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B.C. investing in provincial parks

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:27 PST, Fri January 22, 2021

Last Updated: 12:42 PST, Fri January 22, 2021

Safeguarding nature is at the heart of a new $5 million investment in projects spanning 24 provincial parks.

"We have heard the call for greater access to the outdoors to promote health and well-being during COVID-19. These meaningful projects create jobs to address those needs as part of our support for B.C. communities," said Environment Minister George Heyman. "Investing in provincial parks also protects sensitive ecosystems, supports our climate change goals and makes parks more accessible for everyone to enjoy."

"An investment in our parks is an investment in the people of British Columbia," added Richmond-Steveston MLA Kelly Greene, parliamentary secretary for environment. "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."

Scheduled for completion this spring are:

• installing electric vehicle charging stations at popular day-use sites in three parks;

• upgrades to parking lots, drinking water systems and boat launches;

• various upgrades to campgrounds in five provincial parks;

• backcountry improvements, such as new bear caches and trail upgrades; and

• accessibility upgrades, such as new boardwalks and accessible surfacing.

The funding is in addition to about $18 million in annual capital investments in BC Parks, which is dedicated to protecting the province's diverse natural places for world-class outdoor recreation, conservation, education and scientific study.

B.C.'s provincial parks receive more than 23 million visits each year and represents one of the largest park systems in North America. Ninety-eight of the parks and protected areas system remain largely undeveloped. The remaining two per cent has been developed with a visitor-use focus and includes facilities such as campgrounds, day-use facilities, trails, boat launches, buildings, roads and parking lots.

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