Ahhhhhh. It’s finally upon us, ‘tis camping season: time to dust off the old tent, refill that propane tank and shake off the mothballs from the sleeping bag. Whether you prefer roughing it in the rugged wilderness with nothing but the bare necessities, or if your idea of camping resembles that of a hammock-ridden escape to nature from reality, one thing is for certain: this tried and tested outdoor pastime strikes at the core of Canadian culture. And if you happen to need the extra motivation, perhaps a year-long bash celebrating its Canadian origins may help push you outdoors. This past week, Parks Canada, the world’s first ever national parks commission, launched its year-long celebrations to commemorate its centennial anniversary. What’s more, the cheers only grew louder as the governing body was honoured by the World Wildlife Fund with its prestigious ‘Gift to the Earth’ Award, for its conservation and sustainability achievements.
Since May 19, 1911, Parks Canada has provided a safe haven for Canada’s most vulnerable and cherished ecosystems, and acted as a treasurer of our legacy through its 167 National Historic Heritage sites. Together, they have integrated all areas of the ecological palette, creating a medley of species as unique and diverse as our own human population. From Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan, at Kluane Park in the Yukon to scenic whale watching along the trails of Cape Breton National Park in Nova Scotia, the immense recreational, educational and therapeutic benefits from our national parks become all too evident in today’s hectic world; through this tremendous outlet, it is within all of our capacities to be ‘down to earth’.
And although here at the Starfish we’re only too excited to join the celebration, this is one party for which ‘the more’ truly is ‘the merrier’; so we call upon you to JOIN US!!
So how may we commemorate this great milestone you ask? When choosing to camp, choose a protected wildlife area; consider an outdoor picnic at one of the many parks; embark on an educational and adventurous hiking adventure; not only will you be more exposed to the raw and spectacular beauty of unaltered nature, but you will thereby be supporting Parks Canada’s countless conservation and species preservation initiatives. In the wake of our climatic crisis, it is all the more-important to take educated action in any way possible. I, for one, consider it a win-win situation in knowing that I am contributing my bit, all the while having fun and displaying a proud sense of patriotism. For more information about National Parks in your area, and for events related to the celebration both locally and nationally, check out http://www.pc.gc.ca/progs/celebrations/index.aspx.