News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 15, 2020

FREE ENTRY TO MANITOBA PROVINCIAL PARKS FOR CANADA'S PARKS DAY



Manitobans are encouraged 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, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard said today. 
 
“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.”
 
Visitors to provincial parks will not require park vehicle permits from July 17 to 19. Nightly camping fees and fees in national parks still apply. 
 
Provincial parks have seen a significant increase in visitation this year, with over 68,000 campsite reservations made this year to date, an increase of 13 per cent over 2019. Campground occupancy has increased eight and a half per cent compared to this time last year.
 
Parks offer a full range of physical activities in the great outdoors. Hiking, swimming, canoeing and mountain biking are all part of a healthier lifestyle. When visiting parks, remember to practise physical distancing and wash or sanitize hands frequently to protect yourself from COVID-19. 
 
Other reminders when visiting parks include:
Practice ‘Leave No Trace’ – always pack out everything you packed in.
Keep dogs on leash and clean up after pets.
Avoid busy trails. If a trailhead parking lot is full, do not park along roadways. Visit another trail to minimize impacts on the landscape.
Be ‘Wildlife Smart’ by staying alert and secure attractants such as food, toiletries and trash. For more information on staying safe in black bear country, visit www.manitoba.ca/blackbear.
 
Park interpreters are offering a range of summer programs while maintaining physical distancing for COVID-19. Look for posted event details in select parks for information on amphitheatre events and campfire talks.
 
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.
 
The spread of zebra mussels and other AIS is preventable. All surface water users such as boaters, fishers, beach goers and floatplane operators are reminded to do their part when entering and exiting all water bodies in Manitoba. Specific decontamination and bait requirements are in place within AIS control zones. The AIS open-water season checklist is a step-by-step resource that can help surface water-users comply with the Manitoba government’s AIS regulation.
 
Watercraft inspection stations are operating into the middle of fall. 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. AIS requirements and set fines for offences are in effect year round.
 
For more information on invasive species, including the decontamination station schedule for aquatic invasive species, visit www.manitoba.ca/StopAIS.
 
Check park-related COVID-19 information before visiting or sign up for guided tours and look for local event details at www.manitobaparks.com
 
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