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.
THE ASK IS SIMPLE:
- In Budget 2018, increase operational funding for BC Parks to $60M;
- Continue to increase the budget to eventually match leading parks agencies such as Parks Canada and Alberta Parks;
- Continue to hire more rangers until we meet pre-budget-cut levels.
WE ARE OUR BEST ADVOCATES!
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. 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.
- Collect signatures: Collect signatures in-person using this petition form or by sharing this online form.
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
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.
GET MORE INVOLVED WITH CPAWS.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)