Welcome to the Elders Council!
By Bob Peart
A number of us have been chatting about an idea for a long time, and now it is actually happening! I am talking about the Elders Council for Parks in British Columbia.
So just what is an elder? My trusty Webster's says: any of a large group of plants of the honeysuckle family --- whoops wrong definition! How about: a retired person who serves informally, an individual who continues to be consulted on certain matters and an aged person with some authority or dignity in a community.
Won’t it be fun to have a forum that will regularly bring together such folks! --- former employees of Parks Canada, BC Parks, regional parks and NGO's such as CPAWS who have volunteered or worked for parks throughout British Columbia as a life long interest.
This forum, or Council, is more than fun and camaraderie --- it is a useful group that will work on, discuss and think about such things as:
- Acknowledgement. Recognize our pioneers and nominate key individuals to such awards as the Order of British Columbia and Order of Canada in order to honour their life long and devoted work to parks and protected areas.
- History. Ensure that a history is written of BC's park system and that key individuals are interviewed and filmed so that an historical record can be captured.
- Archives and memorabilia. Collect important parks documents and memorabilia and ensure that they are preserved in appropriate museums and archives.
- Conservation Assistance. Select topics of vital concern for the future of the parks system and develop responses/approaches to key people as appropriate.
- Education and Training. The public requires information about why park systems are important, especially as the BC population gets more urbanized. Perhaps we could also play a role in training existing park staff.
- Fund raising. Support of an endowment(s) that would be directed for work on and for park related projects. We’ve committed much of our lives to parks and this would be a way to protect them forever. This endowment(s) would take donations and/or bequeaths from us.
There is no shortage of ideas – it is just wonderful to see that such a group has finally been formed, and that we now have a forum for thanking key people, having fun and thinking about the future of BC's parks.
We look forward to your support and ideas. Let us know about people who may want to be involved with the Elder’s Council for BC Parks. Please contact Chloe O'Loughlin at CPAWS-BC and she’ll ensure that you and your ideas are included. Contact her at 604-685-7445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.