Just this last weekend on November 5th, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks celebrated their annual event, Fall Parksfest!
What is Fall Parksfest?
Only one of our favourite events of the year! It is a day of inspiring workshops, of examining our current existing stewardships roles, and of discussing how we can better preserve the diverse plant and wildlife habitats within our Regional Parks for present and future generations.
This year’s Fall Parksfest Key Note Speaker was Dr. Kool, Associate Professor in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University. Dr. Kool spoke to the importance of our Regional Parks at a time when the planet is facing tremendous environmental challenges. In fact, our Parks may one day be the only place where wildlife will be able to survive and have a home; meanwhile, we will be relying on our Regional Parks even more in the future as green spaces continue to disappear.
It was an important, though difficult, message to hear; we know park partners like the Burnaby Lake Park Association, Campbell Valley, KEEPS, and others appreciated hearing it too as it reinforced all of our commitment to a future with sustainable Regional Parks.
A BIG Thank You…
We feel it is so important to recognize all of the wonderful people – the park associations, their members, as well as our park volunteers – who contribute to the health and sustenance of our Metro Vancouver Regional Parks.
We believe that in recognizing all of our park people as well as nature-lovers looking to become involved, we can sustain the most valuable resource we have – our community.
What else happens at Parksfest?
You may have already heard about The Dr. M. Wosk Environmental Leadership Award.
The Dr. M. Wosk Environmental Leadership Award was established by Dr. Wosk in 2006 to encourage the development of youth leadership, and is administered by Pacific Parklands Foundation on the family’s behalf.
There have been dozens of deserving recipients over the years and 2016 is no exception.
This year’s winner of the Dr. M. Wosk Environmental Leadership Award went to Keila Stark – an award of $1000. In the photo below, Keila is seen in a cheque presentation with Joe Hargitt, Pacific Parklands Foundation Executive Director.
About Keila Stark:
Keila is currently in her third year at UBC, studying Marine Biology with a minor in Political Science, where she is also the Leader of UBCs largest sustainability group, Common Energy UBC.
Since graduating high school, Keila has worked in various environmental outreach and education organizations across B.C., including the New Westminster Secondary School Environment Club, Shaw’s Earth Day Special, BC Wildlife Federation, the BC Cetacean Sightings Network, the Vancouver Aquarium, and more recently, with Parks Canada. In addition, Keila has worked with the DFO, Coast Guards and various community groups in Dawson Creek, Peachland, Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Haida Gwaii on marine conservation programs.
We wish Keila the best of luck!
Other winners included:
Ashlee Ahn, $500
On The Horizon:
We are asking you to keep your eyes on the Pacific Parklands Foundation channels in the next couple weeks.
We have a big and important project we are working on – Pacific Parklands Foundation is launching a new campaign to connect children and youth in the Lower Mainland to our 23 Regional Parks.
We will be kicking off this campaign on November 29th, also referred to as #GivingTuesday. Our project will provide grants to schools, youth groups, and clubs with the funds to pay for bus transportation to and from our Regional Parks. We know that a lack of transportation is a major obstacle in accessing our parks and feel that all the amazing learning opportunities and experiences that our parks have to offer should be available.
We hope you will join us in learning about this new project, our goals, and help is on the journey to it on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016!