Strathcona Park friends asking for your help

Dear editor,

From Aug. 20 to 25, the Friends of Strathcona Park are organizing two events, which are very important in our overall strategy to create meaningful protection for Strathcona Park.

Dear editor,

From Aug. 20 to 25, the Friends of Strathcona Park are organizing two events, which are very important in our overall strategy to create meaningful protection for Strathcona Park.

The Strathcona Wilderness Festival, will only last a day, but we’d like everyone who cares about the park to come and be counted.  Carol Hunter of Comox, and Mick Taylor of Gold River, who were both Bedwell Trail volunteers last year and are now on the FOSP executive, have done a massive amount of organizing to make the event possible.

For details on the Festival (and the volunteer Bedwell Centennial Trail project for this year) go to friendsofstrathcona.org.

From my perspective, the reasons for the festival are totally  political (governments see people as votes, and if sufficient numbers of people are willing to donate a day of their lives to support their park, the government will definitely take notice, especially now, with a provincial election coming up very soon) and I have trouble seeing it any other way.

My message is simple: To protect Strathcona Park for yourself and future generations, please come, and please bring your family and friends.

But that’s my perspective, and not necessarily how others see it.

For others, the Strathcona Wilderness Festival will decidedly not be a political event. It has been created as a day of fun, learning, and enjoyable free activities, all facilitated by qualified knowledgeable people who have given their time because they think Strathcona Park is worth it.

Please match their contribution. Come and enjoy a wonderful day in a beautiful park.

The second event, the Bedwell Centennial Trail, (also political for me, but not necessarily for others) will be happening from August 20 to 25, and will involve volunteer trail work from Bedwell Lake to Ashwood Creek in the Bedwell Valley in Strathcona Park.

We have official permission to do this work, and we’re officially allowed up to 45 volunteers. When completed, the trail will allow hikers to travel across the spine of Vancouver Island to Bedwell Inlet on the west coast.

Last year, volunteers created a major section of trail leading from the head of Bedwell Inlet toward Bedwell Lake. This year, we’ll do another major section from Bedwell Lake toward our work of last year, leaving (for unclear official reasons) a very short, uncompleted section in the middle.

To date, we have about 20 volunteers. We want more.

The work isn’t physically hard or technically demanding (it mainly involves brush clipping) and it’s an unbelievable amount of fun to work in a non-pressured way with others on a worthwhile project.

Volunteers work at whatever level is comfortable for them. It’s an excellent way to do something for the park, to learn about it firsthand, and also to spend time with people who have hiked in the park for most of their lives, care for it deeply, and have knowledge to share for those interested.

Volunteers must have a certain level of physical fitness and must be able to carry their own food, shelter, etc. to the height of land (at Bedwell Lake) and beyond. For more information, including phone numbers, go to the FOSP website shown above.

Karl Stevenson,

Royston

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