Kattie Sam was colouring a very cool haunted house at the Fort St. James National Historic Site on Halloween. There were activities

Educating the community

Fort St. James National Historic Site wins award as educator.

The Fort St. James National Historic Site is more than the national park in your backyard, it is also the award-winning national park in your backyard.

The park was recently recognized with an “Educator” award from Northern BC Tourism.

As part of the Northern BC Tourism’s annual “education and networking” conference, leaders in northern B.C. tourism were recognized for their accomplishments.

Emily Colombo, the Fort St. James economic development officer, nominated the park for the award.

The park has been introducing new programming and community engagement strategies over the last couple of years, and it seems to be working.

Kevin Gedling, product development officer for the park, said he thinks the award is “confirmation that we’re on the right track.”

He also gives most of the credit to the park staff.

“The interpreters have been doing really great work for many years,” said Gedling. “People are becoming aware of what we’re doing.”

Noted with the award was the new Officer’s House Bed and Breakfast experience, which gives visitors the opportunity to experience a night in 1896 on Stuart Lake.

Gedling also mentioned the Sunday afternoon teas, the new hunting skills programs and other special events like the Salmon Day and Metis Day as noteworthy additions or expansions.

Gedling said the park is also currently working on a revamping of their visitor centre displays and a new ten-year management plan for the site.

There was an 18 per cent increase in historic site use in 2010 alone and there was a seven per cent increase in the summer of 2011.

Anyone interested in contacting the historic site for comments or ideas can call 250-996-7191 or email stjames@pc.gc.ca.