National Treasure #82: National Parks

The first national park in Canada is also, coincidentally, likely the first national park I ever visited: Banff National Park. Banff started with the protection of the Cave and Basin Hot Springs in 1885, followed by the protection of the whole area with passage of the Rocky Mountains Park Act in 1887.

It was an idea whose time had come. By 1895, three other mountain areas had been set aside for what would become Yoho, Waterton Lakes, and Glacier National Parks.

Since western Canada was relatively undeveloped, it was easier to set aside land there, but in 1904 the St. Lawrence Islands National Park (now Thousand Islands National Park) was established in more-or-less eastern Canada, and we haven’t looked back since.

But Parks Canada has also never stopped looking forward. There are, apparently, “39 terrestrial national park natural regions” of Canada and their “goal is to establish a system of national parks that represents each of Canada’s distinct natural regions. This system is just over 60% completed.”

You can see the map here.

You can find links to read about proposed new parks here.

You can apply for your free pass to Canada’s National Parks (their own sesquicentennial project) here, although not everybody thinks this is a great idea. (Apparently, eager applicants crashed the website. So far, this blog is holding up nicely under the demands of my sesquicentennial project. Hurray!)

Some might argue that I’m double or triple counting the national parks, because I’ve already cited Moraine Lake and Gros Morne as individual treasures. But this post is about the aggregate of all the parks – the concept and the execution – which is a different thing than the individual places. That’s my story . . .


Moraine Lake

Gros Morne mountain on horizon; spruce forest in foreground.

Gros Morne Mountain

This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Through Canada and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to National Treasure #82: National Parks

  1. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – crashed the website eh! Now I know why I haven’t received the promised email confirmation of my request for a free pass, or the pass for that matter.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – I understand that we won’t actually need a pass – that is, they just won’t be charging admission. I don’t know if that’s true, or just what I understand.

Comments are closed.