Inaugural BC Trails Day June 5
As part of the international celebration of Trails Day worldwide, British Columbians will unite around their appreciation for B.C.’s trails and outdoor spaces on the first BC Trails Day event on June 5.
The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC (ORCBC) is leading the charge on BC Trails Day and is partnering with volunteer groups, the public and land agencies to celebrate and care for B.C.’s trail system, educate about responsible recreation and help more British Columbians enjoy trails and outdoor spaces.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the health of British Columbians of all ages, with many British Columbians struggling with social isolation, depression and anxiety. During this time, the outdoors has taken on heightened importance as a place British Columbians are turning to stay healthy in mind, body, and community spirit.
Louise Pedersen, Executive Director for ORCBC said, “After we’ve all experienced just how much we need trails and access to quality green spaces during the last year, BC Trails Day is about giving back to our community trails and bringing attention to how essential they are.”
The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC invites trail groups and communities to plan local events that follow current public health guidelines and orders, such as trail or park clean-ups and improvements, educational events, activities that engage youth in recreation activities or stewardship, guided activities for new trail users, or small group hikes, paddles or rides, or virtual events to spread awareness and give back. They have created a toolkit for event hosts with resources and information to plan and promote BC Trails Day events.
Pedersen continued: “Any trail activity that fosters stewardship and community spirit can be considered a BC Trails Day event, including recreational opportunities, trail maintenance projects or virtual events. As an alternative to organized or virtual events, individuals can also head out on their own outdoor adventure, and if they pick up trash or clear loose branches or rocks while they are outside anyway, this is a great way to practice stewardship!”
The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC encourages trail users to share their outdoor experiences and any stewardship actions that they take on BC Trails Day (June 5) on social media using the hashtag #BCTrailsDay and tagging @orcbc.ca.
The ORCBC’s BC Trails Day is made possible with the generous support of Fortis BC and TD Friends of the Environment. Provincial partners include BC Parks and Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
“With many indoor spaces closed and warm weather finally here, this is a great way to experience BC’s beautiful and abundant trail networks, and we encourage people to get involved,” said Janet Devaney, manager, community & Indigenous initiatives, FortisBC. “Thanks to the ORC for organizing this event, and we’re pleased to contribute.”
Tennessee Trent, Provincial Trails Manager from Recreation Sites and Trails BC said, “The importance of trails to First Nations, communities, private companies and the citizens of BC cannot be overstated. From mental and physical fitness to commercial business and from community improvement to cultural heritage lessons, trails are so much more than just a ribbon of single track in the dirt. This importance has only been amplified as we struggle with a global pandemic and seek solace on trails of all kinds and in every corner of the province.
“It’s great to see the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC support the celebration of trails across the province, and I thank them for their continued leadership in advocacy and engagement.”
Outdoor Recreation Council of BC