BC Parks kicked off the Christmas season last week with their 100th anniversary celebration at Golden Ears Park in Maple Ridge. With help from students at the local Environmental School, and a friendly moose mascot, the group lit a beautiful tree and celebrated a $1-million electrical upgrade that will make Golden Ears Park diesel-free.
A new, buried hydroelectric cable replaces five noisy diesel generators with a clean-energy solution that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, eliminating the use of 30,000 litres of diesel fuel per year and about $40,000 in fuel and maintenance costs each year.
The park’s electrical system was upgraded in the day-use area at Golden Ears and introduced to the campground, which offers 409 vehicle-accessible sites.
The old diesel generators were unreliable, says the parks general manager, Stu Burgess.
“It will be nice not to have to cross our fingers every time we turn them on,” he said. “Now we can just flip a switch.”
The electrical upgrade was announced Friday morning with the ceremonial lighting of a Christmas tree at the park’s day-use area.
B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake was on hand to wrap up B.C. Parks’ 100th anniversary celebration.
“I know from personal experience that next year’s campers will be very appreciative of the new clean and quiet electrical power source,” Lake said.
Golden Ears is the province’s most popular park for camping including winter camping, and one of the busiest provincial parks overall.
About 20 million people visit B.C.’s provincial parks annually.
“Whenever I’m asked what my favourite thing is about Vancouver, it’s always the proximity to nature,” said Bob Kronbauer, founder of VancouverIsAwesome.com.
Video: Kolby Solinsky, Black Press