Strategy Supports Extraordinary Visitor Experience for Generations to Come: Ministers - Media Release
More Manitobans will soon be able to enjoy provincial parks thanks to a historic $220-million, multi-year investment plan by the Manitoba government, Natural Resources and Northern Development Minister Greg Nesbitt and Transportation Minister Doyle Piwniuk announced today.
“Manitobans care deeply about their provincial parks and have shared how important it is to increase investments in park infrastructure,” said Nesbitt. “Our bold plan prioritizes projects that enhance recreational opportunities and protect our precious ecosystems.”
As part of the Manitoba Provincial Parks Infrastructure Renewal Strategy, campers will see a 50 per cent increase in yurts, more campsites with electrical service, enhanced interactive experiences along with improved services, and access to nature in each of the 20 busiest provincial parks. This modern strategy will provide Manitobans and tourists an unforgettable parks experience for generations to come, Nesbitt said.
The strategy focuses on two streams that invest $121 million in parks infrastructure and $103 million roadway renewal within and around provincial parks over the next 10 years.
Short- and long-term investments to infrastructure will increase park capacity for yurts by up to 4,500 night stays annually, develop trails and boat launches, and enhance climate resiliency and environmental protection with water and wastewater upgrades.
Highlights of the plan include:
- Whiteshell Provincial Park: replacement of the Nutimik Museum, reconstruction of the West Hawk Lake seawall, Mantario Trail amenity upgrades, surface upgrades to the Trans-Canada Highway at the Manitoba-Ontario border, and structure rehabilitation on the Trans-Canada Highway at Provincial Road (PR) 301 Falcon Lake Access, PR 301 Overpass Falcon Lake Road, and Provincial Trunk Highway (PTH) 44 at West Hawk Lake;
- Spruce Woods Provincial Park: new campground bay development, group use campsite electrification, surface upgrades to PTH 5 from PTH 2 to 15 kilometres north of PTH 2;
- Birds Hill Provincial Park: Fox Bay campsite upgrades, Lakeview Trail upgrades;
- Hecla/Grindstone Provincial Park: Gull Harbour campsite electrification, minor structure rehabilitation on PTH 8 at the Hecla causeway;
- Asessippi Provincial Park: new yurt village, upgrades to PR 482 leading to park entrance;
- Bakers Narrows Provincial Park: new energy and water-efficient washroom and shower building at campground;
- Duck Mountain Provincial Park: yurt expansion at Childs Lake, culvert replacement on PR 367 at Garland Creek;
- Grand Beach Provincial Park: East Beach washroom replacement; and
- Paint Lake Provincial Park: campground washroom building replacement, wastewater lagoon assessment and upgrade, surface upgrades to PR 375 from PTH 6.
“Our government is committed to enhancing the overall experience for visitors to our provincial parks and campgrounds and this includes ensuring safe travel and welcome arrival,” said Piwniuk. “Important investments in infrastructure such as roads and highways leading to and within our parks will help enhance the experience for visitors, now and into the future.”
The ministers noted the plan will be flexible and responsive to address visitor expectations and shifting priorities, as identified in ongoing public engagement opportunities.
In addition, the Manitoba government is investing almost $200 million to restore and rehabilitate provincial infrastructure damaged throughout Manitoba from the spring 2022 flood event. Projects in and surrounding provincial parks include:
- Manigotagan River bridge on PR 314 in Nopiming Provincial Park:
- two bridge projects over Rice Creek on PR 315 (east of Lac du Bonnet and south of Nopiming Provincial Park) and on PR 313 (east of Lac du Bonnet and west of north Whiteshell at Pointe du Bois);
- bridge-sized culverts west of Favel River and Roaring River on PR 367 (north of Duck Mountain Provincial Park) and restoration on both PR 366 and PR 367 in Duck Mountain Provincial Park;
- Whitemouth River bridge on PR 307 (west of Whiteshell Provincial Park);
- bridge replacement at Drunken River near Silver Harbour (north of Gimli); and
- structure replacement at Boundary Creek through Prospect Road at Winnipeg Beach.
“Manitoba’s provincial parks are identified as a significant opportunity within the Manitoba Tourism Strategy, which is Travel Manitoba’s road map to grow Manitoba’s tourism industry,” said Colin Ferguson, president and CEO, Travel Manitoba. “Particularly now with the investment announced today by the Manitoba government, there is an opportunity to showcase the great experiences available to park visitors to increase visitation not only from within the province but also from the international tourism market.”
Since the Provincial Parks Act was proclaimed in 1960, there have been 92 parks established in Manitoba offering 4,500 nightly campsites, 1,500 seasonal campsites, and programming for residents and visitors to enjoy. Today, the province has the largest cottaging community in provincial parks in Canada with nearly 6,200 dwellings, and the Manitoba government also works with 180 commercial operators to provide unique lodgings and other offerings to park users to complement provincial campsites and services.
“We are encouraged by today’s announcement that the Manitoba government will be investing $220 million for new capital initiatives in and around our provincial parks, enhancing and modernizing our provincial parks for all Manitobans and visitors to enjoy,” said Ronald Smith, chair, Manitoba Provincial Parks Cabin Owners Association. “MPPCOA is a coalition of provincial park cottage owner associations representing over 80 per cent of Manitoba provincial park cottage owners, and we are pleased to have worked collaboratively with the Manitoba government to make positive changes to our provincial parks.”
To learn more about the Manitoba Provincial Parks Infrastructure Renewal Strategy and view the list of projects, visit https://www.gov.mb.ca/nrnd/parks/parks-strategy.html.
More information on planned Department of Transportation and Infrastructure capital projects can be found in the 2023 Multi-year Infrastructure Investment Strategy at www.manitoba.ca/mit/myhis/index.html or by viewing the projects map at www.manitoba.ca/mit/mipmap/map.html.