Provincial environment minister Terry Lake was at Rathtrevor Park in Parksville Sunday, May 20 to unveil a high-tech way to donate to children’s programming in B.C. parks.
The text-to-donate program will allow people to text BCPARKS to 45678 to donate $5. The donation will be added to the person’s next cell phone bill and all the money will go to support children’s programs in the parks.
For example, Learn to Fish, sponsored by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., is a children’s program currently offered in some provincial parks. Information about both text-to-donate and Learn to Fish and lots more is available in BC Parks passports.
“The BC Parks passport program and Text to Donate are good examples of what we’re doing to continue to attract young families to B.C.’s provincial parks,” Lake said. “We are thankful to have partners like the visitor centres and the Freshwater Fisheries Society working with us to introduce a new generation to the province’s spectacular outdoors.”
The passport program, introduced last year, allows children to collect six stamps or stickers to win a prize. Passport holders can choose from more than 200 parks or visitor centres province-wide. The idea is to collect six stamps from one or more provincial parks during 2012 and earn a Jerry the Moose pin, and earn another, different pin, the following year. Also, for every six unique visitor centre stickers, the reward is an environmentally-friendly water bottle.
Parksville-Qualicum MLA Ron Cantelon was enthusiastic.
“With the camping season upon us, it’s great to have something fun for families to add to the adventure and I plan to make my first text donation today while visiting Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park.”
The program has been a boon to local visitor centres, said Donna Andres, with the Parksville Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre board.
“We’re very appreciative of BC Parks’ efforts and this opportunity to participate in its passport program. In particular, it helps bring visitors to our visitor centre so that we can tell them about all the wonderful things they can do in our community.”