||June 3, 2011
Parks Canada celebrates its
There were a few Canadian Parks before
1911 but their presence was not formalized until May 1911. The centennial has
had some celebrations and more are pending. Most of us are familiar with our
many Provincial Parks especially Algonquin and nearby ones like Restoule and
Parks Canada was established to oversee
existing parks and create new ones in 1911. There are now 42 national parks,
167 historical sites and 4 marine conservation areas and other things like the
gravesites of former Prime Ministers.
The World Wildlife Fund International
honoured Parks Canada last week for its outstanding achievement emphasizing that
our parks are the envy of the world. A new parcel, 11,137 hectares of land is
being added this year on the western boundary of Saskatchewan’s National Park in
a gift from a local family.
Before 1911 Banff and Jasper existed and
Banff is the best known today. The recreational mandate charged overtime to
include environmental ecology and protection. Nine of the 10 least visited
parks were created after 1970 for these primary purpose of the protection of the
One source says that it would take 4
years for parks created in the last 20 years to equal Banff attendance on a good
Banff had 3.13 million visitors last
season and all parks had 20.7 million last year – down a bit. If you wish to
visit Quttinirpaaq in Nunavit check their website. They had 2 visitors last
year. The plane flights are $15,000 in and $15,000 out. This park like some
others has a primary purpose of environmental preservation.
During the last election the
Conservatives pledged to create the first national park close to a big city. It
will be in the Rouge Valley east of Toronto and will be the first national park
easily accessible by southern Ontarians. There are many issues to be resolved
but it looks like a go.
The Parks provide quality jobs for many
Canadians. Forty five hundred staff including wardens, scientists,
interpreters, historians, and town guides oversee 377,000 square kilometres.
There is a 690 million dollar budget.
The historical aspects of the parks is
not neglected especially the aboriginal component. There is also a program that
teaches camping skills to the beginner to augment attendance.
|| New 59 cent stamp
celebrating Parks Canada 1911-2011.
Centennial Stamp and Coin
Canada Post has a new 59 cent stamp out
celebrating the event. It is reminiscent of the old postcards encouraging
visits to the parks. Four million stamps are available in your local post
offices as is the new silver dollar coin.
The beautiful coin comes in various
packages and runs about $60 and is a real masterpiece and keepsake. Google the
Royal Canadian Mint. Your Post Office may have some. Powassan had 2 when I
Dr. Claire Campbell, historian and
author has published a new book “A Century of Parks Canada” as a part of the
An excellent reference on parks
including those in Ontario is the book Changing Parks, The History of, Future,
and Cultural Context of Parks and Heritage Landscapes. National
Heritage/Natural History Press – a series of essays compiled by John S. Marsh &
Bruce w. Hodgins. Hodgins has written extensively on Temagami among other
things and taught at Trent University.
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