During the last 3 years, Kootenay SW Parks have been quietly bringing in golf carts to replace their fleet of trucks. Emphasis on the ‘quietly’, because not only are these golf carts more fuel efficient, safer to use and cause less wear and tear, they are also very discreet.

“It’s a mindset” says Anne Pigeon, manager of RAP Park Contracting, the contractors responsible for the operations of all our local parks in the West Kootenays. Anne is referring to the willingness to invest in a transition from fuel heavy trucks to lightweight golf carts. It takes a certain mindset because it is a costly process but, Anne says that it didn’t take long to see a real difference in the fuel bill. Another motivating factor is the reduced cost of maintenance that the new fleet require.

Of the 15, most of the golf carts are electric. The remainder are fuelled with gas but they are extremely efficient and there’s absolutely no idling because the engines automatically cut out when stationary. The carts are also greener and cleaner which suits staff, visitors and the planet!

Anne pointed out that the golf carts weren’t always popular amongst their staff and that initially there was a reluctance to accept the change. However, it didn’t take long for opinion to change as the many many advantages became clear.

Other parks in BC, predominantly the larger ones, are also turning to golf carts to replace trucks and it’s no wonder because special equipment means that there need be no compromise in the tasks the vehicles can handle. Tasks like hauling landscaping equipment can still be carried out using specially designed trailers. .

It’s not just BC Parks that are turning to golf carts. There are currently two BC communities, Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island and Chase in the Shuswap, that allow for golf cart usage on the main roads, provided they adhere to certain safety measures. Promoting this way of travel increases social mobility for many whilst also functioning to reduce GHG’s

So, with hugely reduced costs of running and maintenance, an increase in safety and efficiency and of course the huge advantage of less greenhouse gases, it’s going to be exciting to see how this trend progresses…

Perhaps a 100% renewable Kootenays includes golf cart lanes in downtown areas?! We can’t know all the details about what a 100% Renewable Kootenays will look like in 2050, but what we do know is that;

a) it’s possible

b) it’s necessary

c) it will be a cleaner, brighter, fairer, richer, greener Kootenays!