British Columbia to Increase Provincial Parks as Recreation Demand Balloons

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The provincial government of British Columbia (Canada) has acquired properties valued at more than CA$13 million to increase provincial parks and recreation areas as the demand for outdoor activities grows.

According to a report, there are five properties purchased for the amount of CA$3.5 million, and two additional properties were donated to B.C. Parks valued at over CA$1 million.

In 2020-21, B.C. Parks acquired land in addition to eight parks for CA$2.66 million, including the lakeshore lands that will become part of Christina Lake, Kootenay Lake, Gladstone, and Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Park.

The most expensive purchase was located on Hornby Island. The province spent CA$8 million on two parcels, including the last abandoned beachfront along Tribune Bay and an existing private campground with 135 campsites.

The improvements of Tribune Bay Provincial Park include the possibility of walk-in sites and cycling tours, kayaking, or hiking.

Environment Minister George Heyman introduced legislation Thursday to change park boundaries in ten parks to allow for the changes as part of an ongoing program that has increased the total number of provincial protected areas and parks to 14% of B.C.’s total area.

“This is the result of seizing the opportunity to make acquisitions and purchases, in some cases private land, in some cases additions of Crown land, as we’re continuing to improve our park system as well as correcting some administrative errors,” Heyman said.

“In some cases, we simply don’t make a purchase because the price is too high. In many cases, the people who are selling want to get a fair return, but they also want to see that land become a piece of a park in a community in which they’ve spent their lives, and we seize those opportunities every chance we get.”

B.C. Parks also collaborates with corporations and non-profits to expand its parks system through land acquisition programs.

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