The Chilliwack Park Society was started in 2014 to promote and maintain park space in Chilliwack as well as establish and build trails in the Community Forest and beyond. We work with local government and organizations to promote outdoor recreation and advocate for trails and parks in Chilliwack.
In 2014, with the go ahead from the City of Chilliwack, the Chilliwack Park Society and volunteers started building trails in the Chilliwack Community Forest. The Community Forest is 130 acres of mature forest in the Eastern Hillsides of Chilliwack. With the help of hundreds of volunteers the trail system in the Community forest is now close to 20km.
To help with maintaining and building trails, the Park Society has partnered with several local middle and high schools to help get teenagers outside and engaged in their community. We also have many volunteers who help maintain trails. This past year, the Chilliwack Community Forest was the third most used trail system in Chilliwack.
In 2015 a field trip program for elementary age students was started in the Community Forest. Since then the program has diversified to include grade specific programs and different activities based on the British Columbia Science and Language Arts curriculum. Students learn about different flora and fauna in the forest and go on a interpretive hike. In the past 5 years over 125 classes and 2500 students have participated in our program.
Lexw Qwò:m Park
In 2019 the City of Chilliwack opened a new park located a few km down from the Community Forest. Lexw Qwò:m Park (Helq'meylem for "always lots of moss") features a smaller trail system that connects to the Community Forest. The park also has two bridges over creeks with interpretive signage about how the city of Chilliwack historically obtained their water. This spring we are excited about our latest project - a second stream of field trips utilizing Lexw Qwò:m Park.
In addition to the two parks we currently manage, our group is always looking for trails that need maintenance. We have been involved with BC Parks cleaning up the remote Flora Lake Loop. We have also put many volunteer hours into reclaiming the overgrown Slollicum Peak Trail near Harrison Hot Springs.