Ruckle farm continues to evolve, while staying true to its historic roots. Good news abounds from this cherished part of our island.
Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage (FRPH) is happy to report several new developments, the most important of which is that BC Parks 20-year-contract to manage and operate the farm has been offered to Mike and Marjorie Lane.
For 146 years, four generations of Ruckles ran the farm, the longest of any family farm in B.C. Henry Ruckle started it in 1872, an era that continued until the passing of granddaughter Helen Ruckle in 2018 June. She was one of the four signatories to the agreement that created the park and the last Ruckle, most sadly, with life-tenancy there.
Since her death, the Lanes have continued to run the farm, under a permit from BC Parks. Their new contract will begin in 2021 January. It includes their current home, the Norman Ruckle house, as well as the Alfred and Daniel houses, plus numerous other structures. They have new obligations and opportunities with these additional assets to make a successful business of the farm in keeping with visitors’ experience of its heritage features and values.
BC Parks created numerous documents this past year to guide the farm’s existing and expanded operations. FRPH created the “Ruckle Provincial Park Heritage Conservation Plan” with a $10,000 grant from the BC Heritage Legacy Fund, hiring Heritageworks of Victoria, B.C. to write it.
Friends of Ruckle Park Heritage is confidant that BC Parks has taken all of the right steps and made the right choices to keep residents and visitors alike loving the farm, as it is and will become under the Lanes’ continuing, evolving management and operation.
BC Parks has made Ruckle farm a high priority amongst its 1,000 provincial parks and reserves. They’ve put a great deal of work and money into it, to shepherd in this new era, with more good works to come.
FRPH will help BC Parks with non-commercial work in the public areas of the farm. Members have input on our activities, from advice and feedback to hands-on activities, depending on interest, knowledge, and skills. We’re a small volunteer group yet, but growing. Our aim is to enhance visitors’ experiences of the farm, as an historic place and a living, growing, evolving operation, in keeping with its roots and the Ruckle spirit.