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BC Parks programs are big on families

From its hugely popular park passports to its new ‘text-to- donate to kids programs,’ BC Parks is big on families, Environment  Minister Terry Lake said.

While BC Parks has long benefitted from donations, its new mobile-giving  program signals a move into the 21st century and donating has never been  easier.

With the view to nurturing and expanding kids’ appreciation and  understanding of the natural world, BC Parks is introducing the text to  donate program to contribute funds to new kids programs.

All potential donors need to do is text “BCPARKS” to 45678 to donate $5  dollars. The donation will be added to their next cellphone bill and 100  per cent of every donation ($5 dollars for each text with a monthly limit  of six texts) will be spent on children’s programs.

For example, Learn to Fish, sponsored by the Freshwater Fisheries Society  of BC, is a children’s program currently offered in some provincial  parks. Information about both text-to-donate and Learn to Fish and lots  more is available in BC Parks passports.   Kids of all ages can also have some fun with the passports.

BC Parks  introduced the successful program for the first time last year. It’s  geared towards families but everyone can join in the adventure. Collect  six stamps or stickers and win a prize - it’s that easy.

Passports are  free, good for two years, and can be picked up at any visitor centre in  B.C. and most provincial parks.   Passport holders can choose from more than 200 parks or visitor centres  provincewide.

The idea is to collect six stamps from one or more  provincial parks during 2012 and earn a coveted, collectible Jerry the  Moose pin, and earn another, different pin, the following year.

Also, for  every six unique Visitor Centre stickers, the reward is an  environmentally friendly water bottle.

Along with the chance to collect stamps and stickers to win awards, the  passport includes advice on trip planning and Visitor Centre coupons.

Planning a picnic, day hike or camping trip?

Don’t forget - last year the  province eliminated parking fees in all provincial parks to help make  them more accessible.

- “The BC Parks passport program and Text to Donate are good examples of what we’re doing to continue to attract young families to B.C.’s provincial parks. We are thankful to have partners like the visitor centres and the Freshwater Fisheries Society working with us to introduce a new generation to the province’s spectacular outdoors,” Lake said.

Ron Cantelon, MLA Parksville-Qualicum said, “With the camping season upon us, it’s great to have something fun for families to add to the adventure and I plan to make my first text donation today while visiting Rathtrevor beach Provincial Park.”

  • Learn More:  BC Parks passports: www.bcparks.ca
  • Text to Donate: www.bcparks.ca
  • Choose your own campsite at www.discovercamping.ca
  • Book a group campout or picnic: www.bcparks.ca
  • BC Parks Volunteers: www.bcparksvolunteers.ca
  • Learn to Fish: www.gofishbc.com
  • Connect with the Province of B.C. at www.gov.bc.ca/connect
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