Parks / British
Columbia / Churn
Creek Provincial Park
Cactus, bunchgrass, junegrass and sagebrush
cover this parks 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. Childrens 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.