JASPER NATIONAL PARK CENTENNIAL
By Caroline Longtin
In 2007, Jasper National Park will honor its past and look toward its future as it celebrates 100 years of cultural and natural history as a protected place. To commemorate such a milestone, Jasper National Park is planning one hundred days of celebration. Centennial celebrations will include exhibits, events, publications, a centennial documentary, learning opportunities and the creation of various legacies.
It’s an opportunity for all to learn about Jasper’s natural and cultural heritage, and how to become better stewards of all protected places. It is a unique time to feel the power of our landscape and the richness of our past, and to commit to our future. In 2007, Jasper National Park is the place to be.
Visit Jasper National Park’s Centennial Celebrations’ website,www.jasper100.com, for a complete calendar of events.
ABOUT JASPER NATIONAL PARK’S NATURAL HERITAGE
Although Jasper National Park has seen many changes in the last century, much of the park remains wilderness. The largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain Parks, Jasper spans over 10,800 km2 of broad valleys, magnificent rugged mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, forests, alpine meadows, and wild rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rockies.
Jasper National Park protects a diverse variety of wildlife and plants. Large numbers of elk, bighorn sheep, and mule deer, as well as their predators make Jasper one of the great delicate and carefully protected ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains. This vast wilderness is one of the few remaining places in southern Canada that is home to a full range of carnivores, including grizzly bears, mountain lions, wolves and wolverines.
SHARING SOME OF JASPER NATIONAL PARK’S STORIES
In 1907, when it becomes apparent that two transcontinental railways will soon pass through the Athabasca Valley, the Dominion Government sets aside an area of about 13,000 km2 (5000 sq. miles), establishing Jasper Forest Reserve.
In 1911, the Grand Trunk Pacific Steel reaches Fitzhugh Station. The name is changed to ‘Jasper’ two years later and Jasper Town is laid out by the government.
In 1930, the National Parks Act is passed and Jasper is officially established as a national park. And in 1931, as a relief project for hundreds of men, work begins on the Jasper-Banff Highway. The road (known nowadays as the Icefield parkway) is completed in 1940 ? just in the nick of time, as the nation’s resources are soon fully devoted to World War II.
Jasper Park Information Centre National Historic Site of Canada (500 Connaught Drive) In 1913, Jasper National Park superintendent, Lieutenant Colonel Maynard Rogers, was overseeing much of the early development of the Jasper townsite. He had visions of a unified architectural theme for the town, believing local materials and building methods should be used. Completed in 1914, the Jasper Park Information Centre originally housed park administration offices, a museum, a fish hatchery, and living quarters for the park superintendent. Designated as a Federal Heritage Building in 1992, this picturesque fieldstone park building is now one of the finest and most influential examples of rustic architecture in Canada’s national parks.