Parks Canada celebrates its centennial this week with new parks, accommodations and programs to lure urban Canadians out to see the wonders of their country. Events marking the 100th year of Canada’s national park system take place this coming Saturday in 100 communities across the nation. Part of its annual Park Day event, it includes climbing and paddling lessons along with interpreters in period dress reciting tales of Canada’s past.
Part of Parks Canada’s centennial mission targets urban dwellers who are not regular visitors in Canada’s vast protected wilderness areas. In June, the establishment of a new national park near Toronto was announced. According to the Federal government, Rouge Park will be “a sanctuary for nature and the human spirit” and a park easily accessible to the millions who live in and around Toronto. Environment Minister Peter King hopes it will provide an introduction to the park system to those who can’t travel the greater distances to Canada Parks’ more remote natural spaces.
Much of Canada Parks’ future expansion now centers on the remote North and ocean habitats where wildlife and the environment are in need of protection. Currently in consultation with the Dene to determine boundaries for a park to be named Haats’ihch’oh, north of Nahanni Park in the Northwest Territories, Parks Canada hopes to provide protection for the Nahanni River watershed and surrounding caribou herds. They also have plans for a national park on Sable Island near Halifax to protect its famous horses and seal population.
Let’s Hear From You
My family and I are fairly regular visitors of both the provincial and national park systems in Canada, and recently we traveled south to take in a few national parks in the United States as well, visiting Yellowstone and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks.
Do you make use of the national park system? Where? What was your experience? What do the parks system mean to you and your family? Share your stories and opinions.
Photo Credit: Banff by Mckaysavage