B.C. Day: Our 'best in the world' bragging rights

When it comes to being the best in the world, British Columbia has claimed a few victories this year. We've got a few surprising reasons to feel proud on B.C. Day.

British Columbians like to brag about B.C.'s natural beauty. Here are some other reasons to feel proud.

In the summertime, grizzlies make their way down to the shorelines of Khutzeymateen Provincial Park in B.C. to eat sedge grass. (Lindsay James)

When it comes to being the best in the world, British Columbia has claimed a few victories this year. 

Stanley Park, for example, was voted the best park in the world by Trip Advisor

Here are some other ways B.C. has recently been recognized on the international stage.

1. Grizzly Bear sanctuary

Khutzeymateen Provincial Park has Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary 3:08

National Geographic named the Khutzeymateen Provincial Park (also known as K'tzim-a-deen Grizzly Sanctuary) one of the top places in the world to visit this summer.

Randy Burke, owner of Bluewater Adventures, offers excursions to the area by boat. 

He says he loves being able to offer people encounters with wildlife that can change their lives. 

"When people encounter amazing wildlife it changes their perspective," he says. "They realize they share this planet with other creatures. It can be profound."

The park, which is Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary, is one of the best places to see grizzlies in the wild.

Only a handful of tour operators have access to the park, which is about 60 kilometres north of Prince Rupert.

2. Tomatoes

Delta's Windset Farms beat 50 other growers at an event in Berlin 4:37

Windset Farms in Delta won the award for 'Best Tomato Grower in the World' at an international event held in Berlin. The company beat fifty other tomato growers from around the world. 

Jeff Madu, director of sales at Windset Farms, says the company earned the recognition for being well run, committed to sustainability and good at marketing. Having tasty tomatoes helped too.

Windset Farms is the first company in B.C. to be awarded best tomato grower in the world at the HortiBiz international Tomato Inspiration Event. (Windset Farms)

3. Fossil finds

Paleontologist Lisa Buckley says B.C. is gaining a global reputation 4:34

B.C. isn't just rich in resources but also in clues to ancient history.

Lisa Buckley, manager of the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre in Tumbler Ridge, says the province is gaining a reputation as one of the world's paleontology hot spots because of some major recent discoveries:

Burgess Shale invertebrates — Fossils of invertebrates in the Burgess Shale region of the Rockies, dating back 505 million years ago, are considered the world’s biggest fossil discovery. The fossils are so well preserved scientists can make out details of organs. 

Tiny hedgehogs and tapirs — Scientists are excited about the discovery of a previously unknown species of hedgehog dating back 50 million years. The fossils of the tiny hedgehog, which would have been the size of a thumb, were found in northern B.C.'s Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park.

In a reconstruction of the early Eocene (52 million years ago) in northern British Columbia, a tapir-like creature from the genus heptodon drinks in the shallows, while a small proto-hedgehog stalks prey in the foreground. (Julius T. Csotonyi) (Julius T. Csotonyi)

Tyrannosaurs tracks — Footprints of three tyrannosaurs found near Tumbler Ridge appear to show these dinosaurs likely hunted in packs. Scientists originally believed tyrannosaurs were solitary.

This tyrannosaur footprint was discovered in the fall of 2011 by Aaron Fredlund, a hunting guide in Tumbler Ridge, B.C. He was guiding a group of moose hunters and looking for a place to cross a river when he spied a promising looking rock ledge. (Aaron Fredlund)