The province plans to invest an additional $83 million in its parks as visitors continue to increase within the next three years.
The announcement was made Friday (April 16) by George Heyman, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
He said funds will go towards expanding BC Parks’ operating and capital budgets to construct more campgrounds, trails, amenities and hire new staff.
This camping season alone, approximately 185 sites are being added to provincial parks.
A 90-site campground in Manning Park is scheduled to open this July, providing overnight visitors with water, sewer and electrical service.
“B.C.’s parks and campgrounds are more popular than ever, which is why this investment is so timely,” added Selina Robinson, Minister of Finance.
Parks’ capital budget will increase by an average 57 per cent while its operating sees a yearly uptick of an estimated 22 per cent – both included in the 2021 provincial budget.
The locations for a bulk of the funding are still to be decided, Heyman said.
Though, he noted, it will support maintenance projects and renovations to existing facilities, equipment and improvements to backcountry facilities.
It will also be used to improve accessibility for people who use wheelchairs, strollers or have other accessibility challenges.
B.C.’s provincial parks – of which there are more than 1,000 – receive more than 23 million visits each year.
In 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, camping reservations broke previously held records.
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