A Brief History of the
Brackendale Farmers Institute Park
In 1957 some farseeing longtime residents, the local Farmers Institute, set aside 50 acres of land as a park, the very area now known as The Brackendale Farmers Institute (BFI) Park. This is the forested area south of Brackendale Elementary School, west of Ross Road, east of the railway tracks and north of the Ross property on Depot Rd. The designation of this parcel of land has been shuffled between residential, forestry, park and crown at the whim of various governments.
In1992, the revived BFI began lobbying at all levels of government for permanent park status for this land. Since that time they have also cleared and maintained an area for the Fall Fair, improved trails, installed gates, brought in power and made other improvements. The park has been home to the Brackendale Fall Fair for the past 8 of its 12 years.
Before that in the early 1980s, a neighbourhood dad cleared and established the 3 main trails so that his young son could have a safe place to ride his dirt bike. Since then the park has become a favourite with walkers, dogs and mountain bikers and is a part of the now famous Squamish Trail System. One part of the BFI trails is a segment of the Old Pemberton Trail.
The BFI Park land is caught up in a larger chunk known as The Cheekye Fan. For many years we were led to believe that this land was not suitable for housing development because of some cataclysmic geological probability which appears to have suddenly become a non-issue. That being said, it is not a question of stopping development in or around Brackendale but rather a need to preserve this particular remnant of the natural world within that development.
It is not good enough for a developer to promise “greenspace” of lawn and shrubs between buildings or on land that they can’t otherwise develop in some other location. This park is an area of old 2nd growth Douglas Fir mixed forest. It is our Stanley Park. It is right here in Downtown Brackendale and if we are to be completely surrounded by housing developments, we need this park right here, right now, more than ever.
Squamish Mayor and Council: Mayor Patricia Heintzman
City Hall - PO Box 310, Squamish, BC V8B 0A3
Phone: 604 815 5030 Fax: 604 815 5032
MLA: Jordan Sturdy
Room 151 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Phone: 250 356-6171 Fax: 250 387-9066
Premier of British Columbia:
PO Box 9041 Station PROV GOVT
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Phone: 250 387 1715 Fax: 250 387 0087
MISSION STATEMENT OF
THE BRACKENDALE FARMERS INSTITUTE
The Brackendale Farmers' Institute, established in 1915, is a service organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the social and cultural life of the historic village of Brackendale.
THE BRACKENDALE FARMERS INSTITUTE
First founded in 1915, the focus of the Squamish Farmers Institute (as it was then called) was to educate people in agriculture and to host yearly exhibits of local produce and products. This association was instrumental in forming the Squamish Credit Union in 1944 and, in 1957, had the forsight to set aside as parkland, the land where the Brackendale Fall Fair has been held for the past 7 of its 11 years. It is hoped that by the end of this year, at the request of the District of Squamish to the Provincial Government, that theBrackendale Farmers Institute Park will be declared as parkland in perpetuity.
Historically, the objectives of a Farmers Institute are:
1) To improve conditions of rural life so that settlement may be permanent & prosperous.
2) To promote the theory & practice of agriculture.
3) To arrange, on behalf of its members, the distribution or sale of commodities, supplies or products.
4) To act generally on behalf of its members in all matters incidental to agricultural pursuits and rural development.
5) To promote home economics, public health, child welfare, education and better schools.
The Squamish Farmers Institute was allowed to lapse in the mid 1980s. It was resurrected in 1990, by Bill Berg, Nick Candy, Thor Froslev, Brian Giles and Don Ross, as the Brackendale Farmers Institute. Along with coordinating the very successful Brackendale Fall Fair each year, the BFI, in its Mission Statement, “is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the social and cultural life of the historic village of Brackendale”.