Manitobans can access provincial parks for free this weekend
WINNIPEG -- As part of Canada’s Park Day celebrations, Manitobans will be able to go to provincial parks for free this weekend.
Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard made the announcement on Tuesday in a news release, saying she encourages people to visit the provincial parks.
“As Manitoba continues to restart our economy and reopen our communities, I encourage Manitobans and visitors to our province to take advantage of the opportunities throughout our beautiful provincial parks, and the mental and physical health benefits they provide,” Guillemard said. “
“As many Manitobans stay close to home this summer, this weekend is a great chance to rediscover our parks or take advantage of the outdoor activities you already know and love.”
The province noted that from July 17 to 19, visitors at provincial parks won’t need park vehicle permits, but nightly camping fees and fees at national parks will still be in place.
AN INCREASE IN VISTORS
According to the Manitoba government, provincial parks have seen an increase in visitors this year, with over 68,000 campsite reservations year-to-date – an increase of 13 per cent from last year. It noted that campground occupancy has increased 8.5 per cent compared to this time in 2019.
The province reminded any Manitobans visiting provincial parks to practice physical distancing and maintain hand hygiene in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Park interpreters will also be offering a range of events that adhere to public health guidelines. Details of these programs are posted in select parks.
Some other reminders from the province regarding provincial parks include:
- Always pack out everything packed in;
- Keep dogs on leashes and clean up after pets;
- Avoid any busy trails; and
- Stay alert and secure attractants such as food, toiletries and trash.
The Manitoba government also urges residents to help stop the spread of invasive species in order to protect provincial parks.
It noted firewood can’t be taken outside of Winnipeg due to the presence of the emerald ash borer and the fact Winnipeg is designated as a federally regulated area. If someone is caught transporting firewood they could face charges or fines.
The province added the spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species is preventable. It reminded boaters, beachgoers, fishers and floatplane operators to do their part when going in and out of bodies of water.