By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Visitors are asked to plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting Waterton Lakes National Park this summer.
National historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas offer Canadians places to enjoy the mental and physical benefits of being outdoors and opportunities to discover history, while respecting the guidance of public health experts, according to a recent media release to announce the park’s summer season.
“The health and safety of visitors, employees and all Canadians are of the utmost importance to Parks Canada. Before visiting, there are a few things everyone should remember,” it was noted, in the media release.
Plan ahead. The Waterton Lakes National Park website provides detailed information on what locations are open, what to expect, how to prepare and what services are available. In addition, several construction projects are underway in the park and may impact your visit. Be sure to check the website before you travel.
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 historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas.
Make safe choices. Choose activities that correspond with your level of experience in order to avoid injury and/or getting lost and help minimize the demands placed 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 this special place clean by using appropriate garbage containers or by taking all your garbage with you.
Respect wildlife. Learn more about the wildlife in Waterton Lakes National Park before you visit, remember to never feed wildlife, always give them space, maintain a clean campsite and respect closures and speed limits. In addition, keep your dog on a leash at all times.
Beat the crowds. Waterton Lakes National Park gets busy on weekends. Consider visiting during a week day or earlier or later in the day for a more tranquil experience.
“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 places allow us to enjoy the outdoors and create lasting memories close to home at Waterton Lakes National Park,” stated Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Environment and Climate Change and minister responsible for Parks Canada.
For Parks Canada, the health and well-being 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 at Waterton Lakes National Park 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,” noted Parks Canada President and CEO Ron Hallman.
Did you know Waterton Lakes National Park is Canada’s fourth national park, originally protected in 1895? Did you know five electric vehicle charging stations are available for visitors to use in Waterton Lakes National Park? Did you know 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.”