate and maintain parks across the province.
Throughout the years, volunteers have been actively engaged in a wide range of activities including:
- trail maintenance
- facility restoration
- campground hosting
- ecological reserve wardens
- educational and interpretive programs
In the 1980s, the Ecological Reserve (ER) Warden program was introduced to help ensure that the increasing number of ecological reserves were protected and managed. During this same period the Volunteer Host Program and Park Ambassador Programs were initiated, creating many more volunteer opportunities to protect parks and provide many services to campgrounds around the province. In 1988 alone, more than 2,100 volunteers contributed over 87,000 hours as park hosts, guest speakers and other diverse activities.
The 1990s saw the creation of the Conservation Steward Program that focused activities on conservation activities in BC Parks such as stream restoration or conducting simple inventories.
By the year 2000, 2,881 volunteers contributed over 124,000 hours of their time in BC Parks to conservation and environmental projects across the province. Throughout 2011, volunteers and community partners contributed significantly to the success of the BC Parks centennial celebrations.
Currently, ER wardens, park hosts, trail stewards and other volunteers continue to be highly active in their communities to protect and maintain the natural legacy that is BC Parks today and into the future. This online volunteer community represents the latest component in improving the volunteering experience with BC Parks across the province.