Provincial Parks Have Been a Great Escape For Manitobans Away From The Pandemic
By Dami Igbinyemi
When COVID began to escalate all public gatherings were cancelled by public health due to the safety of people, this included weddings, camping trips, concerts etc. This was devastating for everyone, but as vaccines roll outs and restrictions decrease, we are now able to gather in an outdoor space with up to 25 people. Although it’s a small step back to normalcy, it a big deal to folks who miss the outdoors.
Today, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced that the Manitoba government will allow free entry to provincial parks from July 12th to 18th instead of the traditional Canada’s Parks Day weekend so that guests can take full advantage of the parks and what they have to offer.
“We have been listening to how much Manitobans love their provincial parks and when the idea was raised by members of the public to expand the free access, we enthusiastically embraced it,” said Guillemard. “All Manitobans should have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and we are pleased to offer free park entry for a full week this summer.”
While being active and outdoors are important for our physical and mental health, COVID-19 public health orders must still be followed. Manitobans are advised to visit the parks at non-peak hours such as weekdays and early weekend mornings. The Park Reservation Service can be contacted at 1-888-482-2267 or online at www.manitobaparks.com for campsite vacancy/ cancellations.
Vehicles permits are not required at any of the provincial parks for that week, but overnight camping fees will continue to be in effect. This week-long offer is designed to ensure that cost is not an obstacle for anyone although Manitoba’s provincial park entry fees are amongst the lowest in Canada.
Park visitor centres and museums are currently closed but trails hikes, historic sites tours, and guided paddles are open throughout the week. Park events can be found at www.manitobaparks.com and under the events tab on the Manitoba Parks Facebook page.