End of a work day for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program in Garibaldi Park. (BC Parks photo)

End of a work day for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program in Garibaldi Park. (BC Parks photo)

Applications open for BC Parks Student Ranger Program

North Thompson Star/Journal

Young adults interested in working outdoors this summer and playing a key role in environmental stewardship can now apply for the BC Parks Student Ranger Program.

The Student Ranger Program offers 48 young adults training and employment opportunities in B.C.’s parks and protected areas, providing hands-on work experience through a variety of projects related to conservation, recreation, community outreach and Indigenous relations.

“Our spectacular park system provides exceptional recreational opportunities and plays a critical role in preserving ecology, celebrating culture and honouring history,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “The meaningful work completed each year by student rangers has a lasting impact on our parks and protected areas, and is an important part of renewing our BC Parks workforce and capacity.”

Funded by the federal and provincial governments, the program consists of 12 crews of four student rangers located throughout B.C. The teams focus on initiatives such as ecosystem restoration, invasive species control, outdoor education, trail building and infrastructure maintenance.

“Providing young adults with the opportunity and skill set to maintain and protect our parks is critical to training the next generation of environmental stewards in British Columbia,” said Kelly Greene, Parliamentary Secretary for Environment. “This program will build on our commitment to move British Columbia to a greener and more environmentally sustainable future.”

Chloe Sandahl has been a student ranger for two seasons, working on Vancouver Island and in Maple Ridge. For Sandahl, the overall experience was about building connections with parks staff, visitors and stakeholders, and learning how to work on a team.

“The experience of being a student ranger was incredibly valuable. BC Parks was really supportive of entrusting crews with meaningful projects, therefore this program feels as if my generation is being passed a torch,” said Sandahl. “While I look back with great fondness on the projects we accomplished, such as field surveys, trail maintenance and construction projects, I always enjoyed visiting new areas and learning about the history and management of various parks. We saw many benefits of our parks first-hand and that is very exciting to be part of.”

For the 2021 season, student rangers will be based in Victoria (Goldstream Provincial Park), Black Creek (Miracle Beach Provincial Park), Squamish (Alice Lake Provincial Park), Chilliwack (Cultus Lake Provincial Park), Cranbrook, Penticton, Hagensborg, Williams Lake, Prince George, Fort St. John, Terrace and Smithers. Two additional crews may be located in the Liard area and Dease Lake in northern B.C.

Offered to young adults aged 18 to 30, eligible candidates must be enrolled in full-time studies during the past academic year with the intention of returning to full-time studies in the fall. To support employment equity and diversity in the workplace, the program encourages applicants from all groups, including Indigenous peoples.

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 21, 2021, and are available online: https://bcparks.ca/employment/student-ranger/

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