One of the Comox Valley’s longest-lived clubs is getting recognized by the province for nearly a century of volunteer effort. Formed in 1927, the Comox District Mountaineering Club (CDMC) is a 2020 BC Parks Volunteer award winner in the ‘Volunteer Group’ category.
The club donates time and money to promote conservation and appropriate use of parks and wilderness areas. They also organize hiking and climbing trips, and teach leadership and outdoor skills.
Over the years, CDMC members have been instrumental in building and maintaining hiking trails. They have also established new routes on many of the Island’s mountains.
The club was formed between the two World Wars by people who wanted to explore Forbidden Plateau in the Comox Valley’s backyard. These tough outdoors adventurers were the original route finders and trailblazers in the Valley, and eventually, club members extended their trails further into Strathcona Park.
Most of these hiking routes are still in use today, and you can still see signage on some trails that date back to the early days.
In 1928, the Club constructed a cabin on the eastern shoulder of Mt. Beecher as a base for explorations and adventures. Though the cabin burned down years ago, the club’s volunteer spirit lives on.
“The passion our volunteers have shown for the protection and stewardship of our parks is profound,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, after the awards were announced. “Volunteers generously contribute their time and labour to parks in many ways, such as advocating for new parks to be established, contributing funds to buy land for parks and building and maintaining trails.”
The BC Parks Volunteer Program has more than 1,800 volunteers involved in a wide range of initiatives, such as trail maintenance, facility restoration, campground hosting, ecological reserve wardens, educational and interpretive programs, ecological monitoring and inventories, park management and planning.