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Get your party hats, it’s Canada’s Parks Day!

  • Published on Jul 20 2013 |
  • by CPAWS |
  • This article is tagged as: parks

Before I started working for CPAWS, I had no idea there was an official Canada’s Parks Day. Was this “Parks Day” something I needed to bake a cake for? Would there be party hats involved? Could I convince everyone in the office wear some kind of park-related costume to celebrate? So many questions!

A cursory Google search will tell you that Canada’s Parks Day has been celebrated annually on the third Saturday of July since 1990, and is a celebration of – surprise, surprise! – our parks. Park agencies, community groups and individuals organize or participate in one of the hundreds of events taking place across the country to celebrate, typically bringing people out to spend some quality outdoor time in their local parks. You’ve gotta admit, that’s really not a bad way to spend a Saturday.

As of the time of writing this post, I’m sadly not in a park and it’s still a few days away from Parks Day BUT, dear friends, by the time this gets posted I’ll be on my way to one to celebrate. I may be spoiling the behind-the-scenes blog magic a little bit here (if that’s even a thing) but I decided to write this post before leaving for the wonderful holidays that I am presumably now enjoying – “now" in this case being Parks Day.

I’ve spent the past few days camping in Jasper National Park, so how could I NOT be enjoying myself?! And even better than just spending time in Jasper: being the supercool person that I am, I’m also now on my way to the west coast of Vancouver Island where I’m hoping to spend some time exploring Pacific Rim National Park Reserve – yet another “park first” for me.

I’ll have a much more exciting blog post in a few weeks, where I’ll actually be able to talk about my trips to these parks and share photos once I’m back in the real world, but for now can I just say how amazing it is that in such a short period of time, I get to experience two of Canada’s most iconic parks? And as a Jasper and Pacific Rim newbie, no less! I like returning to familiar parks that I’ve been to and explored before, but I LOVE the tingly feeling I get not knowing what new parks have in store for me.

I’ve done some research on both Jasper and Pacific Rim, so I feel pretty well prepared for the things I want to see and do, but I know the best part of each visit will almost certainly be the unplanned adventures that I’m sure I’ll stumble into. Hopefully none involving close encounters with bears though…

A trip-planning habit of mine (that has, in the past, annoyed my sister to no end) is reading up on the natural history of the place I’m visiting. I know, I know – super nerdy. But to be honest, it makes adventuring in parks so much cooler to know how and why the things you’re seeing and experiencing are the way they are. When I arrived in Edmonton earlier this week, the friend I’m heading to Jasper with asked me if I had done my research on the park (perhaps a sign of knowing me too well…) to which my response was – ack! – no, I didn’t have time before I left Ottawa. Embarrassing, right? Guess it’s time to hit the books.

Happy parks day everyone! I hope it’s full of amazing things and wonderful moments that make it the best one yet.

If you can’t get out to a park to celebrate Canada’s Parks Day, you can show your love for Canada’s parks by signing on to our I Love Parks campaign. If you sign on before the end of the day today, you’ll be entered to win a $200 gift card to MEC, so…what are you waiting for?! Go, go, go!