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.
“We want all Manitobans to enjoy the amenities and the scenery of our beautiful provincial parks, and our annual free entry weekends provide a chance to get outdoors and enjoy nature,” said Guillemard. “We can all use a little break, and as we think about the end of the summer we can embrace the fall with a free visit to a Manitoba provincial park.”
Park vehicle permits are not required in provincial parks from Friday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 6. Regular camping fees still apply. When visiting parks, remember to practise physical distancing and wash or sanitize hands frequently to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Other reminders when visiting parks include:
• practise ‘Leave No Trace’ – always pack out everything you packed in;
• keep dogs on leash and clean up after pets; and
• be ‘Wildlife Smart’ by staying alert and securing attractants such as food, toiletries and trash.
Be prepared to encounter wildlife along trails and in campgrounds. For more information on staying safe, visit www.manitoba.ca/human-wildlife.
Park interpreters will once again welcome schools into provincial parks this fall for free educational programs. Manitoba Parks is committed to providing safe field trips for students and has COVID-19 guidelines. Teachers are encouraged to book field trips for trail hikes, exploration activities and other curriculum-based learning experiences. Virtual programming options also remain available to connect with park interpreters in classrooms for engaging online sessions. For details on interpretive programming, visit www.manitobaparks.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several provincial park campsites, cabins and yurts remain open through the fall, allowing campers to stay as late as Thanksgiving. To make a reservation, or see the list of campgrounds open in the fall and their operating dates, call the Parks Reservation Service at 1-888-482-2267 or visit www.manitobaparks.com.
Manitobans are reminded to stop the spread of invasive species to help protect provincial parks. Firewood cannot be moved out 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 water-users such as boaters, fishers, beach-goers and floatplane operators are reminded to do their part when entering and exiting 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 water-users comply with the Manitoba government’s AIS regulations.
Watercraft inspection stations for AIS are operating 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 backcountry trip is reminded that campfires should be made only in designated fire pits. Campers heading into remote areas should tell someone where they are going and when they expect to return.