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BC Parks Expected To Grow After $83 Million Budget Increase

BC parks are getting an upgrade and a multi-million boost to the tune of $83 million coming to the BC Parks budget that is going to help fuel the creation of new campsites and expand trails.

Dozens of new campsites are being added to the growing list of available campsites in BC for 2021 and beyond. They are expecting to have a record breaking year this year for BC parks despite the 3rd wave and rising cases in the province. Campground sites around the BC region are trying to do their own part to keep people safe, this includes some limiting the number of people at the campsite to a household bubble of 6 or less.

Travel restrictions for BC also have not been ruled out yet. For now they are ramping up vaccine campaigns around the country and the hope is that with more people quickly becoming vaccinated that we will quickly get through this 3rd wave and see a new normal in BC.

In the past there have been issues with a high demand for camping in BC and a limited number of campsites. Reservations can fill up quickly and there is a need for more campsites and trails in the region. This is going to give people even more opportunities to get out and explore their beautiful BC communities.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

In the spring and summer you can find many great activities in Vancouver and BC to enjoy. Renting kayaks or canoes, finding boat trips, taking a helicopter ride around the mountains, skiing up at Whistler, fishing at the lake, renting water sports equipment to have a fun day at the beach with family, or relaxing and taking a tube down a winding river. You can find a long list of things to see and do around town in the summer that will keep you plenty busy.

Looking to rent a boat for an hour or two?

Want to float for a few hours down a river in a tube or rubber boat? Looking to get away in an RV or set up camp for a few days with family? There are many ways to make this summer fun and have days that you will never forget. Despite COVID-19 cases still rising there are many festivals, events, and services still operating, that are trying to navigate this pandemic in a safe manner and still help people get out and enjoy their lives safely.

That new normal might not be that far off, and for many even today it might feel a little back to normal when you can go out and get lost in the woods somewhere, and get some of that sunshine and fresh air.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

BC Parks are already taking reservations for 2021.

If you are looking to book something for this summer then you can already access the website and search through the booking tool to see what is available, they let you book several weeks ahead of time. It is expected to fill up quickly as this is anticipated to be a record-breaking year for camping and BC parks this year. After everyone was stuck indoors last year because of the pandemic, and after the shift of working from home and spending more time at home, many are eager to get outdoors in BC.

Just this year alone it is anticipated that some 185 new campsites are going to be added around BC and that means that those traveling here and those living here are going to have many more camping options coming soon.

It’s not just about adding new campsites though it is also about getting funds that can help go toward restoring damaged ecosystems in the province too and helping to create safer wildlife habitat overall in BC park areas.

The budget for parks is increasing by more than 50 per cent for the capital budget, this means it will increase on average about 22 per cent every year over the 3 years that the $83 million gets added. This comes after they saw record breaking numbers last year and it is expected to continue, they need more resources to keep up with that growing demand.

Photo by Mac DeStroir on Pexels.com

Right now you might be able to book some campsites in BC but they are still not operating things with business as usual, as you might expect prior to the pandemic. From limited capacity to new COVID-19 related restrictions in place, the camping experience might be a bit different this go around.

For campsite locations in BC it is expected that BC residents are going to be given priority access and non-BC residents would have access to remaining arrival dates that aren’t booked up for the season.

After you book your reservation to go camping this summer it might get impacted by changing public health orders as well, new travel restrictions might be introduced in BC for example. That could impact the plans and so it might be best not to book too far ahead considering the ease with which things could change because of COVID-19 cases.

When can you book BC provincial campgrounds 2021? The answer is that you can already book them today. Certain BC parks are going to be open on different days for public access, you can find more on that here. You can also find out information about making campsite reservations in BC here.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Planning a Camping Trip in BC 2021

Right now in BC because of the 3rd wave and those rising cases it is still advised that people stay in their own local communities and don’t travel too far if it isn’t for non-essential purposes.

Staying local and planning ahead can be the best approach this season when it comes to exploring outdoors in BC and making any camping plans with the family. This can be as simple as planning ahead with everything that you need for camping in BC so that you do not need to visit any local stores or gas stations for example, while you are on your travels to the camping destination.

Many parks and camping spots might be opening again but they don’t want to see a rush of out of town visitors bring that risk in to the community that might quickly be overwhelmed with a rise in COVID-19 cases like we’ve recently seen in Whistler.

The recent budget increase is great news for BC Parks and the BC community; this will bring value to environmental spaces around BC and strengthen habitats, while also improving the overall BC camping experience. Many people in this province, as well as our beautiful BC parks and trails themselves, are going to directly benefit from this investment now and in the future for years to come.

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