BC Parks With people in British Columbia visiting BC Parks in ever-increasing numbers, the province is increasing its investment to promote access and protect nature in some of the most beautiful places on the planet, according to e-know.ca.

During the next three years, the BC Parks operating and capital budgets, combined, will increase by more than $83 million, resulting in new campsites, expanded trails and strengthened management of the park system. The BC Parks capital budget will increase by an average of 57% and the operating budget will increase by an average of 22% for each year of Budget 2021.

“It’s absolutely clear how deeply people care about our provincial parks. The pandemic has brought more people than ever to visit BC Parks so they can safely spend time with family and friends while connecting to nature,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy. “Investing in our parks helps secure our magnificent natural legacy so more British Columbians can appreciate its beauty. We are also supporting local businesses and the economy by creating employment opportunities through new investments in park infrastructure.”

From 2014 to 2019, BC Parks experienced a 23% increase in visitors throughout the province and had another record-breaking year for camping reservations with more than 270,000 made in 2020. In response to the increased demand for camping and outdoor recreation opportunities, the additional funding will go toward the construction of new campgrounds, more campsites and amenities at existing campgrounds. For this season, approximately 185 sites are being added to BC Parks, expanding on the over 1,500 sites added to BC Parks and recreational sites since 2017.

“B.C.’s parks and campgrounds are more popular than ever, which is why this investment is so timely,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance. “By investing in new camp spaces and improving trails and accessibility, we are creating jobs right here at home and protecting this important legacy for generations to come.”

The funding will be used to enhance trails and improve accessibility for people who use wheelchairs, strollers or have other accessibility challenges. In addition, the funding will support high-priority maintenance projects and renovations to existing facilities, additional staff and equipment, and improvements to backcountry facilities to enhance stewardship and the overall visitor experience. Planning is underway to determine where the new projects will take place.

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