Free long-weekend admission to Manitoba provincial parks

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The Manitoba government is once again providing free entry to provincial parks over the Labour Day long weekend, Environment, Climate and Parks Minister Jeff Wharton announced today.

“The diversity of landscapes and waterways throughout Manitoba’s provincial parks provide a broad range of recreational and relaxing activities to suit any taste,” said Wharton. “This long weekend may mark the start of the transition from summer to fall, but there’s still time to participate in your favourite warm-weather activities and with free provincial park access this weekend, there’s no reason not to.”

Vehicle permits are not required to visit provincial parks from Friday, Sept. 2 to Monday, Sept. 5. However, regular fees still apply for provincial campgrounds.

Individuals who want to camp can check site availability and make a reservation through the Parks Reservation Service at www.manitobaparks.com or by calling toll-free 1-888-482-2267. Several provincial park campsites, cabins and yurts remain open through the fall, allowing campers to stay as late as Thanksgiving.

Park interpreters will once again welcome schools this fall for free guided programs at Birds Hill, Spruce Woods and Whiteshell provincial parks. Teachers are encouraged to book field trips for trail hikes, exploration activities and other curriculum-based learning experiences at park interpretive centres. The ‘Parks in the Classroom’ programs are also available to connect with park interpreters remotely for engaging online sessions. For details on interpretive programming, visit www.manitobaparks.com.

To help protect provincial parks for future generations, the minister reminded Manitobans to do their part in stopping the spread of invasive species.

Firewood should be obtained and burned locally, and never transported out of the city of Winnipeg, to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer.

To prevent the spread of zebra mussels, all water users, including boaters, fishers and beach users, must follow the specific decontamination and bait requirements in place in control zones. Anyone transporting watercraft including canoes and kayaks, must stop at watercraft inspection stations when they are open.

For more information on invasive species, visit: www.manitoba.ca/StopAIS.

Beach users are reminded to be water smart, which includes never swimming alone, being within arm’s reach of young children and wearing properly sized life-jackets. Visitors can borrow life-jackets in select parks and return them after their activity. Select parks offer a Life-Jacket Loan Program. For more information, visit: www.manitobaparks.com.

Manitobans can stay up to date with provincial park news, activities and events by following Manitoba Parks on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MBGovParks or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MBGovParks.