September 3, 2020
FREE PROVINCIAL PARK ENTRY FOR LABOUR DAY WEEKEND
The Manitoba government will once again offer free entry to provincial parks to mark the Labour Day long weekend, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.
“Free park entry weekends provide a wonderful opportunity for all Manitobans to make a trip into one of our beautiful provincial parks and take a moment to enjoy nature,” said Guillemard. “These days, when we are all staying a little closer to home, it’s great to explore Manitoba and see all that our provincial parks have to offer.”
Park vehicle permits will not be required in provincial parks starting tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7. Regular camping fees will continue to apply. When visiting parks, remember to practise physical distancing and wash or sanitize hands frequently to protect yourself from COVID-19. While a travel restriction to areas of northern Manitoba takes effect tomorrow, there are exceptions for travelling directly to a campground or lodge. If you are travelling to the north, limit any stops to just the necessities outside of your camping destination.
Other reminders when visiting parks include:
• Practise ‘Leave No Trace’ – always pack out everything you packed in.
• Keep dogs on leashes and clean up after pets.
• Avoid busy trails and beaches. If a trailhead parking lot is full, do not park along roadways. Visit another trail to minimize impacts to the landscape.
• Be ‘Wildlife Smart’ by staying alert and securing attractants such as food, toiletries and trash. For more information on staying safe in black bear country, visit www.manitoba.ca/blackbear.
Park interpreters have developed a range of free virtual interpretive programs for schools. Teachers and their students are encouraged to connect virtually with a park interpreter for engaging, curriculum-based learning sessions on Manitoba’s natural features and cultural history in parks. For details on interpretive programming, visit www.manitobaparks.com or email ParkInterpretation@gov.mb.ca.
Several provincial park campgrounds, cabins and yurts remain open through the fall, allowing campers to stay as late as Thanksgiving. To make a reservation or see the full list of campgrounds open in the fall and their operating dates, call the Parks Reservation Service at 1-888-482-2267 (toll-free) or visit 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.
The spread of zebra mussels and other aquatic invasive species (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 leaving all water bodies. 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 will operate into the middle of the fall. It is a legal requirement for all watercraft, including 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 AIS, visit www.manitoba.ca/StopAIS.
Anyone planning a back-country trip is reminded that campfires should be made only in designated fire pits. Campers heading into remote areas should tell someone else where they are going and when they expect to return.
Manitobans can stay up to date with provincial park news, activities and events by following the Twitter channel www.twitter.com/MBGovParks or Facebook page www.facebook.com/MBGovParks.
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