I took advantage of yesterday's beautiful weather to avoid the political chatter and go for a hike in Golden Ears Provincial Park. Which reminded me that we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the provincial park system this year. That's right, another anniversary!
The first park, created on March 1, 1911, was Strathcona on central Vancouver Island, west of Campbell River. One of the dramatic features of the park is the Golden Hinde, the highest peak on the Island (photo above by Philip Stone). The park was named for Donald Smith, First Baron Strathcona, former Bank of Montreal president and backer of the CPR. The decision to create a park followed an expedition into the area led the previous summer by Chief Commissioner of Lands, Price Ellison.
Two years later, in 1913, Mount Robson became the second provincial park, after which new parks were added to the system with regularity until today there are 999 protected areas (parks, conservancies, ecological reserves, etc.) covering a bit more than 14 percent of the province's land area. (Golden Ears became a provincial park in 1967 by the way).
To learn more about the history of the provincial parks system, visit here.