Your favourite amazing place?

Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism and Vancouver Island University (VIU) are asking for residents’ favourite places.

Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism and Vancouver Island University (VIU) are asking for residents’ and visitors’ support to shine a light on the incredible experiences they are having within one of the most ecologically significant regions on Vancouver Island — the UNESCO-designated Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR).

Thanks to funding provided by the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association (PQBTA), Destination B.C. and support from VIU the Amazing Places project is asking the community to nominate 10 amazing places within the MABR that inspire them most. The nomination process is open from Sept. 10-30 and the submission guidelines are simple.

To nominate a place you must think it is amazing, it must be publicly accessible and it must have ecological significance.

“We’re lucky in that everywhere you turn there is amazing natural beauty, no matter what time of year,” said PQBTA executive director Blain Sepos.

“With Amazing Places, we are asking people to think about where they feel most connected to nature within the biosphere. The beauty is that there are so many places in the MABR that are awe-inspiring and each place impacts people in different ways. Through our efforts we hope to get people to nominate the natural spaces within the biosphere that they return to again and again, or that they discover unexpectedly throughout the year.”

Amazing Places is a national UNESCO biosphere reserve project that was started four years ago by the Fundy Biosphere in New Brunswick. It has since been done at three biosphere reserves in Ontario.

Amazing Places co-ordinator Michelle Harnett said launching the initiative on Vancouver Island makes it a truly national celebration of biospheres in Canada.

MABR co-ordinator Monica Shore is working with Harnett on Amazing Places. She said the places nominated should be accessible areas that everyone can enjoy so more people can learn about the different aspects of MABR. Through the process they will be able to highlight the vast ecological differences that exist within the biosphere and inspire people to explore new places.

“While we’re focusing on ecological significance, the project will also give people a chance to learn about the culture and traditions attached to the Amazing Places that are selected. We’ll be talking about traditional territories and using Hul’qumi’num words for places and species when possible,” Shore said.

To learn more and to nominate a place within the MABR, please go to www.mabr.ca/amazingplaces.

— Submitted by VIU