South Peace News
Forestry, Parks and Tourism Minister Todd Loewen is delighted that Alberta Parks recorded a banner summer season.
More than 10 million visitors explored Alberta’s provincial parks, engaged in outdoor recreation opportunities and contributed to local economies in 2022, says a provincial government news release dated Nov. 30.
“Our provincial parks system benefits every Albertan while attracting visitors from around the world,” says Loewen, MLA for Central Peace – Notley.
“I’m proud to share that we had another successful summer camping and recreation season and we are beginning what will be a busy winter.”
He says parks are popular with Albertans and tourists.
“Parks are for people – for people to explore, appreciate nature, learn and enjoy,” says Loewen, who became the minister Oct. 24 after he was appointed by new Premier Danielle Smith.
More than 260,000 camping reservations were processed in 2022, resulting in more than 642,000 occupied camper nights across the province, and an 85 per cent overall satisfaction rating from visitors.
Over the past five years, the number of visitors to Alberta’s provincial parks has increased by more than 33 per cent.
Protecting Alberta’s provincial parks and recreation areas is a priority for the Alberta government. Budget 2022 invested $75 million in operating expenses for Alberta Parks and an additional $34 million for upgrades to sites across the province.
Alberta’s provincial parks are a key part of the provincial economy, supporting opportunities and jobs in tourism and hospitality and drawing visitors to communities across the province.
A new multi-purpose shower building opened at Hilliard’s Bay Provincial Park in 2022 after the provincial government announced Sept. 13, 2021 that it was investing $2.4 million for the building and site modernization at the park. It replaced facilities that were more than 30 years old.
Located at the park entrance, the building allows easy access for users to check in, obtain maps, buy firewood and other items, states the news release that announced the project.
The building provides new features that include laundry facilities, outdoor washing sink areas, check-in pull-throughs, parking and a new wastewater septic treatment system.
The project is part of a larger initiative to refurbish and enhance outdoor recreational facilities and buildings in provincial parks.