We Are Standing Up For Parks

15 years ago the BC Parks budget was decimated.

One thing we know for sure: without adequate funding, our parks will continue to suffer and run the risk of becoming nothing more than “paper parks” – protected in theory, but not in practice.

This is our moment to turn the tide for BC Parks.

On February 3rd, we're partnering with CPAWS and standing for our parks.

Show you care by using the hashtag #StandUpForParks.
Let's let people know that the parks matter to us.


Our provincial parks is a diverse place that is a source of pride, strength, and adventure for all people who make their home in British Columbia – including us. From expansive valley bottoms to wild mountain peaks to the golden grasslands, one’s adventure can find no end. Together, we are standing to regain what BC Parks lost over 15 years ago when the budget was decimated, causing cascading effects for park staff, visitors and ecological integrity.

Our current NDP Government promised to restore funding and hire more rangers during their 2017 election campaign, so as they head into their budget decision on February 20th, let’s hold them to it!

With our provincial parks seeing record numbers of visitors – people looking for adventure, learning or healing – we know that getting the (small bit of) funding we're asking for will make a tremendous impact on the integrity of the park system. 


BC Parks receives just a fraction of the funding similar park agencies do.
Alberta Parks: $30/ha
Parks Canada: $33/ha
BC Parks: $2.8/ha


  1. In Budget 2018, increase operational funding for BC Parks to $60M;
  2. Continue to increase the budget to eventually match leading parks agencies such as Parks Canada and Alberta Parks;
  3. Continue to hire more rangers until we meet pre-budget-cut levels.



As park users, we understand that the everyday issues - from crowded trails to streams of garbage to decaying infrastructure - are made unmanagable by the under-funding crisis. We also understand that it does not have to be like this. We know that we can increase both biodiversity and visitor experience with the right tools. To do this, we need a long-term commitment from our government to increase funding for protected areas. Show your support for increasing resources for the hard working staff and volunteers of BC Parks.



We need to show our political leaders that parks matter to us - their constituents and voter base. Here’s how you can help make that happen at this critical time for parks:

  1. 1. Plan or join a local trip / Get outside: On Feb. 3, we take it to the Parks! Strap on our snowshoes, hop in our kayaks or stand by our favourite waterfall to demand better protection for our parks. Better yet, create an event in the CS x Vancouver group, invite a whole bunch of people out, and share it on social using the hashtag #StandUpForParks. In this case, more equals better.
  2. Collect signatures: Collect signatures in-person using this petition form or by sharing this online form.
  3. Spread the word: Tell your family, friends and colleagues! Write into your community paper! Use social media to share why you #StandUpForParks and invite your networks to join the movement! The more we get, the easier this will be.
  4. Be part of the social media team: We’ll need folks to help amplify the messages from the parks. If you aren’t interested or able to head out into the park, join in online through social media following the hashtag #StandUpFor Parks
  5. Write a letter: If you’ve got a pen and paper or access to a computer, you’ve got a role to play in getting the word out. Writing in to your local paper (there are guidelines here - page 7 - on how to write a letter to the editor) and sending a copy directly to your local politician can be done in less than an hour and make a huge local impact!



BC Parks is one of the worst- funded parks in the country, receiving just 1/15 of the budget (per hectare) that some other parks receive.

On February 20, the BC Government will release their budget for 2018. This budget outlines their priorities.

We're making some noise to let them know that the parks are important to us. The BC Parks operating budget is tiny in comparison to the provincial budget (like really tiny), but the small raise that we are asking for would make a huge difference to the protection of our parks.

If you're down to stand for parks, stand with us on Saturday.

- Chasing Sunrise



If you want more details on how you can get involved, including writing letters to your MLAs and social media strategies, check out the CPAWS: 2018 Action Plan.



If this is the kind of thing you deeply care about and want to get more involved with CPAWS, you can reach out to Tori Ball here (tori@cpawsbc.org)

Adventure In Your Blood, Indecision On Your Mind

“You’ve got adventure in your blood, my dear. Don’t let anything ever tame it.”

Words by Samantha Lego

This snippet of a conversation has stayed with me for years, always present, in the back of my mind. It rewards me when I’m on long-distance bus rides through Laos, or as I seek out foreign destinations in my spare time. Although most recently, I’ve been finding my thoughts drifting back to that conversation as I sit at my desk, nine to five, Monday to Friday, working away at a job I genuinely enjoy.

I’ve always known I’ve wanted to travel, been perfectly OK to drop my life and see the world.  That is how I knew I would measure my fulfillment and gage my happiness. Yet it’s only been recently since I’ve come home and been presented with another option.

