Victoria -Timing is everything. As warm spring weather arrives, campers and day users head to the parks.
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, making visits to provincial parks more enjoyable than ever. 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.
The BC Budget comes down Monday April 20.
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 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.
Infrastructure improvements are nearing the finish line in 24 provincial parks through a $5-million investment from B.C.’s $10-billion COVID-19 response, which includes StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan. The projects include upgrades to parking lots, drinking water systems, boat launches and campgrounds, backcountry improvements and accessibility upgrades.
“Today’s announcement marks a real turning point for our provincial parks and is exactly the kind of bold action that nature needs right now,” said Annita Mcphee, executive director, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, British Columbia. “This investment in BC Parks will be appreciated generations into the future and will better support British Columbians today to experience, appreciate and learn from these special places that are so important to the people and the wildlife of this province.”
This announcement is part of B.C.’s Budget 2021, and is part of a continued investment in community infrastructure throughout the province and supports the foundation of a long-term recovery that includes everyone in B.C.