Volunteer Blog: Why I Stand Up for Parks by Moe Nadeau

This summer I had the opportunity to collaborate with an amazing member of the CPAWS-BC staff, Tegan, on a geocaching contest that promotes the current Stand Up For Parks campaign. I was ecstatic to help design the contest as it encompasses all of my passions into one: conservation, environmental awareness, and being outdoors! The idea behind our contest was to hide geocaches in various BC provincial parks, leaving clues to their location on social media. Not only do the caches encourage others to get outdoors and explore BC’s incredible wilderness, but they also spread the word about  the funding crisis in our provincial parks and encourage British Columbians to take action.

As a recent Environmental Science graduate from the University of British Columbia I have a passion for protecting the environment, which is why this contest was such a great way to help do just that! I believe that BC provincial parks are extremely underfunded and the only way to change this is by showing the government that people do care about our parks and they aren't happy with the current situation. By positively promoting this concept through geocaching, we aim to achieve not only environmental conservation, but also to instill a love of the outdoors in many people.

My adventures throughout this contest have been nothing short of amazing. The first area that I placed geocaches was at Seymour Provincial Park. My best friend and I hiked the classic Dog Mountain for sunset and finished with the flower trail. As always, hiking in this area leaves me refreshed and grateful to live in Vancouver, where we are so close to such natural beauty. Throughout our evening, we placed three geocaches. The GPS coordinates can be found on the CPAWS-BC geocache challenge page.

The next area I found myself hiking was at Wedgemount Lake,a part of Garibaldi that I had not yet had the opportunity to explore. I had been warned that the hike was quite steep, but that the view would be well worth it. My partner, Spencer, and I began our approach on a Saturday afternoon with the idea of making our way to Wedgemount Lake by dinner, having a blissful snooze, and hiking Mt Cook the following morning before our descent. But what would any adventure be without some bumps in the road?

We did, in fact, make it up to Wedgemount Lake in about 2 hours and 15 minutes and those warnings were correct: it was steep! We enjoyed the incredible view, cooked dinner, set up camp and fell asleep with the summit of Mt Cook on our minds. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had different plans for us.

We were up bright and early, ready to eat some oatmeal for breaky and begin our hike. But the fog was so incredibly thick that we could hardly see the lake, which was just 50 m ahead of us. Not to mention it was extremely cold. We realized this summit was not going to happen, but we were told that the back of the lake had a really neat glacier that could be explored. So this became our new morning destination.

The base of the glacier was really neat, but we began adventuring more and more behind the glacier. We were doing a fair amount of scrambling, gaining elevation with every step, and to our surprise the fog was slowly clearing. So we continued trekking up. We had no idea what mountain we were climbing or where the trail was (if there even was one!). But we were determined to go as far as possible!

After scrambling up some very sketchy terrain, we made it to the top of what I now know is Mt Weart. The views from the top were breathtaking, displaying just how vast the Garibaldi area truly is. We could see mountain peaks for miles and a looming glacier.

Making our way down ended up being the truly difficult part. Our legs were absolutely destroyed the next day (more like the next week) from hiking down such steep terrain. We certainly were happy to make it back to our car.
I placed a geocache in this incredible area for you to discover. Make sure to copy down the coordinates before you go!

I am so thankful to have had the chance to volunteer with CPAWS and I cannot wait to see who finds our geocaches. So please, spend some time connecting with nature and search for our caches! Remember to #StandUpForParks to be entered to win some amazing prizes! Please help us create a better future for our provincial parks.

By Moe Nadeau

Moe has been a volunteer with CPAWS since 2014. She first heard about this organization during the annual environmental science career fair at UBC. When not volunteering, Moe spends her free time seeking new and thrilling adventures from hiking to snowboarding to mountain biking.

To find out more about how you can get involved with CPAWS-BC and the Stand Up for Parks campaign, e-mail volunteer@cpawsbc.org or check out our volunteer postings