It’s the struggle of every 20-something year-old. Do I stay or do I go? Do I start a career or see the world? Do I fall in love with someone or fall in love with something, somewhere else.

When asked by an anxious young man about whether he should or should not get married, Socrates said,  “You will regret it either way.”

Which is to say, there is not one right thing to do, and the one constant aspect of life as a 20-something is we are never fully sure of ourselves, never fully satisfied. We let ourselves get pulled in so many different directions, start down so many different roads and spend so much time deliberating on whether we’ll regret our decisions in the time to come.

Our generation is one of ambivalence. Defined as the uncertainty caused by the inability to make a choice, or by the simultaneous desire to do two conflicting things, people our age seem to be stuck at the crossroads.

Yet, we’re expected to do it all. We are expected to be successful. We are expected to make mistakes. We are expected to travel. We are expected to settle down.  We’re expected to expect a lot from ourselves.

These expectations, whether they’re in favour of freedom or stability are what leads people to become complacent, stalled by their own indecisiveness.

And it drives us insane.

I believe that the lust or thirst in life – whether it be for travel, adventure, or fulfillment – is like hunger. If you don’t feed it, it will grow and grow until it consumes all your other thoughts and actions, until you are forced to satiate it.

Sometimes I drown in waves of panic, sitting at my desk, wondering what the hell I’m doing as I scroll through friends’ feeds as they gallivant around South America, Africa and Asia.

Adventure called and I feel like I’m standing it up.

I’ll question every decision I’ve made since I’ve been home until my thoughts are jumbled and I’m left feeling empty and unsatisfied.

I don’t want to settle. My insatiable hunger to see the world is as inexorable as it is unavoidable. But there is a part of me that is envious of those who have made a name for themselves, who have found long-term love and who seem to be fast-tracked for a perfect life.

Much like Peter Pan, people tell me that I’m afraid to grow up, meet life head-on or that I travel because I’m running away.

Some of us are hard wired for a stabilized life full of potential for continuous growth. Others are driven mad by the idea and instead, seek a different kind of growth, more sporadic yet no less fulfilling.

Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, there will be that pivotal moment which makes you question everything. You’ll toss and turn and wake up at 3am in cold sweats trying to figure out if you’re wasting your time pursuing one dream over another.

I usually forget the second half of that pivotal conversation, where I was told that although I should always follow my passion. Whichever path our wayward minds lead us down, we’ll always find something to look forward to. It’s about finding the enjoyment in the possibilities that have been presented to us, no matter how long or short term they are.

Until then, Melatonin is well known for helping you sleep.

To read more from Samantha Lego, check out her words here.

There's No Place Like Home

There's No Place Like Home

Somehow we have come to believe that if it's not far and foreign, then it has little value.

Yet adventuring in your own backyard is one of the most overlooked and cheapest ways of having more travel in your life, and can happen far more frequently then dropping everything and flying halfway around the globe. It's not about looking forward to a single trip that eats all your vacation time and travel budget, but about learning how to make the most of those 48 hour weekends we get, every single week.

This is #CSHutTrip

Life Lessons from Chasing Sunrise

Life Lessons from Chasing Sunrise

Life Lesson #1: We’re all in this together.

If you ever feel like you’re the only one, you’re not. In this case, I thought I was the only one who was nervous about meeting 50 new people and venturing into the unknown. But when I got talking to other people I realized I was not alone. We were all in the same boat. Everyone was going through their own internal thoughts: some were nervous about having no reception, some were feeling shy and some were worried they wouldn’t fit in. One thing we probably all had in common that morning was that we thought we were the only ones. But that was far from the truth. I think this applies to most things in life. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together and you are NEVER alone.

My Top 11 Moments At #Chasecamp

My Top 11 Moments At #Chasecamp

Grabbing my seat on a bus heading off into the unknown, surrounded by 49 strangers who immediately offered me snacks such as homemade cookies, fresh apples, candy, introducing themselves and taking guesses at where we were heading next. I was told as a child to never get into cars with strangers - especially ones who had snacks - but something told me going against that advice at that moment was absolutely the best decision to make. I was absolutely right.

Chasecamp 2016

Chasecamp 2016

On May 14, I got on a bus with 49 strangers and headed into the unknown. Literally - we had no idea where we were going. But we were stoked. Then, as we passed through Hope heading farther away from the city than I’ve been in awhile, I watched the bars of my phone dive down into oblivion. No service, it said...

