Great Canadian Parks / British Columbia

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The Parks / British Columbia / Churn Creek Provincial Park

 




Cactus, bunchgrass, junegrass and sagebrush cover this park’s arid, rolling landscape with its steep drop-offs where the Fraser River slices through volcanic rock. The soft yellows, pinks and mauves of the brittle prickly pear cactus, umber pussytoes and thistle that grow in the rich topsoil left by retreating glaciers are usually the only colour in the unimpressive beiges and browns of our rarest ecosystem. For thousands of years the grasslands were home to mountain goats, moose, cougar and bears. The Secwepemc peoples, or Shuswap, used the bluebunch wheatgrass as medicine, as flooring for their pit-houses and as insulation in their moccasins in winter. Children’s toys were made out of the grasses and meals were based around the cooking properties of the versatile prickly pear cactus. Today, only 1.8% of B.C. land is grassland and only 1% of that small portion is protected.

 


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