Get Out There

Investment in BC Parks aims to aid provincial economic recovery

 | February 1, 2021

The StrongerBC Economic Recovery Initiative promoting wellness and employment will improve 24 parks in the province, including some close to home

Looking out to Shuswap Lake. Photo credit: @miraecampbell

Lac Le Jeune, Shuswap Lake and 21 other provincial parks will receive improvements thanks to $5 million from B.C.’s $10 billion COVID-19 response.

Residents, sensitive ecosystems and the economy all stand to benefit from the $5 million injection, according to provincial minister of environment and climate change strategy George Heyman.

Projects slated for completion this year include electric vehicle charging stations, upgrades to parking lots, boat launches, water systems, campground enhancements, better accessibility and backcountry improvements.

Both Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park, south of Kamloops, and Shuswap Lake Provincial Park near Sorrento, are said to be receiving improvements to their potable water systems.

The improvements follow a busy park season and general increase in visitors over the years according to the Canaidan Parks and Wilderness Society British Columbia chapter (CPAWSBC).

The Shuswap foothills rolling above Shuswap lake. Photo credit: Darren Robinson/Shuswap Tourism.

“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 Heyman.

The $5 million comes from the StrongerBC Economic Recovery Initiative and will be added to the annual capital investments of about $18 million in BC Parks which is dedicated to protecting the province’s diverse natural places for world-class outdoor recreation, conservation, education and scientific study, a press release stated.

“An investment in our parks is an investment in the people of B.C.,” said Kelly Greene, parliamentary secretary for the ministry of environment.

The investment will not only aid the economy through the protections of people’s health and livelihoods but will also support businesses and communities.

“We are celebrating this investment in BC Parks, which will have far-reaching benefits for people and nature,” said CPAWSBC executive director Annita Mcphee. “Keeping parks accessible and sustainably supported will create a more welcoming parks system, building healthy communities and future nature stewards.”

Camping in Lac Le Jeune might just get a little bit better. Photo by Jean Strong.