BC Parks licence plate program marks five-year anniversary

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The sale of over 300,000 speciality BC Parks licence plates has generated $20 million to protect and enhance the provincial park system, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

The program, established five years ago, funds projects in conservation, Indigenous reconciliation, engagement, education and inclusion, as well as fire-based ecosystem and land management, according to a media release by the ministry.

“It is very gratifying to see such broad support for our BC Parks Licence Plate Program. People are happily taking meaningful actions to protect and preserve the rich natural legacy of our province,” said George Heyman, minister of environment and climate change strategy. “The licence plate program has had an incredible impact on our parks right across the province by contributing to the protection and preservation of unique species, sensitive ecosystems, Indigenous culture and history. I love seeing the parks plates becoming increasingly common.”

The purchase of specialty plates also supports student rangers and initiatives such as purchasing adaptive outdoor recreation equipment so more people can enjoy the outdoors and planting thousands of whitebark pine seedlings to restore the endangered species. 

The Discover Parks Ambassador Program, piloted in 2020, features ambassadors connecting people with nature and providing education about how to be safe and responsible in the outdoors.

“British Columbians’ love for parks and support for the licence plate program comes back to them through the discover parks ambassadors,” said Andy Day, BC Parks Foundation CEO. “These are great jobs for young people who are making visitor experiences better, building pride and stewardship in parks and helping reduce litter, safety incidents and human-wildlife conflicts. It’s a great win all around.”

Other initiatives supported by the licence plate program include wildlife inventories, Indigenous interpretive programs in parks, wildfire fuel mitigation, managing invasive species, educational materials for children and families and restoration of sensitive ecosystems.

The program is a partnership between the province and ICBC. Motorists can choose one of three speciality plate designs depicting scenes from B.C.’s parks and protected areas. All net proceeds from the sale and ongoing renewals of BC Parks licence plates are reinvested into provincial parks through the Park Enhancement Fund, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

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