This is the second installment of a three-part series focusing on the potential disintegration of a major community group — the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier.
By David F. Rooney
As its leaders strive to find a new way forward, it’s worth taking a look back at some of the achievements of the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier.
Incorporated on. Feb 5, 1987, the Friends — as they are known to most local residents — were originally intended to help support Parks Canada’s public image by promoting outdoor activities within the Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks. They also focused on building the public’s awareness and appreciation of the natural world.
It hasn’t always been easy. The organization, like other Friends’ groups across the country, had to define its role and search out those activities that had real public appeal. It also had an on-going PR problem of its own: many people regarded the Friends as a wholly owned creature of Parks Canada. That misperception has, in part, helped lead to the situation the group now finds itself in.
Regardless of the way the Friends have been perceived, they have proven themselves to be a valuable and productive resource benefitting the two nearby national parks and the community at large.
The FMRG has created and published several maps, books, posters and brochures inaluding: Snow War, Footloose in the Columbias, Trackside Guide, Nakimu Caves, Glacier Country, a Bird Sounds CD posters of Asulkan Valley, Connaught Creek and Glacier. They have sponsored and organized regular outdoor activities such as bike trips, nature walks and hikes around the two National Parks and other mountains in the area.
Among the events they have been a part of are the 75th Anniversary for Mount Revelstoke National Park, 20 years of the Friends, the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Rivers Day, Canada’s Parks Day, 1910 Commemorations Rogers Pass Snow slide, 2010 Olympic Torch Relay, Art in the Park, Celebrate the Summit and the Chickadee Nature Festival.
Within the parks they raised and donated money for the Mount Revelstoke Ski Chalet remodelling, trail building, privy and signage programs, the
Glacier Circle Cabin renovation and a memorial bench.
The Friends have offered awareness courses and workshops on the environment in general, avalanches, the Christmas Bird Count and the railway. They have created Bear Edu-Kits and the popular Speaker Series, sponsored the Western Regional 1989 meeting and held workshops on grizzly bears. They’ve been involved in the Save the Bear Program, BC Field Ornithologists Jr. Naturalist Club and Wilderness Camps in the Park
In terms of donations to the community, the Friends have given money to the Caribou Study program, Illecillewaet Greenbelt trail, other trail projects, bear study programs, the Save the Painted Turtle campaign, the Nordic Ski club, Bear Aware, the Chamber of Commerce, Toys for Tots, United Church Auction, Rotary International, Community Connections, the Women’s Shelter and the Tim Hortons Camp Day. They have also given money for bursaries and a Graduation Research Grant.
No matter how you cut it, that’s a lot of activity for one volunteer group over 22 years.
Remove the Friends of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier from the community and who can step in and replace them?
To read the first part in this series please go here: https://legacy.revelstokecurrent.com//2009/12/21/up-against-the-wall-after-22-years-the-friends-of-mount-revelstoke-and-glacier-could-be-history/