A 25yr Signature Endeavor | 1991-2016

By Tyson Mazer

Illahie, 8 May 11

Jarrett w/Amir (2mth) | May 2011

At John Dean Park in 1981, at the base of the Entrance Trail stood a beautiful classic sign “WATER”, which pointed southward towards the green hand pump. It was the parks only wood sign, which stayed in place until the picnic site infrastructure was removed autumn 2000.

To understand why the park had only one sign, one needs to understand the parks role within the provincial parks system of 1960-80s. Comparable to smaller parks, John Dean Park had a four table picnic site w/fire cavity nicely positioned to showcase the giant Douglas fir trees, and parks of the era generally had obvious main trails which didn’t require signage. Because John Dean Park received regular vandalism, to reduce targets and downline maintenance, the number of signs was limited to those considered essential.

In March 1988, with the completion of three new outer trails, the following names were chosen: Barret Montfort, Woodward and Merrill Harrop; Lookout Point was renamed as Pickles’ Bluff. Next a fourth trail was planned for the parks North Block; summer 1989 (age 14-15) Jarrett was a principal builder, and in November 1990 introduced three new names: Cougar Hollow, Slektain and Thunderbird.

Jarrett’s early start with the Friends of John Dean Park truly propelled his interest towards creating and maintaining the trail signs. However, he claims his true inspiration came from the longtime caretakers of Camp Thunderbird and Camp Barnard who maintained the properties and created traditional signs. In February 1991 (age 15) with the blessings of BC Parks, Jarrett installed his first two signs: West Viewpoint and Cougar Hollow. In June 1991, Rangers installed the new signs: Slektain and Thunderbird.

Since 1991, Jarrett has volunteered to create and maintain the classic BC Park trail signs, and works towards perfection. The sign system at John Dean Park is the outcome of considerable thought, requirements, changes, standardization, time and effort. Below, Jarrett has broken down the signage evolution into four generations/streams, which illustrates its progression…

Skipper's, Winter 2002-3Illahie, Spring 2006

Stream 3 signs | 2004 & 2006


STREAM 1 (1988-1994) 7yrs

  1. 14 new signs
  2. 1988, community donations: Pickles’ Bluff ; Woodward Trail x 2; Merrill Harrop Trail
  3. 1989, BC Parks: Barret Montfort Trail x 3; Woodward x 2; Merrill Harrop Trail x 1
  4. 1991, Jarrett’s first signs: Cougar Hollow and West Viewpoint
  5. 1991, BC Parks: Slektain Trail x 2; and Thunderbird Trail x 2
  6. signboard: varied is size and style
  7. posts: 4×4”
  8. 14 signs w/posts maintained by end-1994


STREAM 2 (1995-1998) 4yrs

  1. 15 x new 1995 park map w/4×6” posts
  2. volunteer funded
  3. signboard: majority 2×8”x2’
  4. 8 existing signs replaced
  5. 32 new signs
  6. posts: transitioned to 4×6” and 6×6”
  7. 46 signs w/posts maintained by end-1998


STREAM 3 (1999-2006) 8yrs

  1. 12 x new 2002 park map w/4×4” posts; 6 existing signs replaced
  2. self-funded
  3. signboard: transitioned to: 1×8”x1’
  4. 14 existing signs replaced
  5. 8 new signs
  6. posts: 4×4”, 4×6” and 6×6”
  7. 54 signs w/posts maintained by end-2006


STREAM 4 (2007-2016) 10yrs

  1. 2007, BC Parks colour change: transitioned to new BC Parks rustic brown, converted 54 signs & posts
  2. 2007-16, BC Parks provided receipt reimbursements, and supplied posts and paint; over the decade $1,424.37 was provided (average $178.04 annually); extras self-funded
  3. signboard: transitioned to set-standard, 1×8”x1’ w/1” lettering; 35 existing signs replaced
  4. 16 new signs
  5. posts: transitioned to set-standard 4×4”
  6. 2013, added washers to the backside of signs, and replaced old bolts
  7. 70 signs & 40 posts maintained by end-2016

One Comment

  1. Christian Fortin
    Posted February 11, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Wow – great work Jarrett! Me and my wife ran into you today as you were putting a bridge back across a stream and cleaning up after the storm. I had no idea you had been doing this for almost 30 years now!! After going through your website I now know where all the trail names are coming from! Thank you for your dedication, this park is our personal favorite place. Guess I’ll see you around the park!

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