Chasing Sunrise: Chasecamp

Chasing Sunrise: Chasecamp

I don't even know where to begin with this post. It happened about three weeks ago, at the end of April. Just days before I was about to hit the road on a road trip down south to California. I received an email in my mailbox from Chasing Sunrise. They were hosting a contest. 50 strangers would be selected and taken on an all expenses paid weekend getaway. The catch? You won't know where you're going or what you'll be doing, only that where it is, there is no cell service. You will only be told what to pack. Would you be willing to throw away the comforts of your daily life and throw yourself into the unknown?

#ChasingSunrise #IntoTheUnknown #MECNation #MakeItCount

#ChasingSunrise #IntoTheUnknown #MECNation #MakeItCount

When I first stumbled upon Chasing Sunrise, all I could think was “these are my people” - a community that understands that with each sunrise, we are given a choice: we can either stay in bed waiting for life to come to us or we can get up and get after it, chasing what we want. The latter is about wanting more out of life. More memories. More adventures. More mind-blowing experiences.


Written By: District Local | Vancouver
Original Source

The unknown called, and we answered.

This weekend, we went offline and ‪#‎IntoTheUnknown‬ with Chasing Sunrise and MEC Outdoor Nation. 50 strangers were taken on a secret, all-expenses paid trip into the wild – no further details were provided until arrival. Our correspondent, a dear friend and one of the lucky chosen 50, shares his experience:

The adventure begins.

2:45 a.m. wake up calls are early, even by our standards. But when it’s Chasing Sunrise setting the alarm, you don’t press snooze. So off we went to meet the group at 6 a.m to get the weekend started, destination unknown.

A few hours later, we pulled into Manning Park, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this season. It was BC Parks that turned to Chasing Sunrise and an assemblage of outstanding local sponsors to help make this adult summer camp happen – and this group was more than happy to jump in.

Welcome to Chase Camp.

Having found our tentmates in Chase Camp, we spent the afternoon getting to know each other over chilly lake swims, some intense pickup Ultimate Frisbee, California kickball, and leisurely bocce. Conversations and friendships flowed easily. None of us had met until we boarded the bus that morning. Our new friends were from all walks of life, and the stories and inspiration quicklyflowed: a biologist, an ultramarathoner, and a videographer; a guy who’d been a nanny in Malaysia, and an expert in dugout canoes from Duncan, via Indonesia; an adventurer off to Colombia, and an Australian living out of a van.

Forget tin can cooking and hotdogs. Our weekend’s Paleo menu, courtesy of Whole Foods and some hardworking chefs from Fuel Your Fire (a Paleo meal home delivery service), included Italian sausages,bbq porkchops, butternut squash, fresh fruits and salads. Early mountain climbs necessitate caffeine, and local Saltspring Coffee helped keep us warm and awake. Plant-based nutritious treats from Vegawere packed away to take along for what lay ahead.

  Photo Credit: Philip Gibney

Photo Credit: Philip Gibney

After an evening of campfire s’mores and awesome guitar – summer camp styles – we grabbed a couple hours of shuteye before the weekend’s only certainty: a 4 am hike up somewhere high to catch the Sunday morning sunrise.

And so, eight kilometres later we arrived at Cascade Lookout, where we found the team from Fuel Your Fire preparing eggs, bacon, and hash browns at the top of the mountain. We happily refueled with hot breakfast and soaked in our surroundings – the lookout offered spectacular views of the entire valley, and we watched the inky blue sky gradually brighten to spectacular pinks as the sun came through the clouds.

 Photo Credit: Philip Gibney

Photo Credit: Philip Gibney

Chasing Sunrise promises “more experiences, more adventures, and more mind-blowing memories“. And this weekend delivered. From beautiful scenery to budding friendships, we were left inspired and energized for the week ahead. Our sense of adventure is renewed; you’ll find us on a 5 a.m.mountaintop somewhere soon. Because, as Chasing Sunrise reminds us, you were born to do more than pay bills and die.

 Photo Credit: Damon Berryman

Photo Credit: Damon Berryman

About Manning Park:

Located between Hope and Princeton, BC and less than 5km from the US border, E.C. Manning Park has a large variety of walking and hiking trails which range anywhere from a 15-minute walk to a 5 or 6 day hike. Lightning Lake is often used for non-motorized watersports, such as canoeingkayaking, andfishing. Rentals are available at the lake for canoes, rowboats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The park will host their 75th Anniversary Party this summer on Canada’s Parks Day (July 16).

Credit goes to:

Thanks again Chasing Sunrise and these awesome sponsors for making this adventure awesome: