Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage started in 2016, to help save an old south-end farmhouse by moving it to Ruckle Provincial Park. The owners bulldozed it anyway, but the Friends have carried on, working with BC Parks to enhance the visitor experience of Ruckle farm.
It’s been a slow start, getting our bearings, while work goes on behind the scenes. Last June, just as some possible projects were coming clear, Helen Ruckle unexpectedly died. As granddaughter of the farm’s founder, she was a treasure in herself and a treasury of invaluable memories. She had been a teacher, not a farmer, hence continued her family’s contract with Mike and Marjorie Lane, who became the Ruckles’ farm manager and operator in 1997.
Following Helen’s passing, BC Parks assumed all care and decision-making for the park, farm included. For several reasons, they are required to open the management and operation of the farm to public bid. It has taken a year of preparation to do so. Mike has continued at the farm, providing important, appreciated continuity.
A “Ruckle Provincial Park Heritage Conservation Plan” was needed, and Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage received a $10,000 grant from the B.C. Heritage Legacy Fund to hire experts to create it. It’s now in hand, one of the many components BC Parks has gathered and produced over the last year to take the next big step of posting a Request For Proposals in Bid BC.
BC Parks’ parent Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has done this. There is no direct link to the RFP, rather:
Go to https://www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca/; then “Browse opportunities by organization”; choose #121, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy; look for BCP2019-01; posting date is 2019/06/04. In the upper right corner, the file, “Supplier Attachments Exist” has 29 relevant documents, including the RFP application and the new “Ruckle Provincial Park Heritage Conservation Plan”. This latter will be of interest to everyone familiar with farm and keen on its legacies being protected.