This park winds its way into a patch of shade-giving second-growth forest, with the calming sound of the Fitzsimmons Creek making the picnic tables and Adirondack chairs popular spots to relax. The path leads you to a lush lawn area, behind both the Public Library and Museum, where they host events during the summer months. It’s a little pocket of calm that’s home to several public art pieces, and bears the name of one of Whistler’s most loved community members – Florence Petersen.
What’s in a Name?
Florence Petersen founded the Whistler Museum & Archives Society in 1987 and was responsible for keeping track of Whistler’s early history, publishing three books to preserve the stories. She came to Whistler in 1955, purchasing a cabin on Alta Lake called “Witsend” with four of her school-teacher friends. Coming up from her teaching job in Burnaby for weekends and summers Florence met Danish carpenter, Andy Petersen and they quickly married.
When she retired from her teaching job in 1983, Florence moved to Alta Lake full time and along with starting the museum she became a marriage commissioner, playing a key role in many local’s lives. Florence passed away in 2012, and the park opened a year later bearing her name to honour her contributions to the community.
Did You Know?
Florence Petersen is one of four women in Whistler who have received the Freedom of the Municipality, which honours citizens who have given outstanding contributions to their community.
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax then this is the place. At night they light up some of the trees and you can see the distinct notches in the wood where the early pioneers used a tree-felling technique called “springboarding”. There’s now second-growth trees coming out of the first-growth stumps.