The historic old Bishop house is part of the landscape dating back to early ranching days in what is today the Churn Creek Protected Area. Ranching continues in the area today at the Empire Valley Ranch.

The historic old Bishop house is part of the landscape dating back to early ranching days in what is today the Churn Creek Protected Area. Ranching continues in the area today at the Empire Valley Ranch.

B.C. Parks 100th anniversary celebrations at Churn Creek

The spectacular landscapes of Churn Creek Protected Area along the Fraser River will be the location of a B.C. Parks 100th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Aug. 13.

The spectacular landscapes of Churn Creek Protected Area along the Fraser River will be the location of a B.C. Parks 100th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Aug. 13. 

Organized by the Friends of Churn Creek and the Canoe Creek Indian Band, this public event will include activities for all ages and a wide variety of interests. 

Guided explorations of First Nation’s heritage sites, tours to view ranching history and gold rush era mining history, and searches for plants and animals of the protected area will showcase the great opportunities for enjoying this nationally important protected area. Awareness of the importance of conserving natural, historical, and archaeological sites will be encouraged. 

The day will also include family games and other activities, both traditional and modern, and a free salmon lunch and hot dog roast.

Churn Creek Protected Area includes nearly 37,000 hectares of spectacular grassland and dry forest landscapes occupied for thousands of years by First Nations people and since the mid-to-late 1800s by Euro-American ranching families. 

The protected area was established in 1995 and is of national significance for its conservation of grassland ecosystems and wildlife. The Empire Valley Ranch continues to operate within the protected area. The celebration will begin at 11 a.m. near the Churn Creek bridge with an opening ceremony and welcomes by B.C. Parks staff and First Nations chiefs. The celebration will then travel into the protected area for a free lunch, tours, and activities. Exploration events will be led by First Nations elders, local ranchers, an archaeologist, and plant and animal biologists.

If you would like to attend this event, meet at the Churn Creek bridge at 10:30 a.m. or, if you would like to carpool, meet in the lot near the “Y” by the A&W in Williams Lake at 8 a.m.

The drive to Churn Creek Protected Area from either Williams Lake or 100 Mile House takes about two hours.

If you would like further information about this event or travelling to Churn Creek, contact Ordell Steen at 250-398-5017 or oasteen@shaw.can or Phyllis Webstad at 250-989-2222.