By Helen Stec
Minister of Environment, Terry Lake, along with Jerry the Moose participated in Clearwater’s annual May Day Parade on Saturday, May 21. They then made their way under sunny skies to the Information Centre to make an announcement and launch a fun new program for kids aimed at encouraging families to visit and explore B.C. parks this summer.
In addition to eliminating all parking fees at B.C.’s provincial parks, Minister Lake announced the Community Legacy Program and, for kids, the BC Parks 100 Passport Program.
The Community Legacy Program is a new initiative providing British Columbians an opportunity to participate in the stewardship of BC parks. Registered not-for-profit societies and charities, local and First Nations governments, schools and school districts can apply for funding of up to $20,000 to make improvements and enhancements to BC parks. Projects may include educational facilities, signs, trail building, conservation projects or any upgrades that will make BC parks more user-friendly and educational. For further information and to view the application visit the British Columbia Conservation Foundation at http://bccf.com.
Minister Lake and Jerry the Moose also announced the BC Parks 100 Passport Program for kids. The passports look like, well, passports! Kids can collect stickers from 180 participating provincial parks throughout British Columbia and earn prizes. For every five stickers collected, the prize is a keepsake commemorative Jerry the Moose pin and for every 10 stickers collected, a commemorative flashlight will be awarded. The passports also have trip planning resources, special offers and coupons.
Jerry the Moose was a big hit with the crowd at the Information Centre, especially the kids. The original Jerry was an orphaned baby moose in the 1960s. He was found in the Cariboo and then transferred to Wells Gray Park.
Jerry the Moose of today was introduced in 1986 on the occasion of BC Parks 75th anniversary when he became the official BC Parks mascot. He now skis, hikes, fishes, and travels throughout British Columbia teaching kids about ecological conservation and outdoor recreation. And now, on the occasion of BC Parks 100th anniversary, Jerry the Moose returned to Clearwater.
Minister of Environment Terry Lake had this to say about Jerry the Moose.
“It’s amazing to see a child’s eyes light up when they see Jerry the Moose in a park. Jerry makes learning about the outdoors a fun adventure and gives kids a lifelong appreciation for B.C.’s beautiful outdoors. With so many events happening this year to mark the centennial, a whole new generation of youth will have a chance to meet Jerry and learn why BC Parks are such a magical place to visit.”
It is expected that Jerry the Moose will be entertaining kids at more than 50 events this summer.