Heritage Week February 21 -27, 2011: The theme is Parks, appropriately enough, and Bowen Heritage will be hosting an Open House in Davies Orchard on Sunday, February 23 from 2 to 4 pm to discuss the impending National Park proposal. Cottage 20, Davies Orchard Lane.
Bowen Heritage supports the idea of creating a National Park on Bowen for 3 main reasons:
1. The unique environment and amenities of the Island are ours to protect--the Islands Trust Act makes it clear that this is our duty, as a community. This is the heritage we leave to future generations. Bowen's Crown Lands are not currently protected and they comprise about 40% of the Island. The mandate of Parks Canada places ecological integrity first among its management principles and provides the best hope of preserving--even restoring--the natural environment.
2. Most of the Island's watersheds originate in the Crown Lands. Nature currently treats our drinking water and provides the lifeblood of our forests. It is essential that we protect our water, for ourselves and future generations. Imagine the cost of building treatment and distributions systems for all the scattered settlement of this Island--that would be the true cost of any development within our watersheds.
3. Parks Canada's management plan for the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve includes the preservation of cultural heritage resources. We are fortunate to have the Orchard and Seaside cottages and the Old General Store to remind us of Bowen's past as 'Vancouver's Playground'. Parks Canada, unlike our current park management at Metro Vancouver, does allow an organization such as ours to apply for the kind of long-term licence that we need to raise funds to complete the Davies Orchard Restoration Project.
Join us on February 23 to share your views on the Park.