Visitors reminded to plan ahead and make safe choices to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience
Spending time in nature and outdoors has a number of health and wellness benefits. As Canadians do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19, having access to national historic sites and national parks to get outside while following the guidance of public health experts, has been more important than ever.
As Parks Canada prepares to kick off its 2021 visitor season over the May long-weekend, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Jonathan Wilkinson, took the opportunity to remind Canadians of the importance of getting outdoors while following public health guidance and staying safe.
The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians remains of the utmost importance to the Government of Canada. Parks Canada is following the advice and guidance of public health experts and continues to make every effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In 2020, Parks Canada took health and safety measures including operating campgrounds at a reduced capacity, adjusting the capacity and visitor flow of indoor spaces such as visitor centres, historic buildings and washrooms, and modifying interpretative activities, to ensure that Canadians across the country could continue to enjoy nature. This season will once again be different than previous years. Visitor access and services will vary across the country depending on local circumstances and only services where health and safety risks can be properly managed will be opened.
Before visiting, there are a few things that everyone should remember:
- Plan ahead. The Parks Canada website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what to expect, how to prepare, and what services are available. Be sure to check the website before you visit.
- Follow travel restrictions and respect the guidance of public health experts. We all need to do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep one another safe. It is important to always follow travel restrictions, even when visiting national parks and national historic sites.
- Make safe choices. Choose activities that correspond with your level of experience in order to help minimize the demands on emergency response, search and rescue teams, and on the health care system.
- Be self-sufficient. Pack a kit that includes extra hygiene supplies such as hand sanitizer, soap, masks or face coverings, garbage bags and a tablecloth. You should be prepared to bring your own water and food.
- Leave no trace. Help us keep these special places clean by using appropriate garbage containers or by taking all your garbage with you.
- Respect wildlife. Learn more about the wildlife in the park or site you will be visiting, remember to never feed wildlife, always give them space, maintain a clean campsite, respect closures and speed limits, and keep your dog on a leash at all times.
Further information and tips for a safe and enjoyable visit are available on the Parks Canada website at: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/securite-safety/covid-19-info/covid-19-visite-visit.
“Over the past year, so many Canadians have benefited from the health and wellness benefits that come from being outdoors and in nature. I too have taken every opportunity to get outside. National historic sites, national parks, and national marine conservation areas offer countless opportunities for Canadians to safely connect with nature and history while following the guidance of public health authorities to help limit the spread of COVID-19. I am looking forward to the 2021 visitor season as Parks Canada invites Canadians across the country to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories close to home.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada
“For ParkCanada, the health and wellbeing of visitors, employees, and all Canadians are of the utmost importance. The Parks Canada team is working extremely hard to provide a safe, clean, and healthy experience and everyone can play an important role. Visitors should make every effort to plan ahead, respect travel restrictions, follow the guidance of public health experts, make safe choices, and leave no trace when visiting outdoor spaces. By working together, we can ensure a safe and enjoyable 2021 visitor season for all.”
President & Chief Executive Officer, Parks Canada
- Parks Canada protects a vast network of cultural and natural heritage places that include 171 national historic sites, 47 national parks, five national marine conservation areas and one national urban park.
- Parks Canada is responsible for protecting nationally significant examples of natural and cultural heritage in Canada and sharing the stories of these treasured places.
- Through the largest infrastructure investment in the history of Parks Canada, the Government of Canada is protecting and conserving national treasures, while supporting local economies and contributing to growth in the tourism sector.
- This investment means many Canadians will enjoy new and improved visitor experience opportunities this season, including the first front country campground in Mount Revelstoke National Park, the renewed Visitor Centre developed in collaboration with local Indigenous peoples in Riding Mountain National Park, new and improved hiking trails in Kejimkujik National Park, and many more.
- The Parks Canada app makes trip planning for first-time visitors to Parks Canada locations across the country even simpler. Visitors can now find Learn-to Camp content in the app and can obtain information on proper camping equipment, tips, and recipes. Visitors can even plan their entire trip itinerary and create a camping checklist.
- Parks Canada website
- Parks Canada mobile application
- Top tips to respect wildlife and stay safe
- #ParksSmart Videos
- Parks Canada Discovery Pass
- Parks Canada Reservation Service
- Parks Canada Shop