Ministry of Environment
KAMLOOPS - B.C. government funding of $120,000 over two years will bring new life to a building that serves as a vital link between the public, Wells Grey Provincial Park and local businesses, Environment Minister Terry Lake announced Thursday.
"I'm proud of the work done by BC Parks and the Clearwater community to develop a resource that connects local businesses with visitors eager to make the most of their stay in the area," said Lake. "Our government understands this investment will not only mean a better visitor experience but more jobs and investment in the community for B.C. families."
Since opening in 1986, the information centre has become more than just a welcoming gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park. Over the years, Information Wells Gray has worked with BC Parks to transform this once modest visitor centre into a multi-functional hub that serves the business community, the travelling public and visitors to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
"The Wells Gray Park Information Centre is an incredible asset, not only to BC Parks but to the North Thompson Valley," said Information Wells Gray director Tay Briggs. "This significant investment by the government into the information centre will help Information Wells Gray attract more visitors to the park, creating long-term benefits for our communities. The planned improvements will ensure that visitors get the chance to appreciate Wells Gray and our amazing provincial park system. We are very excited about this investment in the future of Wells Gray Park and our valley."
The centre sits south on the northeast corner of Highway 5 and Clearwater Valley Road.
Over 150,000 visitors drop in every year to learn about the area's great activities, local accommodations and services and the region's rich history.
Planned improvements include:
- Upgrades to the building interior such as a new visitor-receiving desk, new paint and lighting, new carpeting and drapes.
- Replacement of the roof with low-maintenance, more durable metal.
- Replacement of the 30-year old heating and cooling system with a more efficient system that minimizes the carbon footprint and lowers operating costs.
- New and improved visitor displays with updated information.
- Replacement of building siding with more durable material.
- General fixes and upgrades to smaller building elements such as taps.
In addition, BC Parks has made improvements to the Clearwater River Road in Wells Gray Provincial Park. These improvements are scheduled to be completed in January, 2013. The 20-kilometre project will improve the road's drainage, reducing the amount of damage the road incurs during the annual freshet.
BC Parks and Information Wells Gray recently signed a 10-year management agreement ensuring the centre will remain a valuable resource for the community for the long-term.