Posted on: October 16, 2020 | Whiteshell News
|The Manitoba Government issued the following press release October 16, 2020
The Manitoba government is investing approximately $16.6 million in a variety of projects that will improve visitors’ experiences and protect the environment at provincial parks, while working to minimize the effect on cottage owners as the province modernizes the cottage fee structure, Conservation and Climate Minister Sarah Guillemard announced today.
“Our provincial parks are a treasure that must be protected and preserved, and we look forward to the enhancements these investments will bring for Manitobans,” said Guillemard. “Whether they involve new water treatment equipment, upgraded playground amenities or additional features that make our beaches more accessible, these improvements will serve Manitobans for years to come.”
In addition to investing in and improving parks, the province is engaging with provincial park cottage owners to develop new cottage fee models, signaling an end to a moratorium that has frozen fees since 2016. Cottage lease and service fees will increase by two per cent per year over the next three years, until new models are implemented. This will add about $25 to the average cottage owner’s annual bill, beginning in 2021.
The province is committed to investing in accessibility improvements, and is dedicating $100,000 to expand the number of beaches where mobility mats will provide accessible connections to the water. These mats will be put into use next summer for Pioneer Bay Beach at Clearwater Lake Provincial Park, Falcon Lake Beach at Whiteshell Provincial Park, West Beach at Grand Beach Provincial Park, Kiche Manitou Beach at Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Winnipeg Beach Provincial Park, Lundar Beach Provincial Park and Rainbow Beach Provincial Park.
Some projects have been funded through #RestartMB, the Manitoba government’s roadmap to recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and include improvements to water treatment plants at Grand Beach ($900,000) and Asessippi ($100,000) provincial parks, a sewage treatment facility upgrade at Grand Beach Provincial Park ($3.4 million) and a new truck-haul sewage treatment lagoon at Whiteshell Provincial Park ($4.2 million).
The investments also include projects such as:
• Whiteshell waste management initiative ($650,000);
• Big Whiteshell water treatment plant ($950,000);
• Big Whiteshell campground office relocation and accessibility improvements ($200,000);
• Falcon Lake Provincial Park south shore road improvements ($3.1 million);
• Birds Hill Provincial Park campground water treatment plant ($400,000);
• Winnipeg Beach seawall lighting upgrades to high-efficiency LED ($325,000);
• Grand Beach waste transfer station to improve recycling handling ($160,000);
• Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park water treatment plant ($760,000);
• Hecla wastewater treatment plant upgrades ($210,000);
• Nopiming/Bird Lake waste transfer station with an improved lagoon chute and recycling handling ($200,000); and
• Paint Lake water treatment plant intake upgrade ($581,000).
Recreation is an important part of Manitoba’s parks experience, so approximately $425,000 has been spent on playground structures for the Gyles (Grass River Provincial Park), Brereton (Whiteshell Provincial Park) and Adam Lake (Turtle Mountain Provincial Park) campgrounds, as well as for Gull Harbour Beach at Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park, Moose Lake Provincial Park and a community centre at Grand Beach Provincial Park.
“Provincial parks have been invaluable to Manitobans during the COVID-19 pandemic and these investments and upgrades will provide even better recreational destinations to people across our province,” said Guillemard.