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Elders council reaches out

B.C. Parks is celebrating an important milestone this year and North Shore residents are encouraged to get in on the fun. In honour of the park system's 100th anniversary, representatives of the Elders Council for Parks in B.C.

B.C. Parks is celebrating an important milestone this year and North Shore residents are encouraged to get in on the fun.

In honour of the park system's 100th anniversary, representatives of the Elders Council for Parks in B.C., an independent society comprised of retired parks system employees and conservation advocates, are presenting approximately a dozen free events in North Vancouver for adults 55+. The initiative has been funded by the federal government's New Horizons for Seniors Program.

Leading the initiative is Elise Roberts, serving as the council's seniors outreach program co-ordinator. She has organized a variety of events, including nature walks and workshops, with a goal of heightening awareness of the council, increasing local seniors' involvement in provincial parks as well as gathering stories of experiences there.

"We're trying to recruit some volunteers as well," she says. Roberts' work and all the programs are based out of the Heritage Centre found at the base of Mount Seymour Provincial Park at 1620 Mount Seymour Rd. Programs have been offered in the last few weeks and will continue into the fall.

The offerings have been popular with local residents, seeing them fill up with people even on rainy days. The most recent program was held Thursday, entitled

Nature Journaling from Emily Carr to Present, and featured a reading by Patricia Mason of entries recorded by the famous artist during sketching trips at Goldstream Flats near Victoria, which is now a B.C. Park. Participants also went on a nature walk with naturalist Kevin Bell, rain and all, and engaged in a workshop with nature journalist Rosemary Taylor.

Next events include: Hugh Aikens - Mountain Photographer: Presented by Donald Grant from the Hollyburn Heritage Society, featuring photos and film of the North Shore mountains and mountain people by Aikens, Monday, July 25, at 11 a.m.

- Seniors' Writers Workshop: A workshop with author and artist Shelley Harrison Rae, Thursday, July 28, at 11 a.m. Participants will be encouraged to write their stories and experiences in B.C. Parks.

- John Lowman: Nature Photography: Wildlife photographer John Lowman will present his wildlife photographs taken in B.C. Parks, Aug. 2 at 1 p.m.

- Grandparents Day: A family event presented in partnership with the Young Naturalists' Club of B.C. Sept. 11, featuring a puppet show, outdoor learning activities and crafts. Time to be announced.

All programs are free and offered at the Heritage Centre. Registration is required, phone Roberts at 604-986-4892 or email her at eliseroberts@shaw.ca.

To keep abreast of events presented at the North Vancouver Heritage Centre as well as at B.C. Parks throughout the province, visit the events calendar at www.bcparks.ca.

For more information on the Elders Council for Parks in B.C., visit www.elderscouncilforparks.org.

emcphee@nsnews.com