BC Parks Volunteer Legacy Award recipient Ross Keller was selected for the time and effort he puts into documenting and showcasing the history of Yorke Island Battery and Yorke Island Conservancy. Keller accepted the award from Assistant Deputy Minister Jim Standen and David Jack from BC Parks who nominated him.

Campbell River volunteer recognized for dedication to Yorke Island

Ross Keller dedicates time and effort to renewing interest in the Yorke Island Battery and enhancing the Yorke Island Conservancy

Nominations are in, votes have been counted and BC Parks has selected the top four volunteers for 2014, those who have contributed significantly to the province’s parks and protected areas system. The recipients, including Campbell River resident Ross Keller were honoured at a BC Parks banquet Feb. 4.

And the winners are:

  • For Volunteer of the Year – Ken Matheson
  • For Volunteer Legacy Award – Ross Keller
  • For Volunteer Group of the Year – Friends of South Slopes
  • For Community Partner of the Year – BC Marine Parks Forever Society
  • And for Park Facility Operator (PFO) of the Year – Rick Terrell

Volunteer Legacy Award recipient Ross Keller from Campbell River dedicates time and effort to renewing interest in the Yorke Island Battery and enhancing the Yorke Island Conservancy.

The battery, found in the conservancy, was built during the Second World War to defend against a potential Japanese invasion. Keller maintains a network of trails and updates the lists of historical artifacts and the photo inventory he began years ago. Visiting each remaining veteran who had served on the island and their families, Keller is collecting and documenting a wealth of stories. Conducting tours of the island, Keller shares the history with the public.

The Honorary Battery Commander of Yorke Island Battery, Keller organized an event to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first military presence on the island, co-ordinating with many organizations including BC Parks and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Environment Minister Mary Polak said, “From improving visitor services and building trails, providing public education and assisting with management and planning, volunteers are a valuable resource in BC Parks. Thank you to all those selected this year for your dedication and passion, and enhancing our beautiful parks system.”

Quick Facts:

  • From school groups to retirees, hundreds of British Columbians volunteer in BC Parks each year.
  • Volunteers work to enhance park visitor services by building trails, becoming campground hosts, improving and restoring facilities, running educational programs, taking inventories of parks flora and fauna and help with park management and planning.
  • In 2013-14, over 1,605 volunteers worked on projects in BC Parks.
  • Over 200 stakeholder groups volunteer with BC Parks.
  • There are 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas in B.C., covering more than 14 million hectares.
  • B.C. provincial parks receive over 21 million visits each year.


Learn More:

Learn more about the recipients for 2014 BC Parks volunteer awards at: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/volunteers/recognition/

For more information about B.C.’s provincial parks, visit: www.bcparks.ca

Connect with BC Parks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/YourBCParks