March 9, 2011
Ministry of Environment
CHOOSE YOUR OWN
SPRING BREAK ADVENTURE WITH BC PARKS
News You Can Use
VICTORIA – Whether you plan to stay close to home or roam around the province during spring break, incorporating a B.C. park into your plans is a great way to get some exercise, explore, and teach the kids about conservation.
British Columbia’s incredible system of provincial parks offers experiences as unforgettable and diverse as the province’s natural landscape. Explore sandy beaches and majestic forests, investigate snowy trails or paddle down peaceful rivers. BC Parks offers campsites, day-use areas, and thousands of kilometres of trails as a fun, convenient, low-cost way to explore the province on spring break.
Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is a fun activity for the whole family, suitable for a variety of ages and fitness levels. And it can be done at dozens of parks around B.C. – all you need is snow. Manning Provincial Park and Strathcona Provincial Park offer snowshoe rental and lessons for newbies.
Skiing: B.C. is home to some of the best ski areas in Canada. Silver Star Provincial Park recently hosted the top skiers in the world at the Sparkling Hills Masters World Cup 2011 cross-country ski championships. The North Okanagan and Columbia regions were among the first areas in B.C. to offer cross-country skiing and ski jumping – long before chairlifts and downhill skiing became popular. If speed is more your family’s style, try downhill skiing at Cypress or Seymour Provincial parks.
Hiking: Whether you want to trek the kids through the backcountry or sit with them on a bench overlooking the ocean, there’s a parks hiking destination suitable for your family.
A day at the beach: Take the kids to one of hundreds of lake, river and oceanfront parks around the province for a chance to poke at shells, surf, or kayak. For example, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park offers 47 kilometres of spectacular Vancouver Island coastline, with a number of spots perfect for surfing. The China Beach day-use area also has picnic tables, washrooms, an easily accessible beach, and running water if you prefer to watch the waves from the comfort of shore.
Making a day at the park even better: Want to encourage your kids to be more active? Or teach them about nature – like how animals use camouflage to protect themselves from predators? Print a one-page activity guide from the BC Parks website to make the most of your park experience. Activities are sorted by age and include instructions.
There are also downloadable games and colouring pages if bad weather or a sick child are keeping you at home on spring break: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/education/dwnld_activities.html
Plan a camping vacation: Gather the family around the computer and plan your next camping holiday. BC Parks online camping reservation service opens the virtual reservation window for front-country camping at 7 a.m., Mon., March 15. All campsites, maps and amenities can be viewed and booked at www.discovercamping.ca. Reservations can also be made through the call centre at 1 800 689-9025.
Why It Matters:
British Columbia's parks are among the greatest resources this province has. They are major vacation spots, both internationally and locally, they protect some of the largest temperate rainforest left in the world, and are home to a wide range of flora and fauna. March 1, 2011 marked BC Parks' 100th anniversary. BC Parks is hosting celebrations and events across the entire province to mark this magnificent and historic milestone.
· B.C. has the largest parks system of any province – second only to the national park system.
· With nearly 1,000 parks and protected areas, today 14.27 per cent (13.5 million hectares) of British Columbia's land base is protected.
· There are more than 340 campgrounds, 6,000 km of hiking trails, 118 boat launches and 263 day-use areas in B.C.'s provincial park system.
Learn More at:
The BC Parks website has all the info you need to plan a visit to a B.C. park. Along with information about park locations, activities and events, and natural features you’ll find information about weather, highway route information, and even a carbon calculator so you can make your family’s park visit even greener:
The BC Parks 100 events calendar has details of centennial celebrations happening in parks all over B.C. The calendar is frequently updated so check back often: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/events/calendar/#eventList
Follow BC Parks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourBCParks
Public Affairs Bureau
Ministry of Environment
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