Two dozen provincial parks across B.C., including two in the Okanagan, will be receiving infrastructure improvements, the province announced on Friday.
With funding made available from B.C.’s Economic Recovery Plan, the Ministry of Environment says $5 million will be invested in those 24 parks, with the end goal being improved access to nature.
The list of provincial parks in B.C.’s Southern Interior that will receive improvements includes Bear Creek Park near West Kelowna, Ellison Park near Vernon, Syringa Park near Castlegar, Kokanee Creek Park east of Nelson and Wasa Lake Park north of Cranbrook.
“We have heard the call for greater access to the outdoors to promote health and well-being during COVID-19,” Environment Minister George Heyman said in a press release.
“These meaningful projects create jobs to address those needs as part of our support for B.C. communities. Investing in provincial parks also protects sensitive ecosystems, supports our climate change goals and makes parks more accessible for everyone to enjoy.”
Bear Creek Park, located on the west side of Okanagan Lake, will receive electrical services for another 35 campsites. Electrical services to 21 campsites were added in 2018.
Ellison Park will receive paving upgrades, with the campground entrance road, campground loop roads and day-use parking area being repaved.
“We have seen how parks play a huge role in our lives when it comes to bringing families, friends and communities together,” said Harwinder Sandhu, MLA for Vernon-Monashee.
“British Columbians have pride in their provincial parks, and these upgrades to Ellison Park, along with other provincial parks in the Okanagan, ensure we can all access to these beautiful natural spaces.”
Kokanee Creek Park will receive new accessible pit toilets and a mobi-mat, which improves accessibility for wheelchairs over loose or low-traction surfaces.
Upgrades are being made to the drinking water system at Wasa Lake Park north of Cranbrook and Syringa Park near Castlegar.
Other infrastructure projects throughout the province include upgrades to water systems, parking lots, multi-use trails, campground facilities, backcountry facilities and accessibility improvements.
Electric vehicle charging stations will be added to some day-use areas in northwest B.C. The projects are scheduled for completion in the spring.
For more information about B.C. Parks, click here.