Manitobans and visitors alike are invited to take advantage of free access to all provincial parks this weekend as part of the annual Canada’s Parks Day celebrations across the country, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.
“Right across our province, our parks are full of natural beauty and recreation opportunities,” Squires said. “Whether you want to get away from it all and immerse yourself in nature, take a hike, or enjoy outdoor activities, I encourage everyone to take a moment and enjoy all that our parks have to offer.”
Visitors to provincial parks will not require park vehicle permits from July 20 to 22. Nightly camping fees and fees in national parks still apply.
Manitoba’s provincial parks offer numerous interpretive programs including guided experiences and tours, campfire talks and amphitheatre presentations designed to connect visitors to each park’s natural, cultural and historical resources.
Highlights of the interpretive programs available this weekend include events such as:
- a guided tour of the Trappist Monastery Ruins Provincial Heritage Park on Saturday afternoon;
- an interactive family program on geology and glaciation at Birds Hill Provincial Park on Saturday evening;
- presentations on the history of the boardwalk at Grand Beach Provincial Park, the history of Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, pollinators and insects at Spruce Woods Provincial Park and trapping and furbearing animals with local trappers in Whiteshell Provincial Park; and
- guided walks of the Pine Ridge Trail in Birds Hill Provincial Park, the Hecla Village in Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park, the Spirit Sands in Spruce Woods Provincial Park and the Bannock Point Petroforms in Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Several campgrounds also have special Parks Day-themed celebrations planned. Information on Parks Day events is available at park and campground offices and online at www.manitobaparks.com.
Manitobans are also reminded to stop the spread of invasive species to help protect provincial parks. Firewood cannot be moved out of the city of Winnipeg due to the presence of the emerald ash borer and the designation of Winnipeg as a federally regulated area. Anyone caught transporting firewood could face fines or charges. Firewood should always be obtained and burned locally.
Boaters and watercraft users are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species. Before leaving any body of water, take the proper steps to remove any visible aquatic plants, invasive species or mud; drain all water and remove drain plugs before transporting watercraft over land; dry all equipment and surfaces with a dry towel or sponge; and dispose of all bait used in a control zone water body in the trash prior to leaving the shore.
Watercraft inspection stations are up and running for the summer and are scheduled to be open Thursday through Monday for the rest of the open water season in Selkirk (Selkirk Park boat launch), Headingley (weigh station) and Eriksdale (Hwy 6 at Hwy 68E), Grand Rapids, The Pas and Swan River. It is a legal requirement for all watercraft, which includes canoes, kayaks, and Jet Skis, to stop at watercraft inspection stations when they are open.
For more information on invasive species, including the decontamination station schedule for aquatic invasive species, visit www.gov.mb.ca/stopthespread.
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Manitobans can stay up to date with provincial park news, activities and events by following the Twitter channel at www.twitter.com/MBGovParksor Facebook page www.facebook.com/MBGovParks.