50 Years of Alberta Environment and Parks

If you’re anything like me, when you saw the recent announcement about Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) celebrating their 50th Anniversary, you were stumped because hadn’t they just celebrated their 85th Anniversary back in 2017? After doing some digging, and chatting with someone in the know, I have discovered that both are actually true. Confused yet? Let me see if I can clear things up a bit.

Yes, Alberta Parks (provincial parks and protected areas) celebrated its 85th Anniversary in 2017. Technically speaking, Alberta Parks is the Parks Operations Division within the Ministry of Environment and Parks, which was formerly known as Environment, Sustainable Resource and Development (SRD). Now, the ministry that Alberta Parks is currently part of (AEP) is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year. Want even more history? Alberta Parks hasn’t always been with AEP and were previously in a ministry called Tourism, Parks and Recreation (TPR), before that it was known as Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture (TPRC) and way back when, they were with Community Services. Clear as mud?

So basically, the Ministry of Environment and Parks is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year and this collection of historical photos is dedicated to some of this province’s spectacular parks and protected areas, before many even had that status.

Walter Hill Moodie riding a horse on the Glenbow Ranch, Cochrane area, Alberta, 1891 (Glenbow Ranch PP)

For more specific posts about Alberta Environment and Parks, please visit any of these previous stories:

Lundbreck Falls on the Crowsnest River, near Lundbreck, Alberta, 1893 (Lundbreck Falls PRA)
Sawmill at Jarvis Bay, Sylvan Lake, Alberta, 1908 (Jarvis Bay PP)
Tom Wilson and Morley Beaver, Stoney, on hunting trip, Kootenay Plains, Alberta, 1900 (Kootenay Plains ER and PRA)
Resort at Buffalo Lake, Alberta, 1908 (Rochon Sands PP)
Boating at Miquelon Lake, Alberta, 1911-1914 (Miquelon Lake PP)
York boats, Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, 1886 (Lesser Slave Lake PP)
Samuel W. Shaw family at Midnapore, Alberta, 1889 (Fish Creek PP)
Pictographs at Writing-on-Stone, Alberta, 1895 (Writing-On-Stone/Áísínai’pi PP)
Kananaskis Lake, Alberta, 1885 (Kananaskis Country and Peter Lougheed PP)
George Sternberg, paleontologist packing dinosaur, at Steveville, Alberta, 1921 (Dinosaur PP)
Band at picnic at Red Lodge, west of Bowden, Alberta, 1908 (Red Lodge PP)
Steamboat “Countess”, Pigeon Lake, Alberta, 1910 (Pigeon Lake PP)
Bird’s-eye view of Boy Scouts camp, Camp Bow, Alberta, 1931 (Little Bow PP)
Provincial Park buildings, Cypress Hills, Alberta, 1955 (Cypress Hills IPP)
Dinton Ranch, the Wyndham home near Carseland, Alberta, 1890 (Wyndham-Carseland PP)
Group in canoe, Beauvais Lake, Pincher Creek, Alberta, 1900-1903 (Beauvais Lake PP)
Spray Lakes area, Alberta, 1950s (Spray Valley PP)
Bleriot ferry near Munson, Alberta, 1913-1919 (Bleriot Ferry PRA)
Sheep Creek (Sheep River), near Turner Valley, Alberta, 1914-1917 (Sheep River PP)
Sailboats on Cooking Lake, Alberta, 1912 (Cooking Lake-Blackfoot PRA)
Big Hill Springs in flood, Cochrane area, Alberta, 1906-1914 (Big Hills Springs PP)
Starkey family crossing river near Mount Yamnuska, Alberta, 1930s (Bow Valley PP)
Aspen Beach, Gull Lake, Alberta, 1928 (Aspen Beach PP)
Crimson Lake, Alberta, 1940 (Crimson Lake PP)

The photos above were collected from the Glenbow Archives. If you’re interested, additional information can be found for each photograph on the Glenbow website by searching the identification number that is printed on the photo. There is also the option to purchase a high resolution copy. Stay tuned for additional posts featuring historical photos from across Alberta. We’d love to know what you think in the comment section below.

About Tyler Dixon 219 Articles
Tyler is originally from Saskatchewan, and yes he cheers for the Roughriders, but don’t hold that against him as Calgary has been his home for the past eight years. He is a teacher working at a wilderness- based treatment program for youth working to overcome addiction. Tyler is also a volunteer with the GOT Parks initiative, which aims at reconnecting Canada’s youth with our national, provincial, and territorial parks. During his time away from work, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and snowboarding, team sports, travelling, photography, spending time with good friends, and being at home with his wife and German Shepherd, Rome.