The summer of 2011 is going to be a summer of celebration for all B.C. parks across the province. It has been 100 years since the notion of B.C. Parks was formulated into something more than an idea. Across B.C., tourists and British Columbians alike have been enjoying and playing in the great many parks the province has to offer. It has been the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
For Princeton and surrounding area residents, the 100 year celebration brings with it a summer of fun to come enjoy. Some of the events are looking for active participants and active volunteers, like the FatDog 100 endurance race through Cathedral Park, Cascade Park, Manning Park and Skagit Valley Parks. The second event looking for active participants is the Historic Horse Trip to Manning Park following some of B.C.’s oldest and at one time most active trails. They are hoping to get some local riders out for the trip.
Other events are just being held and hoping for an audience worthy of attending. On August 18, Manning Park is hosting an event called Art in the Park. The event includes a symphony consisting of members of the Okanagan Symphony, two concerts and various other cultural activities that will be announced over the coming months. It is a weekend that has Princeton Arts Council’s signature enthusiasm all over it.
The celebration at Manning Park continues with a summer long interpretation historic speaking series with Manning Park staff using the trails and Amphitheatre as venues for the event. Past interpretive staff will be invited to attend as will educators and researchers. The Amphitheatre itself will be undergoing some updating with new technology being the main focus.
Last, but not least the Manning Park celebration will be holding a Bird Blitz. The blitz will be an event to count the many species of birds navigating the park and the numbers. It will be headed by a well known bird expert and is expected to draw some locals out to participate including the Vermilion Forks Field Naturalists. The bird count will be reported to the provincial recorder.
“There are five events I know of for sure,” said Ed Atkinson, who is the West Okanagan Area Supervisor for Parks and Protected Areas through the Ministry of the Environment, “and the possibility of more to come.” Atkinson said that the events which are already booked for the summer have been the result of a collaborative effort. “None of these projects have been designed by the parks,” stated Atkinson. “People have been coming to me excited about celebrating and the partnership we have formed is turning their ideas into something big and something truly exciting. It is going to be a great summer.”
Atkinson wanted to acknowledge the BackCountry Horsemen for their very active role in the celebration that hasn’t just started this summer, but has been ongoing. The Horsemen have been clearing trails throughout the years, giving overgrown trails new life and keeping others from disappearing. “They are a big asset to the parks,” said Atkinson. “They are a tremendous group to work with and their efforts are very inclusive making the trails accessible for multi-use recreation.”
All in all, B.C. Parks and Ed Atkinson believe the summer of 2011 will be a good one. “I am looking forward to all the upcoming events,” said Atkinson. “There will be something for everyone and we still have some big announcements coming. I hope the people of Princeton come out and enjoy.”
To hook up with BackCountry Horsemen to go on the ride or a portion of one of the many routes they will be coming in from contact Jim McRae, BackCountry Horsemen at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-856-5477. The FatDog 100 is in need of volunteers and welcomes all runners local and from afar. To help out contact Heather MacDonald at email@example.com or call 604-990-9815.