News Release - May 15, 2009
2009 PROVINCIAL PARK SEASON OFFICIALLY BEGINS
Today marks the official opening of the Saskatchewan provincial parks summer season.
Over the past year, electrical service has been added to or upgraded in more than 300 campsites. The campsites are distributed among Makwa Lake and Pike Lake Provincial Parks and Emma Lake Recreation Site, and are ready for campers to use this summer.
"Our provincial parks continue to be some of the best places to visit in Saskatchewan," Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Christine Tell said. "That is demonstrated by the fact that 2008 was a record year, with more than 3.1 million visits to our parks. The upgrades we are making will help people experience a memorable visit to our parks."
Electricity will be added to another 200 to 300 campsites this year. They will be available to campers in 2010. The campsite upgrades are part of a four-year, $20 million commitment to add electrical service to 1,000 sites.
Government is committed to upgrading the services in our provincial parks. In 2009/10 we will be spending $10.9 million to upgrade our parks. That's an increase in the annual capital budget of $5.3 million in two years. The improvements include building new service centres and new entry kiosks; improving boat launches; replacing barbeques and picnic tables; and upgrading the existing electrical supply to some campsites. Along with this we are continuing to carry out our earlier, four-year commitment to add electricity to 1000 campsites.
This summer marks the start of two new promotions. The 30 nights for the price of 21 spring and fall camping promotion includes free park entry for campers taking up this offer and will be available from Monday, May 18 to Wednesday, June 24 and again from Monday, September 7 until the parks close. The free spring park entry promotion gives all park users free park entry Monday through Thursday, from Monday, May 18 to June 24. All other park fees apply to both promotions.
"These are exciting promotions," Tell said. "When you combine them with our existing seniors' free park entry, they help to ensure our provincial parks remain available and affordable."
Saskatchewan's provincial parks feature many natural or historic features and offer a range of visitor services and recreational and educational opportunities. Visitors are encouraged to check at the park office to see what is available during their visit.
Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport staff are working hard to get potable water systems running in time for the May long weekend. However, frost conditions sometimes prevent this, especially in northern provincial parks. Park visitors are encouraged to call ahead to the park they intend to visit to see if the water system is functioning.
For more information about Saskatchewan's provincial parks, visit www.saskparks.net.
For more information, contact: