Wildlife artist Robert Bateman is one of the new directors of the BC Parks Foundation. - Image Credit: Facebook/Robert Bateman

BC Parks Foundation board begins work

Fundraising, increased park use part of mandate

The B.C. government has appointed board members for the new BC Parks Foundation, to raise money for park improvements and encourage public use of provincial parks.

Environment Minister Mary Polak says the role of the board is similar to that of a hospital foundation.

“The hospital is fully funded and operated by health authorities, then the foundation comes in with sometimes campaigns, sometimes fundraising efforts that are individual, to support enhancements to what takes place at the hospital,” Polak said in an interview. “And of course hospital foundations operate completely independent of health authorities. The same will be true here.”

Would park facilities be named for donors, as with billionaire Jim Pattison’s $75 million gift to the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver? Polak said BC Parks would retain decision-making authority over naming and signs in provincial parks.

What about corporate sponsorship? That would also be up to BC Parks, which has been cautious, she said. One recent corporate involvement was a BC Parks photo contest sponsored by camping equipment maker Coleman.

The foundation has a $10 million endowment from the provincial government to begin its work.

The board chair is Karla Rockwell, a human resources consultant and former leader of physician recruitment for the Fraser Health Authority. Other board members are:

• Robert Bateman, wildlife artist whose recent charity work has focused on encouraging children to experience the outdoors.

• Ric Careless, a co-founder of Sierra Club BC, now vice president of Elders Council for Parks.

• Ross Beaty, executive chairman of Alterra Power Corp., chairman of Pan American Silver Corp. and a director of the Nature Trust of B.C.

• Les Doiron, president of the Ucluelet First Nation, one of five communities represented in the Maa-nulth Treaty on Vancouver Island.

• Dana Hayden, resource consultant and former deputy minister of the B.C. forests ministry.

• Daniel Johnston, a lawyer and mediator who worked on the Great Bear Rainforest agreement.

• Eric Peterson, a biologist, technology entrepreneur and director of the Hakai Institute, a coastal research organization.

• Sophie Pierre, former chief commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission and former elected chief of the St. Mary’s Band.

• Jim Standen, assistant deputy minister of BC Parks and Conservation Officer Service.

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