The BC Parks Community Engagement
and Education Program is a new program area that we’re building out,
focused on enhancing community engagement through volunteerism, partnerships,
and then focusing on bringing back education and learning opportunities in parks. These trees that we’re looking at here
were all planted in the 1870’s. The Ford Orchard Project got started probably 10 years ago with one of our working groups saying the orchard is dying, we’re going to lose it.
So that was the challenge. How are we going to preserve this orchard?
What are we going to do? We decided all right, we’re going to consult experts and we’re going to see how we can bring it back. They had been working with Parks for a
while but they came to us and presented us with a plan for this area and a vision of
conserving the cultural heritage values. What we wanted was to have an arborist to
demonstrate and also teach a pruning workshop and we couldn’t afford it, to be honest. We
were fundraising and didn’t have the resources. So when Parks came up with the funds we were thrilled. So the BC Parks License Plate Program has enabled us to fund all sorts of community engagement projects with a real focus on volunteers and supporting their capacity to do work on our behalf. Supporting a variety of partnerships with community organizations, and also focused on community events. So celebrating parks and what they mean to their communities. This belongs to all of us. We care about what’s going to happen and I think that’s part of the value of what’s happening here. I think that this is also an example of how to engage the community in a positive way.