Today is the 100th anniversary of Parks Canada, the oldest national park service in the world. How big a deal is that? Well, Canada Post issued a stamp to mark the event, the Royal Canadian Mint put out a commemorative silver dollar, and the two of us woke up this morning and realized that we've been living and working in the national parks for 20% of that time!
We both started our naturalist careers (in 1991 for Joel, and 1992 for Nadine) with what used to be called the “Dominion Parks Service,” and we still work part time for the park now. Being “parkies” was a very formative part of our lives. It's where we learned the interpretive craft, where we fell in love with Rockies (and each other), and where we met many people who feel the same way about the environment as we do.
For these reasons alone, we feel grateful for the presence of the parks, but it's also a good time to think about what an incredible set of places are protected in our 42 national parks – from Arctic islands to the southernmost point in Canada, and from coast to coast.
And that's something worth celebrating. So raise a glass for the parks, and if you want to know more, here's a link to Parks Canada's centennial website. They've got lots of special events planned for the summer: